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How Does Switching to Solar Power Impact Carbon Emissions?

July 24, 2020

The shift to renewable energy is so important. As more people participate in the growing trend towards clean energy, the long-term health and environmental benefits become bigger and stronger. This is true for several reasons, and the most compelling of them all is the immediate need to curb humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions. Let's take a brief look at the impact of increased solar power production on carbon emissions.

Solar Energy’s Biggest Boon Is the Power to Keep Greenhouse Gases Out of Our Atmosphere.

Climate disruption and the overall heating of Earth are bringing seriously harmful effects into our communities. These include extreme heat and unusual weather events, droughts, rising sea levels and flooding, changes in planting zones, lost habitats, and extinctions. We can do something about it. “The magnitude of each impact depends on our collective choices,” says the Union of Concerned Scientists.

What choices should we examine? For one, our electricity sources matter. Greenhouse gases enter the atmosphere when we burn fossil fuels and when the gases rise, they accumulate, blanket the Earth, and trap heat. Electricity is a major emitter of carbon dioxide and methane, as explained by the Energy Information Agency (EIA), in a breakdown that shows the especially harmful emissions profile of burning coal for electric power.

Solar Energy Doesn’t Just Reduce Greenhouse Emissions. It Slashes Them.

Obtaining electricity from solar power can sharply cut the volume of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases we’re moving into the atmosphere. Consider the volume of carbon dioxide equivalent generated by (a.) coal, versus the emissions volume of (b.) solar-powered energy in one kilowatt hour.

  • Burning coal creates between 1.4 and 3.6 lbs of CO2 per kilowatt hour.
  • Solar electricity, in contrast, emits a much lower .07 to 0.2 lbs. of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt hour through its entire life cycle.

Yes, even when including the life cycle of sun-powered energy technology — from manufacturing to deployment to decommissioning — solar systems produce decidedly lower levels of greenhouse gases than fossil fuel burning does. In short, adopting solar energy means reducing demand for coal and gas, shrinking our emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and leaving much smaller individual and community carbon footprints on our environment.

Keeping Solar Power on the Growth Track Protects Our World and Future.

At Ampion, we’re keen proponents of bolstering the U.S. supply of clean, renewable energy and making the changes that will end our reliance on fossil fuels. We’re enabling communities to join a trendthat’s cutting U.S. greenhouse emissions.

We connect people with regional solar energy suppliers. We’re committed to caring about our environment and nurturing local economies. We’re making community solar available to people whether they own or rent their homes, without having to pay upfront costs or install anything on their properties.

And we’d love for you to join us in showing the way to a carbon-free future. Contact us to learn more about partnering with Ampion and making your home part of the solution.

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