Solar energy is one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly forms of energy and a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. It’s one of the least carbon-intensive methods of electricity generation as well as the fastest-growing energy source in the world. As concerns about climate change and carbon emissions continue to grow, more and more people are turning to solar energy to reduce their carbon footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle.
State of Renewables
According to data from the International Energy Agency, the amount of electricity derived from renewable sources surpassed that produced from coal in 2018. This milestone was achieved in the 36 developed nations that make part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Solar technologies, including photovoltaics, make up about 8.4% of the electricity being produced in this bloc of nations.
Hydroelectric energy is by far the leading source of green energy, contributing more than half of the bloc’s total electricity supply. Wind-sourced energy comes second (23.2 %), followed by solar. The rise in solar energy is largely a result of the falling cost of solar panels, their increasing efficiency, and government policies that have encouraged a move away from traditional sources of electricity.
Why Choose Solar?
One of the biggest benefits of solar energy is that it does not produce any emissions or pollutants during generation, unlike traditional forms of energy such as coal or natural gas. This means that when you generate solar power, you are not contributing to the carbon emissions causing global warming and other environmental problems.
If you live in the UK, you can reduce your carbon emissions by 1.3 to 1.6 tonnes by installing a residential solar photovoltaic system. This is no small feat. 1.3 tonnes of carbon emissions is equal to using 536 gallons of petrol or driving a petrol-powered car for a year. Spread out over 30 years, a standard solar PV system avoids 39 tons of CO2, which is similar to growing 2,365 trees within a decade.
The benefits we see in solar today are thanks to advancements in materials science, engineering, and manufacturing. For example, in 2010, a standard 72-cell multi-silicon solar module could output about 290 watts of power. Today, the same setup can output around 345 watts for a tenth of the cost of the 2010 price. No other method of producing electricity has been able to keep up with solar’s level of cost reduction within this period.
Another benefit of solar energy is that it is a renewable resource. Unlike fossil fuels, which are finite and will eventually run out, the sun will continue to shine for billions of years. Solar energy is a sustainable option for meeting our energy needs well into the future.
How Can We Incorporate Solar Energy Into Our Lives?
If you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint and living a more sustainable lifestyle, there are several ways you can incorporate solar energy into your daily life. One of the most popular ways is to install solar panels in your home or business. Solar panels convert the energy from the sun into electricity, which can then be used to power your home or business.
With a properly installed solar system, you won’t notice a change in your electricity supply. It will switch seamlessly between solar power and the National Grid. Alternatively, you may install a solar power system without alerting your energy company, meaning you’ll consume less grid power while still lowering your power bill. According to estimates from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the median installation cost for a 4kW solar panel system (the most common domestic size) is £6,856. For comparison, the same would have cost you £20,000 in 2010.
Another way to incorporate solar energy into your daily life is to purchase products powered by solar energy. These include portable power banks, solar keyboards, and outdoor lighting. By using these products, you are not only reducing your carbon footprint, but you are also supporting companies that are committed to using sustainable energy sources.
Finally, you can also reduce your carbon footprint by supporting policies and initiatives that promote the use of solar energy. This can include investing in solar energy companies, supporting government policies that encourage the use of renewable energy or even lobbying for your community to adopt solar energy as a power source.
Overall, solar energy is a powerful tool for reducing your carbon footprint and living a more sustainable lifestyle. Whether you’re looking to install solar panels on your home, invest in portable solar power devices, or support policies and initiatives that promote the use of solar energy, there are many ways you can incorporate this sustainable and environmentally-friendly form of energy into your daily life. By taking these steps, you can help to reduce your own carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable future for all of us.