If one of the reasons you’re considering going solar for your home energy needs, you might be wondering just how environmentally friendly is it? It’s known for producing zero emissions as a clean, renewable and sustainable form of energy, which compared to combustible fuel alternatives certainly seems to give it the upper hand. But are the hidden factors that could detract from solar energy’s clean reputation?
Trends in Solar Energy
There are more people turning to solar energy than ever before, and that is in part because the cost of going solar is going down, down, down. Year over year, solar is costing less, and offering a return on investment that your traditional energy just can’t match.
What Could Be Bad About Solar Energy?
Like with any clean energy claim, looking at the entire supply chain for energy-efficient or earth-friendly methods, processes and materials will tell a bigger story.
There is in fact some pollution and traditional fuel used during the manufacturing of the components: the solar panels, the mounting brackets, the inverters and battery storage. Manufacturing solar panels take raw materials like copper, nickel, which are relatively plentiful, but also lithium and silicon, both key players in many technology production lines. Either way, the production of these materials, the mining activities, are an unavoidable source of pollution.
Recycling Solar Panels
PV solar panel recycling will also become a greater issue as panels age out of use after 25+ years, although there are some ways to recycle them and more in the works.
Solar is Still Coming Out On Top
In spite of the environmental costs of producing the solar panels, according to one study, after 5.23 years of generating electricity, the panels more than make up for it.
In the end, solar energy is easier to set up anywhere in the world and it is becoming increasingly more affordable. Go solar with Solar Man SA and let us help you reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a growing movement of
energy independence for a cleaner energy future.