Solar is cleaner than fossil fuels

Jason RothmanMay 8, 2019 1459 0

Solar is cleaner than fossil fuels

Climate change is here and it’s changing the world as we know it. Its effects can be seen everywhere across the globe. Severe droughts, flooding, intense storms – everywhere you turn, the news is talking about extreme weather patterns that wreak havoc on the environment, economy, and society. Climate change is a part of the human experience and will be for years to come. The time to reduce carbon emissions is now. Use this guide to find out how solar and renewable energy can reduce a person’s carbon footprint. That is why we are listing out reasons why solar is the cleaner and greener energy choice.

Getting coal is dangerous, and dirty

Coal is mined by two methods depending on where the deposit sits: opencast (surface) or deep (underground). Oil and natural gas are extracted by drilling wells into underground reservoirs. To get as much fuel out of the ground as possible steam, gasses, or chemicals are injected to oil flow more freely.

Adding solar is clean and easy

Sourcing solar energy is relatively simple. With enough space, solar panels can be erected just about anywhere – on a parcel of land, carports, rooftops, the wings of a plane, cars and with advances in technology, they will even replace window panes. Where there is sunlight solar energy is accessible.

How we get our energy matters

Most of our energy comes from burning fossil fuels, a process that emits carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas (GHG). GHGs trap and add extra heat to the global system in ways that change the climate. Once CO2 reaches the atmosphere, it stays there for thousands of years. The decisions people make today will have ramifications well into the future.

Solar panels do not release any emissions as they generate electricity. However, emissions are released during the manufacturing, materials transportation, installation, maintenance, decommissioning and dismantling of the solar energy systems. Nevertheless, the amount of these associated emissions pale in comparison to emissions created by natural gas, oil, and coal.

Solar is clean than hydroelectric power

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that on a national level, 41 percent of all freshwater withdrawals in 2005 were for thermoelectric power operations, primarily for cooling needs. According to the NREL, depending on the various types of cooling systems used by thermoelectric coal, natural gas, or oil power plants, cooling can require different amounts of water, ranging anywhere from 150 to 50,000 gallons of water during a plant’s operational phase.

PV panels do not require the use of water to generate electricity. However, when calculating the amount of water used to clean solar panels, the number comes out to 2/3 cup of water per megawatt-hour. According to a report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), utility-scale PV entails between 1 and 5 gallons consumed per MWh.

Solar prices drop while oil prices fluctuate up and down

One year the gas prices could be $2 a gallon, and the next they could be $4 a gallon. The price of oil per barrel is almost impossible to control. the US is the number two oil producer in the world, and that is still not enough influence to keep oil prices from rising.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the cost to install solar has dropped by more than 70 percent over the past 10 years. Currently, the cost per watt to install solar is around $3 and dropping. In addition, solar panel users can often lock-in electricity prices and once panels are paid for, it’s almost free to use. 

If you want to move into the future and join the solar revolution, or if you want to find out what solar panels are right for you, go to and try our price checker tool. You can see how much a system will cost, and how much you can save over the next 20 years.

For more information relating to going solar, don't forget to visit our solar blog section for more handy guides and articles.

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