Solar Panels and their Environmental Impact

Solar panels have been the increasing way of reducing carbon footprints for homes and businesses and helping the environment – becoming one of the most popular green energy installations throughout the UK in the 2020s.

No matter how good something is, there are always some people who will focus on negative environmental impacts that people should be aware of – in the case of solar panels, they focus on the environmental impact of manufacturing solar panels. Today, we will look at the positive and negative effects of solar panels on the environment and balance those pros and cons to determine that impact overall.

Positive Effects

As you can imagine, commercial solar panels have several positive impacts towards the environment – the first being that they help reduce your reliance on the national grid.

When you produce your energy with commercial solar panels, you have less demand for energy from traditional sources like coal and natural gas plants. This is good news for the environment because dirty energy is used much less – and energy bills are greatly reduced as a result. The future of renewable energy production is in the way people produce their energy and make their buildings more sustainable – whether that is through solar panels, solar water heaters, insulation or other methods.

Solar panels don’t produce greenhouse gasses like traditional fossil fuels, they do not require water to operate or to clean and they are constructed from recyclable materials that can be broken down into glass, aluminium, cell modules and silicon wafers.

Negative Effects

Let’s look into some of the negatives that are brought up around solar panel impact on the environment. It is important to state that any of these are typically smaller than the positive.

Materials used in the construction of solar panels are typically mined, which can be bad for the environment if that mining is conducted in an unsustainable way such as a company not reclaiming the land following mining, causing water pollution. Mining is a necessity for many industries, not just solar panel production. With solar panels becoming more popular, the mining for these materials will increase, meaning that companies have the incentive to mine them more sustainably.

These materials however can be recycled and reused – and with technology in solar panels becoming more and more improved in terms of efficiency and lifespan, it is a fair use of the materials overall. Batteries are also often used to store excess solar power for use at night or during blackouts – but unlike traditional batteries that contain harmful chemicals like lead and sulphuric acid, solar batteries contain lithium-ion instead.

Outweigh

Commercial solar panels have many environmental benefits, but also a smaller amount of concerns about negative impacts. The pros certainly outweigh the cons, so if you are looking for the best way to do your part for the planet, solar panels are the best option on the market.

Contact the team at Positive Energy Solutions today for help in reducing carbon footprints.

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