There’s no denying it: global warming is a reality. Researchers, scientists, and climate experts across the globe have repeatedly confirmed that climate change is real and, in large part, is being expedited by human activity.
But what can you do about it? While the switch to renewable energy sources needs to happen on a large scale, every small step counts. Here’s how solar power can help fight against global warming—and how you can help.
Curbing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
You may be familiar with the greenhouse effect from elementary school science classes. But were you taught that it’s a driving factor in global warming?
The greenhouse effect happens when heat from the Sun penetrates the Earth’s atmosphere. The heat reflects off the planet’s surface but can’t escape back into outer space because of heat-trapping gases that blanket Earth. Not being able to leave the atmosphere, the globe gradually gets warmer with heat capture.
Burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. And because humans are using such vast amounts of coal, oil, and gas, we are pumping out carbon dioxide at an unsustainable level. Since 1970, global carbon dioxide emissions have increased by a whopping 90%.
Unlike dirty fossil fuels, solar power does not dump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. By switching to renewable energy sources like solar, we can drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions and—in turn—slow down global warming.
Replacing Fossil Fuels
The push to “decarbonize the grid” is necessary to build a sustainable energy system for future generations that will not continue to heat the planet. But even though clean energy technology is readily available, the globe still depends on fossil fuel as our primary power source. In 2019, 84% of global primary energy came from coal, oil, and gas.
Solar power is an affordable, accessible, clean energy source and a key player in kicking the fossil fuel habit. While not a cheap investment upfront, the large-scale switch to solar and other renewable energy sources can drastically minimize our global dependence on burning dirty fossil fuels that pump carbon and methane into the atmosphere.
A recent innovation has led to the building of hybrid systems. These systems generate power using wind and solar and store it in batteries on-site for gradual use. This setup maximizes energy capture potential in a way that can expedite the green energy transition, pushing fossil fuels to become obsolete.
Plus, this hybrid technology is applicable on a smaller scale for homes, businesses, and travel—an EcoFlow DELTA generator is a prime example of hybrid solar innovation in action!
Providing a Renewable Energy Source
Solar energy is a 100% renewable energy source. As long as the sun continues to shine, we’ll be able to harness solar power and put it to use here on Earth.
On the other hand, the supply of fossil fuels is steadily depleting. Coal took millions of years to form under the planet’s surface, and we are using it at too quick a pace to allow for regeneration. Scarcity has pushed those in the fossil fuel industry to attempt riskier, more extreme means of extraction, like deep-sea drilling and fracking, which has led to some catastrophic environmental impacts.
The more we damage plant and animal life and disturb natural ecosystems to access fossil fuels, the worse off our planet will be. Solar power offers a way out of the harmful cycle of fossil fuel extraction.
Sustaining Natural Ecosystems
Healthy ecosystems are essential to carbon capture, which can combat global warming. And solar power is drastically better for natural ecosystems and animal life than the current dirty energy sources.
The need for alternatives is becoming more apparent as corporations go to more and more extreme lengths to access fossil fuels. For example, the land currently home to the notorious Alberta tar sands used to be comprised entirely of bogs, forests, and natural habitats for animal life.
Coal mining has an equally dirty history. In the 1970s, mountaintop removal and valley fill mining became prevalent in the Appalachian Mountain region of the United States. Since then, water draining from these valleys contains pollution that harms the aquatic and human life that rely on those waterways.
While there are some concerns about solar panels infringing on natural habitats, experts are conducting ongoing research into mitigation methods that can limit the harm. For example, intentional site selection and “micro-siting” — which is breaking up panel sites into smaller clusters to take up less land — can reduce the environmental impact of solar panels. Communities now have the opportunity to set up a sustainable energy grid that works in harmony with landscapes and local habitats, not in opposition.
Saving Earth’s Water
As industry professionals gain a better grasp on solar technology, they continue to develop new, innovative ways to apply solar installations in the fight against global warming. Not only does solar technology produce clean, renewable energy, but—when constructed and installed with intention—it can help save water!
In California, experts have begun to develop an energy system that also works to address the current crises of water and food. They found that by building solar installations above canals and other waterways, the performance of PV panels increases thanks to the cooler microclimate.
Additionally, the shade from the panels limits the evaporation rates and can mitigate aquatic weed growth. It’s a major win-win for energy and water sources to grow food and sustain life.
Even though there are some minor environmental impacts of solar power systems, these consequences are manageable with eco-conscious innovation. They are a small cost of the massive benefits of solar power in the fight against global warming. As communities across the globe make the transition to clean, renewable energy sources, solar power will lead the charge. EcoFlow is proud to offer affordable, effective solar generators to help you make the switch. Check out our solar generators today!