Solar energy is a major renewable energy source with the potential to meet many of the challenges facing the world. There are many reasons to promote its share in the energy market. This power source is increasing in popularity because it is versatile with many benefits to people and the environment.
Importance to Environmental Protection
Sunlight received by earth in one hour is enough to meet the annual energy needs of all people worldwide according to National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In 2015 solar energy was the fastest growing energy sector with a 33% rise according to Bloomberg. The environmental advantages are the main drivers in promoting solar energy.
Solar Is Clean and Safe
Solar is a safe alternative which can replace current fossil fuels like coal and gas for generation of electricity that produce air, water, and land pollution. World Wide Fund For Nature, also known as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), notes that electricity generation from fossil fuels causes pollution of air leading to acid rain, damaged forest areas, and affected agricultural production leading to loss of billions of dollars worldwide. Fracking in the U.S. uses thousands of liters of water mixed with chemicals for extraction contaminating the water used, along with nearby water bodies, and also causes earthquakes. Nuclear power pollutes water and land and has caused environmental catastrophes. Use of solar energy will eliminate these unsafe, unclean consequences from using conventional fossil fuels.
Prevents Destruction of Habitats
Pristine forests are destroyed for mining raw materials like fossil or nuclear fuels. Trees constantly remove and use carbon dioxide from the air to make their food, and this carbon is then stored in them. When forests are cut for mining raw materials for conventional energy, this major carbon sink disappears and also increases climate change. “Nine out of ten animals on land” live in forests, according to WWF, and a loss of habitats diminishes their populations. Switching to solar power is important to keep these habitats intact for the animals who live there as well as continue to keep the air clean.