Green homes are becoming a fairly common idea these days. Awareness of the energy crisis and the risen social conscious of the population has encouraged individuals to seek eco-friendly appliances. Thus, solar-powered structures are usually preferred. Also, their flexibility and long-term benefits make them a smart investment. Since there would never be a day when the sun fails to shine, solar power is the most valid form of renewable energy.
However, everything with benefits also has drawbacks that counter its merits. And this article will provide you a balanced view on the impact of solar homes on the overall environment.
However, before understanding the impact of solar homes, it is imperative to gather some background information. The components of the panels, their installation, the effect of solar operations, etc. are a few questions that one cannot ignore.
The production of a functional solar panel begins from the mining of its raw materials. Quartz is the dominant raw material that gets processed into silicon; Copper, aluminum, and silver are all added in the process. The rampant expansion of the PV industry in the last decade has made mining the primary source of extraction as opposed to recycling.
Quartz is heated and reacted with a range of chemicals in a furnace. The entire process of mining and manufacturing involves a front load of carbon emissions. The transformation of raw materials into usable photovoltaics results from a time consuming and dangerous process. Also, the use of hazardous chemicals cannot be ignored in the context.
Luckily, the expansion of companies such as Scoop.solar is beneficial for the economy in countless ways. The solar industry provided more than 35000 jobs in 2015, and the figures are only rising. Reduced dependence on artificial energy sources keeps the natural eco-system intact and helps avoid natural hazards. The cut in oil and gas imports further reduces the chances of oil and gas spillages that put a strain on the taxpayer.
Pros of solar homes
Solar energy is the safest and most passive form of renewable energy. It has neither killed countless amounts of birds and endangered them like wind turbines; Nor does it require permits and grants from the government to install like hydel plants.
Although a solar home may seem like a fancy afterthought or an expensive deed, the reality is a far cry from this perception. Other than the initial investment, there are no significant expenses for maintenance.
Rooftops support solar installations, and since there is no movement involved, it becomes easy to avoid wear and tear. What’s more is that solar installations last for thirty years. They cut your energy bills in half, and give you the option of saving photovoltaics for the days when the weather is unsupportive. Solar energy also has varied uses such as solar thermals.
The massive expansion of the solar industry is visible by the availability of eco-friendly home appliances. Refrigerators, air conditioners, stereos, and porch lights are a few to be named. The urge to conserve the planet for the future generations has pushed the population towards healthier choices and eco-friendly construction for their homes.
Cons of using solar panels
Every form of energy leaves a negative impact on the planet. While wind turbines have endangered species such as American kestrels and a few types of hawks, large-scale production of solar plants have also become a source of loss of habitat for many species.
The production of solar panels involves the use of hazardous chemicals and releases toxic waste, both of which could lead to severe damage to the environment if not handled sensibly. Some plants require vast amounts of water for cooling purposes which could lead to damage to the eco-system. Water tradeoffs need attention as they are a significant reason for rejected power plants in the drier regions. Moreover, solar power towers create a sunbeam which is strong enough to annihilate any bird or insect that flies in its range.
Increased erosion, soil compaction, and altered drainage channels are a few more problems caused by solar installations. Solar power is energy dilute and needs a lot more space to produce sufficient energy.
The considerable expense of installation is one of the most significant setbacks.
Solar homes are easier to evaluate: their pros outweigh the cons. The little damage caused to the environment in the creation of solar paraphernalia is far minimal against the good it does. If we consider the impact of global warming and climate change, solar homes are the best thing for the generations of today and those that are to come.
Furthermore, the extensive use of solar energy supports the economy by producing jobs, saves the need to import oils and gas and reduces the amount of tax to be paid. Also, it lowers the bills and helps save enough for an individual to improve their choices. The investment may seem to be a deterrent, but the environment gets safer and better. The advancements in solar installations and operations for entrepreneurial purposes makes it futuristic enough to be explored further.
Human sustenance depends on the animals. We cannot kill entire species for our survival. The loss of habitat due to deforestation and various forms of pollution have endangered countless species. To limit the use of fossil fuels such as wood and coal for energy purposes, we needed to invest more in the solar industry.
The topics of sustainability, renewable energy, and global warming have been in school textbooks for a very long time. It’s only now that people have started taking it seriously. Just like baby boomers are responsible for the failing economy, we cannot be the generation that fails the future.
Our choices today would make the ground for survival for the generations to come. If we make conscious efforts in using the environmental friendly sources of energy only then, we can call ourselves responsible.