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The Environmental Benefits of Solar Energy

While in use, solar panels create absolutely no waste or emissions. Unlike fossil fuel power plants, they simply produce clean, renewable energy from a fuel source that requires no locating, excavation or transportation. In fact, our average 4 kW home solar system offsets the following during its first 25 years:

The benefits of solar energy include reducing greenhouse gas emissions 199,679
lbs of CO2
Solar power offsets CO2 that would normally require over 2,300 trees to capture 2,316
trees planted
An average home solar system offsets the greenhouse gas emissions of over 208,000 miles driven 208,166
miles driven

Head to Head: Benefits of Solar Energy vs. Fossil Fuels


Issue Advantage
Fuel sourcing:
Fossil fuels must be located, excavated and transported before they can be used. These processes are invasive and detrimental to the land through side effects such as erosion, ecological and geologic instability. Then the deposit or well is depleted. Energy from the sun is infinite and free. It can be harnessed and turned into power anywhere a solar panel can be mounted.
  • Solar energy
Power generation:
Fossil fuels must be burned to produce electricity. Burning them creates unwanted byproducts that can create air and water pollution and release huge amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. When in use, solar panels produce power without waste or emissions, and do so through a natural process called photovoltaics.
  • Solar energy

Cost of consumer electricity:
Whether you buy a system and pay it back with electricity savings or you pay a low, fixed rate for your power through a solar PPA, you’ll hit the point where your solar panels have paid for themselves. After that, it’s real savings for your bottom line, and with utility rates climbing regularly, each year you’ll save more with solar than the year before.
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The human element:
Fossil fuel deposits are scattered and finite. Their worth and uncertainty are enough to cause disagreements that can lead to labor strikes, price volatility, and even war. Solar energy is available nearly everywhere, and will be for another 5 billion years.
  • Solar energy