Solar power systems are being installed by a rising number of businesses and homeowners to cut energy costs and offset carbon emissions. It’s one of the most effective ways to replace brown electricity and establish a long-term source of clean energy. Solar’s environmental benefits are as compelling. Solar energy is a sustainable energy source since it emits very little carbon dioxide.
Solar energy, on the other hand, can have an environmental impact during the manufacturing of solar equipment, installation, maintenance, and even disposal after its lifetime.
The Electric Power Sector’s Contribution to Greenhouse Gases
It has been shown that rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are the primary driver of global warming. The coal-based thermal power production sector in India, which provides electricity to meet the country’s growing energy demand, is one of the country’s top carbon dioxide emitters. Coal-fired power plants emit 1.1 gigatonnes of CO2 into the sky every year as of December 2020. This accounts for roughly 2.5 percent of global GHG emissions, one-third of India’s overall GHG emissions, and half of India’s total carbon emissions from fuel-burning activities.
Many coal-fired thermal power stations are not equipped with pollution control technologies. As a result of the unrestricted burning of coal in these power plants, which lack carbon capture and storage technologies, India’s air pollution has worsened.
However, there are numerous options for reducing present GHG emissions associated with power generation, transmission, and distribution. One of them is to minimize our reliance on traditional energy sources such as coal and shift to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.
Solar panels generate low-carbon (emission) electricity
Solar power is a renewable, environmentally friendly energy source. Unlike fossil-fuel-based thermal power, solar-generated electricity is low-carbon, low-emissions clean energy. As a result of using solar power plants to generate electricity, we will be able to reduce, if not eliminate, our reliance on coal, so lowering our carbon footprint. Single home or business that chooses renewable energy is making a big contribution to environmental protection.
While fossil fuel extraction pollutes water and air and costs power companies a lot of money, sunshine is available for free and in plenty without generating any detrimental environmental damage. Solar energy extraction is far simpler and more sustainable, making it a low-cost, ecologically friendly alternative.
Even if we ignore the environmental consequences of utilizing fossil fuels, we cannot ignore the fact that traditional energy sources are limited. By the end of the twenty-first century, we will have depleted our nonrenewable energy sources if we continue at our current consumption rate. Shifting to solar energy will reduce our reliance on environmentally harmful fossil fuels.
Solar plant setup and transportation have a low carbon footprint
Solar power systems do produce fewer pollutants than traditional power systems, but they are not completely free of pollution. The manufacturing and transportation of solar panels consume a significant amount of electricity and power, both of which are still derived from fossil fuel-based power plants.
In addition, the solar carbon footprint during the first years of operation of a solar power plant is large. Every kilowatt produced every hour emits roughly 50 grams of carbon dioxide. However, this is still 20 times lower than CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants. Your domestic or commercial solar panels will become carbon neutral after three years, as they pay off their carbon debt for their 20-year or longer operational lifespan.
Green solar energy will gradually minimize your carbon footprint and the usage of fossil fuels by the power generation sectors if you utilize it in your house or business.
Water Consumption in Solar Power Generation
Water scarcity is under-emphasized, yet it is a big stumbling block to India’s solar ambitions. Because not every location has water transmission lines, the expansion of solar power projects frequently comes at the expense of local groundwater. In addition, the unpredictability of the monsoon season has increased the need for power, as farmers are obliged to draw groundwater via electricity pumps to meet their agricultural needs.
Although solar energy generation from photovoltaic (PV) technology uses a fraction of the water used by coal, it can nevertheless discourage the country’s renewable energy aim of building more solar energy power plants. The production of solar equipment consumes over 80% of total solar PV water usage. Water is also essential to keep solar panels clean and maintain optimum power efficiency in both home and business settings. According to CEEW, the quantity of water used in wet cleaning solar panels might range between 7000 and 20000 liters per MW for each wash.
The country will be able to create well-rounded renewable energy solutions to meet the country’s energy demands sustainably if it has insight into water-energy links.
Adding a solar power plant to your commercial or industrial property can provide numerous benefits to both you and the environment. Lower carbon footprints, improved air quality, lower energy, and operational expenses, and reduced reliance on the local grid are just a few of the benefits.