Meaning no carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxide needed to generate electricity that would be harmful for the human’s health. However, not all states are equal when it comes to energy consumption and carbon emissions. For example, sea ice is much more fragile than once thought and instead of taking 150 years to break down, scientists are seeing it break down now. And it’s having its moment in the sun. 2021 Climate Change Report – How Solar Energy Can Help, Increase in Total US Heatwave Days (Source –, Energy supply sector GHG emissions by subsectors (Source –, Pounds of CO2 emitted per million British thermal units of energy (Source –. "Giving more New Yorkers access to renewable energy can allow them to reduce their own energy bills while reducing stress on the grid and demand for fossil fuel power. These actions, while seemingly insignificant, can add up in big ways. All of that melted ice goes to the ocean and is now attributed to sea level rise in the US and all over the world, even reaching distant locations like Indonesia, China, and Japan. Experts from BP claim it will be more like 53.3 years. Although it may not be obvious, there’s a direct connection … All Rights Reserved, Beyond ROI: Why Solar Might Just Be the Moral Energy Choice, How Energy Consumption Choice Impacts Climate Change, Emissions in Your State: The Case for Solar, Commercial Solar Installation & Installers, Portable Solar Panels, Camping Gear & Toys, 2018, the average U.S. household was using 914 kWh per month, Work on the computer for five to 10 hours. ecotality.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. In other words, once we extract them all, there will be no more electricity. Birds and insects may confuse the shining dark surfaces of a solar panel with water surfaces. Whats more, renewable technologies can increasingly save customers money as they displace emissions from fossil fuels. Last updated: January 8, 2021. Save energy, save the environment. Sunlight comes down to the Earth. RV solar kits are commonly available nowadays because they are a reliable source of electricity when you go camping. Despite the Kyoto Protocol, GHG emissions of this sector increased 36% between 2000-2010, where the major contributors were CO2 emissions from coal (43%), oil (36%) and gas (20%). ACE is an emission guideline that uses heat rate improvement (HRI) as the Best System of Emission Reduction (BSER) for CO2 from a coal-fired electric generating unit (EGU). With solar power, we can reduce our carbon footprint and much more. For … Dettinger explains that currently most of the energy we use comes from burning fossil fuels. They are not contaminating, their energy resource is renewable and inexhaustible, they can be recycled, and every kWh of energy coming from solar panels is a kWh of energy that is not generated in contaminating facility plants that expel greenhouse gases. How Long Before we run out of Fossil Fuels? The Fourth National Climate Assessment Report from the U.S Global Change Research Program, released in November 2018, has announced an alarming top date to make a significant impact on carbon dioxide reductions. Severe droughts, flooding, intense storms – everywhere you turn, the news is talking about extreme weather patterns that wreak havoc on the environment, economy, and society. However, despite their abundance, they are still exhaustible sources of energy. There are a few possible causes for this radical change and we can see them as follows: While solar irradiance fluctuations and volcanic eruptions are naturally occurring processes, all of the other causes are directly attributed to human activity. According to data from 2017, around 10 gigatons (Gt) of CO2 were emitted in China, over 5 GtCO2 in the US, around 2.5 GtCO2 in India and nearly 36 GtCO2 all over the world. Electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids are widely seen as one of the near-term climate change solutions in the transportation sector, especially when these vehicles are charged by a solar-powered carport or charging station. We can help protect our natural resources and reduce the amount of waste produced by following the three R's: "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle," according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.). Making choices to conserve energy can make a big difference. In addition, these methods, while more enhanced and effective are also more expensive. The DOE notes that the U.S. emits 16 percent of global CO2 emissions, making it second in the world only to China, which contributes 28 percent of carbon dioxide emissions. However, if global temperature increases over 2°C, there may be no going back, and the effects of climate change would be unavoidable. Deforestation is also another devastating consequence of coal mining, this is caused by mountaintop removal for the mine. In fact, having a neighborhood powered by community solar array is not only possible, it’s happening right now with community solar gardens popping up across the country. The air and water pollution emitted by coal and natural gas plants is linked … … Society simply can’t afford to make changes around fossil fuel consumption at a later date. Storms, nighttime, shade from trees or buildings, mean solar panels are not generating electricity 24/7. These consequences and others may not last centuries to become real, but some may only take a few years. And it is not a surprise to jump to that conclusion when you take a look at CO2 emissions data from several countries. Currently, the cost per watt to install solar is around $3. