Solar generators are becoming commonplace. And while it’s true that solar energy’s swift rise in popularity has been in response to an increase in access, affordability, and understanding, there’s a deeper, more meaningful reason why many people are making the switch to solar.
With the devastating impacts of climate change already sweeping the planet, individuals and communities are realising that they need to act quickly. It will take swift and widespread action to prevent further catastrophe and protect future generations. To fully rise to the challenge, people need to rethink old ways of doing things and form new habits.
One of the easiest ways to adapt is using already available technology, like switching to solar power. Here’s how solar generators play a role in fighting climate change.
Can Solar Energy Help Fight Climate Change?
Solar energy, among other renewable energy sources, is crucial to fighting climate change. Let’s break down the specifics.
Reduces Fossil Fuel Consumption
Did you know that humans have increased the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the earth’s atmosphere by 48% since the Industrial Revolution? Known to be the most dangerous contributor to rapid global warming, this massive uptick in CO2 has been driven by human activity. A key culprit? The burning of fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels, like coal and natural gas, create power when burned. During this process, they create steam that spins turbines and generates electricity. But electricity isn’t all they produce.
Burning fossil fuels to generate power pumps carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A primary greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide traps heat. Excess CO2 leads to excess heat that becomes trapped in our atmosphere, accelerating climate change.
When harnessing energy directly from the sun, the process doesn’t require burning elements to generate power through solar energy systems. This way, solar energy bypasses the unnecessary combustion that creates dangerous greenhouse gases.
Renewable and Sustainable
Lobbyists for big oil companies and solar power naysayers never fail to mention that the production of solar panels can negatively impact the environment. It is true that the construction of photovoltaic (PV) cells and panels produces hazardous chemicals that require careful handling. However, the benefits far outweigh the costs when it comes to the long-term sustainability of energy sources.
The resource itself is a gift that keeps on giving. Unlike fossil fuels, limited resources that took millennia to form deep within the earth, there is no shortage of solar energy. Even in places that don’t get a lot of sunlight, solar energy systems allow you to capture and store power for the future.
Plus, after manufacturing panels, they boast a long lifespan of up to 30 years or more. Many manufacturers also use recyclable parts, thus minimising the need to continually harvest new metals to create new panels. When you look at the environmental and climate impacts of solar and fossil fuel power over time, solar comes out on top every time.
Less Invasive Option
When driving through a residential area, you’ll see solar panels on roofs and garages. If you’re lucky, you may spot a large-scale solar power farm. These cleverly installed structures sit on top of a field where low-light plants grow, sheep grazing underneath the panels. Portable panels, like those designed by EcoFlow, allow you to set up shop and harness the sun’s power anywhere without leaving a carbon footprint!
When done correctly, solar energy installations can be minimally invasive to the natural environment. By installing panels on top of buildings, communities can use already occupied space more efficiently. When designed with nature in mind, solar power farms can promote the growth of low-lying crops and support ecosystems.
When examining the means of extracting coal, oil, and gas from the earth, it doesn’t take an expert to see how destructive the practices are. Take the Alberta Oil Sands, for instance. This vast industrial project pumps out over 3 million barrels of oil every day, with much of it going to the US. The oil companies have demolished the land to extract oil, and the production infringes on the health of the world’s largest boreal forest.
The destruction of plant and animal life is devasting as it is for the local ecosystems. Add to that the bad news for climate change since trees and plant life are nature’s most effective means of carbon capture.
Harnessing solar energy is possible without destroying precious ecosystems and plant life. It’s just one step in supporting thriving biodiverse communities and fighting climate change.
Is Solar Energy The Best Way To Save The Environment?
It is difficult to say that solar energy, on its own, is a surefire way to reverse the climate catastrophe. A UN climate report showed the catastrophe is already banging on earth’s door, and the time to act is now. But without a doubt, solar power is crucial in limiting further warming and protecting our planet.
As far as energy is concerned, the best path forward is often believed to be a combination of solar, wind, hydro, and even nuclear power. This all-in approach to energy production uses different sources of renewable energy to harness the maximum benefits of each while reducing the risks associated without putting all your eggs in one basket.
For example, not all places around the globe have year-round sunshine. These areas can’t support a solar-only energy plan. Others may have windy seasons that can produce a lot of power, but only for a short time.
Utilising multiple renewable energy sources gives communities freedom and autonomy over their power, increasing reliability while lessening the dependence on fossil fuels. Hybrid systems are even being promoted that can pull power from multiple sources within one system.
No matter how you spin it, the ability to harness and use solar energy is a critical component of fighting climate change. And solar power generators, like the top-of-the-line Delta and River products from EcoFlow, are an easy first step to making the switch for good.