5 ways solar serves as clean energy star
Last week marked the first National Clean Energy Week.
As one of the fastest-growing forms of clean energy, more and more Americans are discovering the potential of solar power. But most people may still be surprised to learn all the ways solar power lives up to its promise of clean, renewable energy.
"People realize the primary reasons that solar is such a great choice for our environment," said John Billingsley, chairman and CEO of Sunfinity Solar, a full-service provider of residential and commercial solar. "It's infinitely renewable, requires almost no environmental disturbance to produce and generates no emissions that impact air quality. But there are other significant environmental benefits that most people have never considered."
Billingsley highlighted five lesser-known ways that solar power is environmentally friendly clean energy:
• Water, water everywhere – Solar saves another precious natural resource – water. Solar requires no water to produce energy. Coal, nuclear and natural gas plants can all use hundreds of gallons of water per megawatt hour of power produced. It requires millions of gallons of water to drill an oil or gas well.
• Happy trails – Other forms of fuel have to be transported for processing and refining – then transported again to the end-user, all requiring more fuel to power the ships and trucks used for transportation. Solar power is delivered directly to the end-user, without the chance of an environmentally damaging spill.
• Safe at home – Any fuel that is "burned" (such as wood in a fireplace or an oil-burning furnace) produces carbon monoxide, an invisible, potentially fatal, gas that sickens 20-30,000 people annually. Solar power produces power with no emissions that can harm the planet, people or pets.
• Double-duty – Homeowners who make more solar power than they can use can send it to the electric company for their use – so there is no waste. And the solar-generated electricity can be transmitted using the existing electric company infrastructure, so there is no need to build new lines or plants.
• Up onthe roof – In addition to cutting electric bills, solar panels can actually extend the life of a roof, since the panels protect the surface from sunlight and other harsh elements.
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