Solar energy emerges as a new alternative for environmentally responsible energy consumption, given the impact generated by non-renewable energy. Learn about why is solar energy good for the environment.
Although the development of solar technologies began in the 1860s, in the early 20th century the availability of non-renewable sources such as coal and oil stopped its growth.
It would be the oil crisis in 1973 and 1979 that caused a change in world energy policy, to finally have its great boom from 1998 to today, after the Kyoto protocol, a 1997 agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that aims to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
What is solar energy?
Solar energy is produced by light – photovoltaic energy – or heat from the sun – solar thermal – for the generation of electricity or the production of heat. Inexhaustible and renewable, since it comes from the sun, it is obtained through panels and mirrors.
The photovoltaic solar cells convert light from the sun directly into electricity by the photoelectric effect called, whereby certain materials are able to absorb photons (light particles) and release electrons, generating an electric current. On the other hand, solar thermal collectors use panels or mirrors to absorb and concentrate solar heat, transfer it to a fluid, and conduct it through pipes for use in buildings and facilities or also for the production of electricity (solar thermoelectric).
Why is solar energy good for the environment
Solar energy emerges as a new alternative for environmentally responsible energy consumption, given the impact generated by non-renewable energy.
Among its benefits are:
REDUCE AIR POLLUTION
Fossil fuels create a large number of pollutants. Smog is bad for the environment, for the health and aesthetics of spaces. When pollutants are trapped in the air, they cause long-term damage. Solar panels help get rid of air pollution by reducing the use of fossil fuels for energy production.
REDUCE WATER USE
If your energy source doesn’t use fossil fuels to feed itself, you probably use some type of water. Hydroelectric and nuclear energy use a lot of water to produce electricity, but that means that the water cannot be used for anything else. The solar panels create energy without water, which would help solve the problem of water shortages in the long run.
REDUCE DEPENDENCE ON NON-RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES
Solar energy can also help reduce dependence on general non-renewable energy sources. This is beneficial in many ways, such as non-renewable energy resources creating many of the pollutants in the air, and these will eventually run out. The sooner and more fully the transition to renewable energy can be made, the better for Earth.
HELPS COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE
Finally, there is the issue of climate change. As the discharge of pollutants and additional CO 2 into the air takes place, the planet will find it increasingly difficult to clean the air, as the carbon count increases, so do the retention of heat from the sun. These changes in air conditions will continue an effect in different climates.
ELIMINATE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
With just one person or family using solar energy, up to 20,000 tons of greenhouse gases that pollute the environment can be avoided. Since by supplying its own energy, the use of fossil fuels that harm the planet so much is avoided.
Imagine the impact that would be achieved if 10,000 people a year switched to solar energy. This, added to the reduction in energy consumption of the electricity grid, allowing the impact on the environment to be even greater.
Furthermore, by choosing solar energy you will have a positive impact on your economy.
IMPROVE AIR QUALITY
The environment is not only damaged by burning fossil fuels to obtain its energy, but also our health. The air we breathe is in very poor condition, thanks to all the pollution that contributes to its pollution.
The carbon dioxide and other gases that are released poison the air for many kilometers around the processing plants of these fossil fuels.
By choosing solar energy, we choose to clean the air and prevent contamination from entering our lungs.
PREVENT MORE ECOSYSTEMS FROM DESTROYING
The process of creating fossil fuels requires that processing plants and refineries be built, which destroy natural ecosystems.
With this, much of nature is exterminated by the insatiable demand that countries have on this polluting resource.
If we eliminate the use of this type of fuel, we would not have the need to create more plants, avoiding destroying trees, plants, and animals in its path.
DECREASE WATER POLLUTION
Currently, the process of creating fossil fuels generates a large amount of toxic waste that is thrown into landfills. The bad news is that one of the landfills leaks into the water reservoirs and the other goes to the waterways, contaminating the water and the soil.
These wastes harm all living things on the planet since water is vital for our survival. If we say no to fossil fuels, we are committed to our health and a clean future.
What is solar energy for?
This new alternative is implemented in homes, companies, and cities, which can take advantage of it to carry out their daily activities, develop sustainable projects, reduce electricity consumption and be at the forefront of technological innovation projects.
What is solar energy used for?
- Solar lighting through solar panels for homes and companies. This allows the improvement of efficiency in energy consumption and reduces electricity costs, which makes it an alternative energy. Architectural trends increasingly adopt this type of lighting as the basis for sustainable design.
- Heating. Solar heaters take advantage of the sun’s energy and transform it into thermal energy through the use of water or air. Heating systems can be passive, use natural circulation, or active, use pumps to circulate water, and generate heat.
- Transport powered by solar energy. They are powered by photovoltaic energy. These include electric vehicles powered by energy obtained from solar panels, buses, and railways. There are also roads powered by sunlight.
- In technology, such as solar chargers, useful for charging cell phones, tablets, computers, flashlights, or other household appliances that work with solar technology such as dryers, radios, lamps, among others.
- Electricity supply companies. Photovoltaic solar energy can be used to generate large amounts of energy in order to sell it to companies whose business is to supply energy.
- Remote places of difficult access. It is ideal to provide power to those remote places, with low development index, where they have difficulties to have electrical energy.
- Solar satellite. Solar energy is one of the main methods of supplying satellites in orbit in space.
- Plantation irrigation. Solar energy is an alternative to obtain electricity for pumping water for irrigation due to the absence of the electric power network in distant places.
- Traffic signs and public lighting in cities. Power poles that operate in sunlight have been developed, as well as traffic signs that operate thanks to the sun or wind.
How do you get energy from the sun?
The sun provides energy in two different ways:
- It provides heat, harnessed by mirrors so that the sun’s rays are concentrated in a receiver that reaches temperatures of up to 1,000 ºC. Heat is used to heat a fluid that generates steam. The steam finally moves a turbine and produces electricity.
- It provides light that is converted to electricity through photovoltaic solar panels. Photovoltaic panels are made up of groups of cells or solar cells that transform light (photons) into electrical energy (electrons).
Caring for the environment is essential, which is why is solar energy good for the environment.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is solar energy?
- 2 Why is solar energy good for the environment
- 3 What is solar energy for?
- 4 How do you get energy from the sun?