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#33 Harnessing Solar Energy

#33 Harnessing Solar Energy

Are you aware that solar energy is the leading source of alternative energy in the world? Or, that the solar energy we produce is less than .0001% of the total energy the Sun is sending? By harnessing the energy from the Sun we can reduce our carbon emissions from fossil fuels and other non-sustainable energy sources.

Energy from the Sun:

Solar energy is the process of capturing the Sun’s energy and converting it into usable energy for consumers. This is a completely free, renewable and pollution free alternative to fossil fuels. There are two ways to convert the Sun’s energy, direct or indirect. The direct method uses solar panels to transfer the energy used in electricity. The indirect method utilizes solar thermal collectors to generate power used for heating. By increasing the amount of solar energy produced, we can reduce our dependency on natural resources. Let’s learn more about harnessing the Sun’s energy.  

Solar Energy Facts:

  • The sun produces 173,000 terawatts of solar energy every second. That’s more than 10,000 times the world’s total combined energy use.
  • By implementing solar in our communities we can reduce our carbon footprint and save 259 billion dollars annually in global climate change damage.
  • Having solar on your home, is equivalent to saving the emissions created by a car that drives 18,000 miles per year.
  • Solar energy significantly reduces nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter emissions, all of which can cause health problems.
  • Solar panels can generate energy for 25-35 years.
  • The energy payback (the offset of the emissions produced during production of panels) is 6 months.
  • By reducing air pollution through solar energy we can save 167 billion dollars annually in health and environmental damages.
Workers installing solar panels

How can I make an impact:

Tier 1: Global Goodness

  • Switch to solar products. Solar is not only used for rooftop power. It is used in numerous devices from lighting to portable cell phone chargers. The next time you have to replace these items, opt for solar powered items.  
  • If you have a home, research switching to solar. Many companies offer excellent incentives to switch. Homeowners typically see a rise in their home values once solar has been installed.

Tier 2: Planet Protector

  • All of Action 1
  • Get solar in your community. Community centers, hospitals, government buildings and sports stadiums all consume large amounts of energy. Lobby your local community to switch to sustainable solar energy.   

Tier 3: Earth Angel

  • All of Action 1 & 2
  • Share this information and other information you have on the efficiency of solar. The more you can educate those around you, the more people you can empower.
  • Write your Congress members about alternative energy solutions. Unifying for the planet is necessary, having stricter regulations on fossil fuel based energy production and promoting alternative energy sources is necessary for the health of our planet.

Facts References: 

What is the environmental impact of solar energy?

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