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Switch to renewable energy sources to fight climate change and air pollution – pv magazine USA

Climate change and air pollution are among the most pressing issues of our time, affecting public health, ecosystems and the global economy.

Switching to renewable energy has emerged as a key strategy that does more than just solve the problem in the field of environmental protection but also a promising sustainable and economically viable future.(1)

Solar energy with its huge potential and increasing accessibility, is at the forefront of this transformational journey. It promises a less polluted, more sustainable and just world.(2)

But how exactly does this happen?

The problem with fossil fuelsS

The burning of fossil fuels emits significant amounts of greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere and lead to climate change.

In addition, by-products of the combustion of fossil fuels pollute the air, which leads to: health problems ranging from respiratory problems to heart disease, which contribute to millions of premature deaths each year.(

Fossil fuels have fueled global development for centuries, but at great cost to our planet. They are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions to which they contribute global warming and climate instability. Moreover, fossil fuels are finite.

According to MET Group, an integrated European energy company, estimates indicate that this would be possible exhaust our available reserves within the next 50 to 150 years if consumption remains at current levels. The urgent need to transition to renewable energy is clear not only to combat environmental problems, but also to ensure a stable energy future.

The need to transition away from fossil fuels is clear, but the way forward includes addressing technological and economic challenges.

Renewables are paving the way

Unlike fossil fuels, renewable energy sources produce little or no greenhouse gases and other pollutants when generating electricity. The benefits of renewables go beyond environmental impact; are increasingly perceived as economically viable.

For example, solar energy has become the cheapest form of electricity generation in many parts of the world, making it an attractive alternative to traditional energy sources.

The growing role of solar energy

According to the EPA, fossil fuels dominate U.S. greenhouse gas emissions but at the same time, solar energy is increasingly becoming a significant source of renewable energy around the world.

Unlike fossil fuels, which are finite and contribute to significant environmental degradation, solar energy offers an unlimited and clean alternative.

With technological progress, solar panels are now more efficient and cheaper to producemaking solar energy a competitive and reliable energy source.

Challenges and opportunities for solar energy

Going solar offers many benefits, but it also comes with challenges. Integrating solar energy into the existing power grid, managing intermittent power supplies due to weather conditions, and initial investment in solar infrastructure pose significant hurdles.

However, according to the United Nations, these challenges can be met with continued innovation and supportive policies encourage the use of solar energy.

Additionally, the production and disposal of solar panels can be carbon-intensive, especially if the energy used in these stages of the panel’s life cycle is collected in countries where the main source of electricity is coal-burning facilities.

Energy storage in lithium-ion batteries has also come under scrutiny for the harmful impact the mining process may have on the ecology. However, experts agree that the benefits of solar energy outweigh the current disadvantages, and innovations help reduce and eliminate them every year.

Economic and social benefits

The use of solar energy can also stimulate economic growth. It creates jobs in the production, installation and maintenance of solar panels.

Solar energy can lower electricity costs in the long run by being less susceptible to price fluctuations.

Additionally, solar energy can provide energy to remote areas without access to the traditional power grid, improving living standards and promoting equality.

Placing solar panels on existing structures reduces environmental impact and increases economic and social benefits. Moreover, as the technology becomes cheaper and more widespread, the cost of renewable energy continues to fall, making it a financially attractive option for many countries.

Global action

Countries around the world are recognizing the benefits of solar energy. Many governments have committed to increasing the share of renewable energy sources in energy production.

Despite the benefits, the transition to renewable energy is not without its challenges. One major obstacle is the intermittent nature of sources such as solar and wind power, which do not produce electricity continuously as fossil fuel plants do.

One solution is energy storage technology such as batteries. Policies that support the development of renewable energy, such as subsidies, tax incentives and regulations phasing out fossil fuels, are also essential to accelerate the transition.

With the right policies and continued investment in research and development, solar energy can meet a significant portion of the world’s energy demand.

Georgette Kilgor is the Chief Content Officer at State Solar, a foundation committed to advancing green energy technology, educating businesses and residents about solar panels, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and providing sustainability training to promote a healthier and more sustainable planet.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views held by magazine pw.

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