how green are solar panels really

How Green Are Solar Panels Really?

Solar power is marketed as a clean, renewable energy source since it does not require fossil fuels or emit hazardous pollutants into the air when utilized.

It’s important for us to stay informed and skeptical of what published stories and ads are saying. We would like to stay on top of the information we’re getting and sharing with others so that it is accurate.

Sustainability is one topic where this applies- communicating green practices can go a long way when it comes to motivating customers and creating good PR for businesses. Sometimes, this information isn’t presented accurately.

It is worth noting that we are a solar panel installer. However, our goal is to be as open and transparent as possible about everything that goes into the business. We want to ensure the products and services we offer have the most impact on people and the environment.

That being said, here’s an in-depth look at how green solar energy truly is. We’ll look at the full solar energy cycle, including the actual energy generated by the panels, the manufacturing process, and disposal/recycling techniques once the panels have reached the end of their useful life.

How Clean Is Solar-Generated Power?

Photons from the sun are absorbed by the semiconducting silicon material of your solar panels as the sun beams down on them. As a result, electrons split from the atoms and circulate around. Direct current electricity is generated by the movement of electrons (DC). The DC electricity is sent to the system’s inverter, which converts it to AC electricity, which your house, farm, or company consumes.

That is a very brief explanation of solar energy, but it provides enough information for people to run screens and other electrical appliances.

Solar-generated electricity is more environmentally friendly. This is because it does not require the use of limited resources like fossil fuels and does not produce harmful emissions, like some renewable resources do when they are used, like burning wood. It merely uses energy from the sun, which is the most abundant source of energy on earth.

How Green Solar Production is?

While the electricity generated by solar panels has no adverse environmental impacts, the production of the panels isn’t ideal. At least not yet. Manufacturers process quartz at extreme heat to create silicon wafers that transform photons from the sun into electricity. Sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide are released into the environment as a result of this process. But, in comparison to other sources of energy, how much of these greenhouse gases do solar emit?

In 2011, the World Nuclear Association published research comparing the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per gigawatt-hour (GWh) for various energy sources. The findings reveal that, while solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity produces some greenhouse gas emissions, they are minor in contrast to traditional energy sources.

Energy SourceCO2e/GWh
Natural Gas499
Solar PV85
Nuclear Energy29

While nuclear energy produces less CO2, it is far from emission-free. Furthermore, the elements it does emit are even more hazardous than CO2.

It’s also worth noting that the data included in this research dates back to the first decade of the 2000s. The solar industry has achieved major advancements in the sustainability of its production process during the last ten to twenty years, and it continues to do so. According to 2016 research, every time solar energy installation capacity has doubled over the last 40 years, total emissions from solar energy have fallen by 17 – 24 percent.

However, greenhouse gas emissions aren’t the only issue with solar panel production. Silicon tetrachloride is a critical component of the production process since it is utilized to produce silicon for usage in solar panel silicon wafers.

This chemical can irritate the skin and pollute the air if it is not properly disposed of. Most solar panel producers, on the other hand, recycle this chemical and can reuse it to build new panels, lowering the cost of solar panels while also keeping the substance out of the environment.

Is Solar Energy Actually Green?

Even when considering the possibly damaging effects of solar panel manufacture and disposal, solar energy has undeniably favorable environmental consequences when used to replace traditional energy sources such as oil, coal, and natural gas. Solar remains a safe, inexpensive, and trustworthy alternative for reducing your environmental impact while also saving you money, thanks to ever improved manufacturing and recycling technologies.

We can inform you how big of an environmental effect a solar energy system may have!

A free, no-obligation quotation will tell you how much CO2 your solar system would offset as well as how many trees your solar system would preserve.

Using solar energy can help you make a concrete, positive difference in our world. Saving money in the interim is also a good idea!

Is solar energy the way of the future?

Yes, renewable energy is our only alternative for the future, and solar energy will play an important role in delivering power across the world. The world cannot continue to rely on dirty and non-renewable fossil fuels as it has done for centuries. However, no one source of energy can meet the demands of a growing population.

Solar energy is one component of the solution. Solar power, in conjunction with wind, water, geothermal, and other renewable energy sources, has the potential to alter the way we live. Solar PV is increasing faster than other renewables, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), notably among individuals and small-to-medium-sized businesses. According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), solar power will account for 48 percent of renewable energy output in the United States by 2050. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), global installed solar capacity will exceed 700 gigatonnes by 2020.

Is it worthwhile to invest in solar panels this year?

There aren’t many items you buy that don’t depreciate. The automobile you paid $40,000 for is worth far less as you drive it off the dealership. If you own a property and wish to increase its value, solar panels are now an exception.

Investing in solar panels for your home is a good idea if you have the funds and a suitable location. Once the installation costs are fulfilled, solar panels require very little care. You are also free from worrying about growing energy bills. If you decide to sell your property, the solar panels on the roof will benefit you.

However, solar panels are not yet effective enough to be worth everyone who lives in a cloudy location looking for a place to put one. They will be able to function day and night in various areas in the future, but they aren’t powerful enough yet to make it worth your while. But, as solar cell technology improves, they will become more and more efficient.

People will look back in 100 years and wonder why we didn’t transition to renewable resources sooner; it will seem obvious. We may have been late to see the damage that fossil fuels do and the vulnerability of supplies, but that is changing quickly.

Solar power is a significant component of that transformation, and it is exceptionally suited to the small-scale application. We can’t all have a windmill or hydropower plant in our backyard, but millions of us have vacant roof space that we can use. Adding solar panels to your house provides you with electrical independence while also helping to build a better world. It’s a true win-win situation.