Make Solar Panels More Sustainable in 4 Easy Steps
According to the World Coal Association, more than 41% of coal is used for power generation, making coal one of the most used resources for power generation. The Earth relies on fossil fuels because they are one of the most common sources of energy. But that is also one of the reasons we are experiencing severe global warming and the greenhouse effect. It is critical to use alternative energy sources to generate electricity, and the use of solar energy can far outweigh the reduction in carbon emissions.
Solar energy is inherently more sustainable and less harmful to the environment than fossil fuel energy sources. It uses sunlight, the largest and most sustainable resource on earth, to convert the energy of the sun into electrical energy.
Environmental sustainability means that it does not harm the environment. That means that energy balance is needed first. Therefore, sustainability means “sufficient development to the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” Solar energy embodies this definition of sustainability, given that solar energy can be used indefinitely without compromising future availability.
Solar Energy Benefits
- Provides long-term energy security. The photovoltaic (PV) cells in the panel collect sunlight and convert it into electricity. Solar is an inexhaustible source of energy and is guaranteed to be available for centuries. And if the sun is shining, we can always enjoy the benefits of producing clean, green energy.
- Useful for the environment. The cleanest energy available to us is solar energy, which will reduce its impact on climate change. The greenhouse effect and global warming are two of the biggest environmental problems we face with our children. Solar energy is much safer for humans and the environment as it is much easier to manufacture and transport. Oil is extremely difficult to transport and must travel long distances before reaching its destination. Simply transporting these fossil fuels can cause oil spills from tankers, affecting marine life, plants and even the economy—an effect that can be felt for decades. The other major options are not viable due to limited harvesting and transportation. Oil drilling can cause fires, hydraulic fracturing can cause sinkholes, and coal mining can cause landslides. However, solar energy mining only cause small CO2 emissions during the transportation and manufacture of solar panels. This makes solar energy much less harmful to the environment.
- Prevents damage to land and habitat. By using solar energy, you can also prevent damage to land and habitats. Today’s ecosystems are being destroyed by the depletion of substances, such as fossil fuels. Many trees have been logged and habitats have been destroyed to build factories and power plants. However, solar farms are placed on top of the land, so there is no need to drill or build on them.
- Power supply safe and clean option. Fossil and nuclear power are currently two of the most popular sources of energy, but they also cause all kinds of environmental problems. The power generated by fossil fuels causes air pollution, acid rain, greenhouse effects and other serious environmental changes. In addition, the use of nuclear power can both pollute our water and land. Using solar power does not create any of those pollutants which makes it the cleanest, safest, and best energy alternative.
- Fights against climate change. The adoption of solar power can also prevent global warming, which is probably the most severe environmental problem of this time. Continuous use of fossil fuels can destroy our planet since it produces carbon dioxide, which is the main reason for global warming. With the use of solar energy, it could stop or at least slow down climate change and global warming because it is a green, clean, and sustainable source of energy. And with solar technologies evolving each year, solar power is becoming more and more accessible to everyone.
Make Solar Panels More Sustainable
Solar energy is a renewable source with fairly high reliability and scalability, but even the best solutions have some drawbacks. In the case of solar, the panels themselves are emissions intensive to produce and require mined silicon, glass, and aluminum. As we continue to improve the sustainability of solar panels, here are four factors to consider in making them more environmentally friendly.
- Make photovoltaics last longer. Today, many solar panels come with a 30-year warranty, but further extending their lifespan is the first step to reducing their footprint. Using robust glass, which is incorporated on the back of the panels, extends their life, but so does proper maintenance and upkeep. Fortunately, with the transition from fossil fuels, panel maintenance work will be available to those migrating from the coal and gas sector.
- Make It repairable. The Repair Rights Act has received more attention in recent months, and fortunately, the simple construction of solar panels makes it a good candidate for effective repairs. Some ways to repair solar panels include replacing broken glass to ensure continued operation or using glue paste to reseal the back sheet against moisture ingress. As solar technology continues to improve, we need to ensure there are efforts to make modules easier to repair and reduce the need for replacement.
- Avoiding hazardous substances. Solar panels have been shown not to emit toxic substances, but some contain toxic substances. Thin film modules contain small amounts of toxic heavy metal cadmium, while crystalline solar modules (which account for 95% of the market share) contain up to 1 gram of lead per module. Eliminating these substances from the panels prevent unintended harm to the environment.
- Improvement of recycling technology. The life of the panel and improved recyclability are closely related. The panels are now partially recyclable, and the aluminum frames, glass and crystalline panels are shredded for reuse, but there is still room for improvement. Using the high-quality solar glass of the old module for the new module and recycling the high purity silicon are two changes that move the module towards perfect roundness.
Sustainable, Cleaner and More Environmentally Friendly Future with Solar Panels
The sun releases enough energy on Earth each second to provide the entire human energy demand for over two hours. Given that it is readily accessible and renewable, solar power is an attractive source of energy. Energy is essential for humanity, and solar power is the ultimate energy source. The sun as a solar energy source has many advantages: it is sufficient, it is virtually infinite, and it provides equal access to all users.
Since the sun will continue shining for hundreds of billions of years, calling solar a truly sustainable power supply is a safe bet. The challenge is to find the best way to reduce the cost of switching to solar. It makes sense to help the environment and doing so must be economically sustainable. It is no exaggeration to say that today we can save money by switching to solar power due to technological advances in solar panels and rising prices from power companies. The only question is how quickly you can reap those rewards and how much you can save.