If you’re concerned about global warming and climate change, you may already be looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint such as driving an electric car or hybrid, recycling, or using energy-efficient appliances. But did you know that solar power is a significant source of clean, renewable energy which is constantly replenished? Like hydropower and wind power, solar comes from a natural source – the sun -- and doesn’t discharge pollutants into the air.
Utility companies generate electricity with coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, oil, and hydroelectric power plants. And according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, conventional electricity can be a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Air pollution is a public health threat, and replacing fossil fuels with clean energy can indirectly contribute to lower health care costs and decrease rates of premature mortality.
Almost all forms of electricity produce some waste, and technologies such as nuclear, natural gas, and coal-fired facilities also use a significant amount of water. In contrast, solar power poses no risk to local water resources. Currently almost half of the United States is experiencing drought conditions, especially severe in western states such as California, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona. Solar power that reduces the use of other energy sources eases the strain on the water supply. Another plus? Solar works during heat waves and drought.
Besides a positive effect on the environment, solar power has a positive effect on your wallet. Besides reducing or even eliminating your monthly electric bill, a solar energy system can generate the power you might need for your electric or hybrid car. Coal and fossil fuels are a finite resource and contribute thousands of tons of carbon emissions to the atmosphere every year. Clean energy such as solar power play an important role as countries around the world explore and implement solutions to global warming.
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