Why Is Solar Energy The Best Option In Buildings

Why is solar energy the best option in buildings

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Fifty years ago, you didn’t have a lot of options when it came to generating electricity. There was coal, gas and some hydro. Though harnessing the wind for power has been around for hundreds of years, not a lot of people were using it (except for the Dutch because they’re awesome).

But half a century ago, photovoltaics were in their infancy.

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Today electricity is produced using coal, natural gas, oil, nuclear, wind, hydro and, most important, solar.

That’s a lot of options. But here’s why solar is the best one.

Fossil fuels

Coal, natural gas, and oil are all considered fossil fuels, which are the remains of living organisms. Fossil fuels are composed of hydrocarbons that when burned, break down into carbon dioxide.

Every year the burning of fossil fuels releases billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air, causing the Earth to warm.

You may have heard of global warming?

The causes of it may be intensely debated, but there is undeniable proof that the Earth is warming.

Why is solar energy the best option in buildings

Sea levels are rising, the ocean is acidifying, polar bears are losing their home, and California is in an extended drought because of global warming. So strike one against fossil fuels for being terrible for the environment.

Most of the electricity produced in the United States comes from fossil fuels — coal and natural gas. In recent years, utility companies are using less coal and more natural gas.

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This is because the United States has emerged as the biggest producer of natural gas and the price of gas correspondingly has plummeted (Source = http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2013/10/10/231475085/the-u-s-is-the-worlds-biggest-producer-of-natural-gas-heres-what-that-means).

Despite the decrease in natural gas prices, however, electricity prices have increased across the United States, and prices are expected to continue rising.

Strike two for fossil fuels.

The U.S.

imports vast amounts of oil. It also imports natural gas, from Canada and several other South American and Middle Eastern countries. Coal is imported, too, especially from Columbia.

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(Source www.eia.gov)

The U.S., of course, is not in control of oil prices, and will not be in control of coal and natural gas prices forever. Theoretically there is nothing to stop the Oil Crises of the past from happening again, with oil, coal, or natural gas.

Strike three, you’re out.

What makes solar better?

Solar is better than fossil fuels for many reasons.

Why is solar energy the best option in buildings

For one, photovoltaics do not produce carbon dioxide and therefore aren’t warming the plant and contributing to climate change. Two, the price of solar has actually decreased 60 percent in the last three years. Three, it’s cheaper than fossil fuels. And, finally, sunlight is more or less found everywhere on Earth. No one owns it, drives its costs, or imports it.

Nuclear

Nuclear energy may be the one thing that is worse than fossil fuels.

Why is solar energy the best option in buildings

While it is true that it reduces carbon dioxide emissions, it’s also true that it produces toxic waste, and not the fun kind that turns turtles into mutant ninjas or Matt Murdock into Daredevil. This dangerous waste is sometimes transported across the United States and buried in semi-remote places, where it will remain toxic longer than the barrel it is placed in will last.

You’re welcome, future generations, for that mess.

Plus, we’ve seen what happens when a nuclear plant reaches the dreaded meltdown phase in both Russia and Japan.

It’s not pretty.

Why is solar energy the best option in buildings

In fact, it’s downright terrifying.

What makes solar better?

Three words: No. Toxic.

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Waste.

Wind

Wind energy is actually pretty awesome, and Denmark produces 100 percent of its energy needs from wind.

However, wind turbines kill between 140,000 and 328,000 birds each year.

Why is solar energy the best option in buildings

(Source = http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-many-birds-do-wind-turbines-really-kill-180948154/?no-ist) It’s also not windy every day. So there are periods when wind turbines produce lots of electricity, followed by periods where they produce none or very little.

For some people, the noise and the aesthetics of modern windmills are a real concern.

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(Apparently that’s what they worry about and not, you know, climate change. )

What makes solar better?

Birds and bats are less likely to fly into solar panels than they are large wind turbines.

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Plus solar panels don’t make any noise and are more aesthetically pleasing, so you can appease that annoying neighbor.

Hydro

Hydro, like wind, is a clean, renewable energy source. As long as the water is still running, electricity can still be produced. However, there are downsides. Unlike Niagara Falls, many waterways require building a damn that floods and destroys large patches of land, displacing people and animal life alike.

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Plus the world is pretty much already tapped out on hydro power. If you don’t have it already, it is unlikely that you ever will, unless you move.

What makes solar better?

So hydro be damned.

Solar energy doesn’t require massive destruction of land, or the heavy and expensive toil of building a damn.

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Plus, solar energy is available everywhere and to everyone.

Each energy source has its pros and cons, including solar energy. But solar, with its clean abundance as well as its decreasing costs and zero emissions, compares favorably to all the other energy sources currently on the market.

So maybe solar really is the best option for you and for everyone?

For more information, or if you would like a free solar evaluation, please feel free to contact us.