It is true that the people are using solar photo-voltaic primarily to bring down their electricity bills as it has become more practical to use and has good economic viability.
But it is also true that it is one of the most environmentally friendly electricity solutions available to mankind. While the other sources of electricity which human beings are using for centuries, like fossil fuels coal, petroleum, and natural gas, affecting the balance of the ecosystem and increasing the average temperature of the earth through the greenhouse effect.
It is because of this reason; the government and other authorities are considering implementing solar-photo-voltaic on a wider scale.
The Greenhouse effect
Here at this juncture, it becomes important to explain the concept of the greenhouse effect.
The heat is radiated from the earth towards space and some of it is retained and trapped by the greenhouse gases like CO₂, water vapors, ozone, and nitrous oxide while the rest is radiated into space.
The trapped heat in return keeps our earth warm enough to sustain life.
The primary greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere are:
In simple words, I can say that the temperature on the earth is the result of equilibrium established between the incoming radiation falling on it from the sun and the amount of heat radiated by it into space.
The amount of energy trapped by the earth is regulated by the composition of its atmosphere. If the earth would have no atmosphere like the moon then its average temperature would be around -18°C and we would have no life on the earth.
The CO₂ present in the atmosphere has the ability to absorb the solar radiation in the spectrum 13-19 micrometer wavelength band while the water vapors and other gases absorb energy in the 4-7 micrometer band.
Almost 70% of the energy lying in the band 7-13 micrometer is radiated into the outer space.
The present scenario
The natural composition of CO₂ of 270 ppm in the atmosphere was absorbing outgoing radiations in such a way that was enough to keep the temperature at an average level of 15 degree Celsius.
But the human activities since the industrial revolution around the world has increasingly released the anthropogenic gases and increased the CO₂ level by 45% from 280 ppm in 1750 to 411 ppm in 2019.
The increased level of the greenhouse gases absorbs the sun radiations in the 7-13 micrometer band, increasing the average temperature of the earth.
The vast majority of CO₂ emissions have come from the combustion of fossil fuels like coal petroleum and natural gas.
The present levels and the growth rate indicate that the earth’s average temperature would rise by 1-3 degrees by 2030, causing more droughts like conditions, more floods, water level to rise through melting of glaciers, affecting the ecosystem and more severe impacts to the mankind and the bio-diversity.
Let us look at the table of increase in the concentration of CO₂ levels in the last 15 years
Let us look at the increase in the average increase in the temperature of the earth after the industrial revolution:
(The latest is 0.8 degree celsius)
What we can do?
The energy sector is the major contributor in rising the CO₂ levels, therefore, we must shift towards the sustainable form of energy like solar technologies like solar photovoltaics to combat the effect of fossil fuels and save the planet from severe devastation.
The start could be small but if we all decide to use solar in one way or other, I am sure we can create a positive impact on the environment.
But before installing and going for this big investment, it is a good practice to know the savings and returns that you will get in those 25 years of installation of the system.
Try my solar feasibility spreadsheet which is equipped with all the tools, let you know the viability of your solar power system like:
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