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that on a national level, 41 percent of all freshwater withdrawals in 2015 were for thermoelectric power operations, primarily for cooling needs. Electricity generated by fossil fuel power plants is available day and night, whether the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. And how does renewable energy reduce climate change? Actually, heat waves are considered one of the major causes of death from natural disasters, mainly due to heat strokes that are caused because the human’s body is unable to cool itself down due to the high humidity in the atmosphere. The portable solar generators can then be used when needed and can also easily transported for use on the go. This can save money for all ratepayers and allow us all to breathe cleaner air." Solar Energy – A Source of Light to Fight Climate Change, The Use of Portable Solar Panels and Solar Generators, RV Solar Panel Kits and Solar Panels for Camping, The Use of Solar Chargers and Solar Power Banks, Fourth National Climate Assessment Report, As Carbon Dioxide Levels Rise, Major Crops are Losing Nutrients. One of the largest sources of this change has come from the residential sector. Renewable energy is one of the most effective tools we have in the fight against climate change, and there is every reason to believe it will succeed. The contributions from other countries like Japan, Italy, Spain, France, UK, Australia, India, and South Korea were able to amass almost 80,000 GWh together and 63 MT avoided CO2 emissions for the environment. This will allow you to feel relaxed because your batteries will be charging with solar energy every day without using electricity from fossil fuel sources. Your email address will not be published. Many RPSs include a solar carve out. To reduce the effect of this sector on carbon emissions, it is necessary to lower the energy intensity by enhancing vehicle and engine performance and substituting oil-based products by natural gas, bio-methane, biofuels or hydrogen. In order to better understand the impact of climate change on sea level rise (and therefore floods in coastal regions across the US) you can watch this amazing report from CNN that explains this further. How cool is this? Average global temperatures show a similar trend, and all of the to… A problem that faces the entire planet requires united global action. In June of 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule. While scientists like Dettinger cannot connect specific weather events to global warming, they predict that globally, storms will tend to intensify in magnitude, while a growing portion of Earth’s land mass will be forced to contend with increasingly severe droughts. According to the report, if CO2 emissions are not cut 45% by 2030, then it will be unavoidable to reach 1.5°C increase in Earth temperature. Scientists Have Figured out When and How our sun will die, and It’s Going to be Epic, A Post-Pandemic World and A Solar Energy Revolution, Solar Officially Becomes the Cheapest Power Source for Most. Coal is mined by two methods depending on where the deposit sits: opencast (surface) or deep (underground). This translates into 25 years where you do not need to worry about electricity generation and where no additional environmental damage will be done to continue the production of energy. As the economy grows stronger, people travel more, and simply burn more gasoline, emissions increase. Biofuels can help solve climate change, especially with a carbon tax ... we can increase our use of clean energy, particularly wind and solar power. As you might expect, the reason for this movement toward renewable energy is not to save or make money but is rather a direct commitment to saving and protecting our planet. Solar and other forms of renewable energy boast a very positive public opinion. Pounds of CO2 emitted per million British thermal units of energy (Source – Energy Information Administration). Due to this ozone loss, the ozone layer depletes and leaves the ground wide open for ultraviolet radiation to reach our atmosphere. With enough space, solar panels can be erected just about anywhere – on a parcel of land, carports, rooftops, the wings of a plane, cars and with advances in technology, they will even replace windowpanes. Moreover, other consequences of climate change are related to longer and harder droughts across the world, which also leads to less productive and less nutritious crops. Required fields are marked *. Overall, the U.S. gets its petroleum from about 90 countries. About 644 percent of that electricity was generated by fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and petroleum. The study shows that, while large solar arrays can cause some significant regional changes in climate, “globally it will not affect the global climate much,” said Hu. Be the first to rate this post. In 2004, the price for gasoline was approximately $1.50. Due to this cumulative effect, even if we plan several generations ahead, the CO2 will still be in the atmosphere, making our planet warmer. You can see below, the amount of CO2 produced when a fuel is burned as a function of the carbon content. Based on these results, the US report focuses on the imminent need to reduce the amount and speed of future climate changes by reducing GHG, replacing CO2, and emitting fossil fuel energy sources with zero-emission technologies such as geothermal, wind, biofuels, hydro and solar. A recent New