How is Solar Power Better Than Using Fossil Fuels?
Fossil fuels have been the primary source of energy in Australia for a long time. More recently, the number of people who are installing solar panels on their homes is increasing significantly.
Most of us know about the harmful environmental impact of fossil fuels, but how is solar power better than fossil fuels? Let’s take a closer look at the two energy sources and compare their pros and cons.
Solar Power vs Fossil Fuels
What are fossil fuels?
Fossil fuels include coal, petroleum, and natural gas. They were formed from decomposing animals and plants and are found in the Earth’s crust. Fossil fuels contain carbon and hydrogen which can be used to create energy when burned.
What is solar power?
Solar energy is energy created by the sun. Solar panels are designed to capture this energy and convert it into a form of electricity that we can use to power our homes and workplaces. For more information, read our guide to how solar power works.
Renewable vs Nonrenewable Sources
A renewable resource is one that won’t run out over time. Solar power is a renewable resource – as long as the sun is shining, we can make electricity from its energy.
The same is not true for fossil fuels. At the rate we are consuming fossil fuels, we will one day use up all the global supply of accessible fossil fuels. Fossil fuels will technically replenish over time, but this process will take millions of years – too long for us to continue using them.
There will come a day where fossil fuels are no longer a viable source of electricity. However solar energy will continue to be a viable source of energy as long as we can access direct sunlight!
Emissions and Air Pollution
Fossil fuels emit harmful air pollutants before they are burned and during the burning process. Carbon dioxide is a particularly harmful emission as it traps heat in the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.
Other harmful emissions from fossil fuels include sulfur dioxide, mercury, and soot. These can be dangerous to human health and the local ecosystems. Transporting fossil fuels via train, ship, and truck can also pollute the environment, and oil spills and leaks can be extremely harmful.
On the other hand, solar power is considered a clean source of energy that produces very little carbon emissions. Additionally, the majority of solar manufacturers use solar energy in their process, cutting down on harmful emissions right from the beginning.
Efficiency and Effectiveness
Currently, coal and natural gas have a higher efficiency of around 40% whereas solar efficiency levels sit around 15-20%. However, solar power technology is constantly evolving and improving.
It’s also important to consider what happens to the excess, unused energy from both sources. During the burning process of coal, there are many waste products that are harmful to the environment.
On the other hand, any energy we don’t harness from the sun will continue on its natural process, providing light and warmth to the earth. There are no harmful waste products involved.
Cost – Can I save $ with solar power?
For many people, the cost of installing solar panels deters them from investing in solar power for their home or commercial property. However, the price of solar power is steadily decreasing and becoming more affordable.
In Australia, you could be eligible for Government rebates to help lower the initial cost of installing solar panels. Once your system is installed and you aren’t relying on power from the grid, you will save a lot – if not all – on your power bill. Over time this can represent a significant saving.
In contrast, the cost of coal-based electricity is on the rise. In some places, it is still more affordable than solar power, but it is important to consider the wider cost of fossil fuels to our planet.
Ready to Make the Switch to Solar?
At iBreeze, we’re passionate about helping people in Mandurah and surrounds switch to the clean, renewable energy of solar power.
We can help you select the right size system for your needs to ensure you get the power supply you need at an affordable price. We will also help you access the relevant Government rebates and give you a reliable estimate of the amount your new solar power system will save you.
For more information about our solar power installation services, get in touch with our friendly team today on (08) 9534 9491.
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