With today’s heated discussions about climate change and how it’s negatively affecting people worldwide, you may be wondering if solar energy can really help reduce our carbon emissions.
We’re here to explain the science behind solar energy. Keep reading to see just how important solar power is and why it is the resource of the future.
How Does Solar Power Work?
Solar power is harnessed energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy. It’s the cleanest and most abundant resource in the world because sunlight is natural and replenishable. Fossil fuels, like coal and oil, are finite and harmful to the atmosphere due to their contribution to the greenhouse effect.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) cells, also referred to as solar cells, are responsible for converting sunlight into electricity. These solar cells are made up of several parts, but the most important element used in the cells is silicon. Silicon is a conductive element – when light hits a silicon cell, the electrons are set into motion and thus generate electricity. This process is called the photovoltaic effect .
Can Solar Really Help Fight Climate Change?
Our carbon emissions have dramatically increased in the past few decades, which in turn increases the threat of climate change. In fact, the electric power sector is one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gases in the nation, representing nearly 28% of all emissions .
Since solar energy systems are powered by the sun’s energy, this technology produces emission-free electricity. For every home that switches to cleaner energy, we are significantly reducing our carbon footprint. These technologies are crucial in our efforts to reverse the damage we have inflicted on our planet.
Doesn’t Solar Result in More Pollution?
All kinds of energy structures require energy to build. In order to build solar panels there is a certain amount of energy spent in the production process, but the investment is small if you look at the energy return on investment (EROI) . This ratio compares the amount of energy it took to manufacture the equipment to the energy that is then produced. Most PV systems will provide a net gain of up to 29 years of pollution-free energy generation. Therefore, an investment of 1-4 years’ worth of energy output is worthwhile because solar systems can provide as much as 30 years or more of clean energy .
Are There Other Benefits for Homes That Switch to Solar?
There are financial benefits for switching to solar power as well! Many people choose solar power because:
It’s a good investment: Switching to solar energy helps homeowners save thousands on their energy bills in the long run. Homeowners with solar panels enjoy consistently lower utility bills monthly, which is a nice luxury compared to the spikes in traditional energy bills.
Homeowners receive tax credit: The federal solar tax credit allows owners of solar energy systems to deduct 30% of the cost of installation from their federal taxes. Since solar panels generate excess energy, homeowners are credited for the electricity that is sent back to the grid and shared throughout their neighborhood. This tax incentive will start to decrease at the end of 2019, so now is the best time to make the switch!
If you are interested in making the switch to cleaner, price-protected energy, visit momentumsolar.com or call 1-800-MOMENTUM.