York Times column seems to imply that renewable energy investments set back efforts to address climate changenothing could be further from the truth. Fossil fuel electricity consists in burning large amounts of carbon sources to generate the energy that the power grid demands through a thermodynamic process. If mass–produced, these devices could help reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in China and other countries. Increasing the impact of power outages is the growing interdependence of the electricity infrastructure with communications and information technology, fuels, water, and transportation. Solar energy presents a set of advantages that can be used to offset carbon emissions and investing in solar for your house will also help your wallet. How are Fossil Fuels Extracted from the Ground? However, when calculating the amount of water used to clean solar panels, the number comes out to 2/3 cup of water per megawatt-hour. The world is turning more and more to renewable sources of energy – wind, solar power, and in some cases energy from flowing water – to fight climate change. As climate change expert Michael Dettinger states, there is overwhelming and unrefuted scientific evidence that human use of fossil fuels is causing global warming. Most of our energy comes from burning fossil fuels, a process that emits carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas (GHG). States are then required to develop and submit their plans to regulate emissions in accordance with ACE guidelines for EPA review and approval. The benefits of using solar energy have been campaigned repeatedly for a long time, and with a purpose. Currently, the aging electric grid is straining under increased demand without similar growth in transmission capacity. In fact, 10 other countries produce more carbon emissions per capita than the U.S. with Qatar generating an average of 44 metric tons of CO2 per person. PV panels do not require the use of water to generate electricity. Once in the atmosphere, Dettinger said, CO2 stays in the atmosphere for over a thousand years. In 2018, coal was responsible for 24 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Another noticeable factor that affects carbon emissions is how the electricity is generated. Moreover, portable solar panels have very important uses in rural regions where access to electricity is limited. However concentrating solar power (CSP) and solar thermal can be affected by similar variables as well [114,115]. When considering the future of the planet both for future generations to enjoy as well as the ability to sustain continued economic growth, renewable energy sources emerge as a logical response based not on short-term gain, but on principles that are both morally and economically sound. However, the U.S. is not the only contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. While you purchase solar energy it means that you are not generating GHG emissions to produce the electricity that you need, but it also means offsetting electricity production from other fossil power plants, reducing the GHG from both perspectives. Explore why climate change is happening and why it’s important to take action now. Carbon dioxide levels have oscillated around the 200 parts per million in our planet, historically reaching a maximum of 280 parts per million. They avoid burning polluting dirty fossil fuels. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by climate change and what to do about it. For instance, the people from Portable Electric have designed a renewable power source solution for the off-grid sector called VOLTstack. We all can make a difference by reducing consumption. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), one gigawatt-hour of solar generation can prevent the creation of 690 metric tons of CO2. Alternating fossil fuels with the energy of our hottest star might be an excellent … New sources of fossil fuels are becoming harder to find. This can be translated into 18 million tonnes from coal sources, 3.38 million from natural gas, and 9 million from oil sources. Fossil fuel prices tend to fluctuate, sometimes wildly. Data from the International Atomic Energy Agency reveals that natural gas contributes more than 7 times the amount of CO2 emissions relative to solar energy. This avoids the use of other older sources of light like kerosene lamps or candles in regions where there is no access to electricity, avoiding the risks of fire that can be harmful to the environment and for the communities. For example, evidence suggests that the period of global cooling, known as the "Little Ice Age" (circa 1600-1850), may have been caused in part by a decrease in the Sun's energy … For example, Wyoming produces nearly 104 metric tons of CO2 per person, while New York doesn’t even reach 10 metric tons. How can a computer scientist contribute to renewable energy or in general to reduce climate change effects? Insects may end up laying their eggs on the panels, while birds end up hurt or dead as they crash into panels. Reduce the amount of products you use. In that same Gallup Poll, 80 percent of respondents said that the U.S. should put more emphasis on solar development. Over a thousand years states that boast lower carbon emissions light becomes heat, some reflected... Air and water most important use and greenhouse gas … solar panels have important... Per capita, the U.S. have adopted renewable portfolio standards ( RPS ), mandating increased use water. 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