Fossil fuels are hazardous to the environment. Excessive burning of fossil fuels in the environment releases large amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the air. Greenhouse gases trap heat in our atmosphere, causing global warming.
Achieving solutions to the environmental problems we face today will require long term action plans for sustainable development. Renewable energy (e.g solar energy) is one of the most efficient ways to provide solutions for the environmental problems we face.
Sustainable development and solar energy are greatly intertwined.
What is sustainable development?
According to the United Nations, sustainability means “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Solar energy embodies this widely accepted definition of sustainability because the sun’s energy can be used indefinitely without diminishing its future availability.
In addition, most experts agree that the sun is the most important source of renewable energy.
Solar energy doesn’t just help reduce your electricity, it helps save humanity.
What are sustainable development goals?
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
Use of solar energy provides environmental, social and economic benefits that can accelerate the world’s trajectory towards SDGs. Solar energy contributes to the reduction of poverty, and access to affordable and reliable electricity.
Solar energy and sustainable development
What is the impact of solar energy on the environment?
The sun provides a tremendous resource for generating clean and sustainable electricity without toxic pollution or global warming emissions. The sun is finite. Hence, the use of the sun in generating electricity has the following advantages:
A lot of traditional electricity production requires the use of water. This can consume thousands of litres of water per year.
Water is used for cooling generators, processing and refining fuel and transporting fuel through pipes.
However, generation of power through solar panels does not require the use of water.
Reduces air pollution
Burning of fossil fuels results in environmental pollution. It can generate harmful carbon dioxide and methane gases in the atmosphere which affects the air we breathe in.
Generating electricity from solar panels produces no harmful emissions, and the more homes and businesses that rely on solar power means less toxic emissions from fossil fuels into our air.
It reduces our reliance on fossil fuels
The energy from the sun is free, which means there’s enough to go round. Fossil fuels aren’t free, and they’re running out quickly.
Therefore, reducing our reliance on these finite resources and taking advantage of an abundant, free source of energy, such as sunlight, could mean lower energy prices, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a stronger, more stable energy future.
Solar energy consumption leads to sustainable development. It creates a pollutant free environment, eradicates poverty and leads to economic growth.