New Zealand was once the picture of a clean, green, environmentally-pure ‘paradise’. While that image still persists around the world, when it comes to ecological protections, our country's reputation has actually sunk lower than we have liked.
Due to excessive farming, lack of protections for biodiversity and big financial interests among other things, our eco-conscious image and environment are suffering. Recovery can only happen if we put real effort into nature-friendly actions, like using alternative energy.
Solar power, as a green energy technology, earns some of the highest marks in this area. It has big advantages for the environment over many other energy forms. In this blog, we'll talk about five ways solar power helps restore and preserve NZ’s environment.
Solar decreases greenhouse gases
Even one household that runs on the sun makes a real difference to the environment. A single solar-powered household can have the effect of planting over 100 trees, reports EnergySage.
By using solar, you’re depending far less on fossil fuels, which produce harmful greenhouse gases.
Solar panels receive sunlight and convert it into usable electricity, instead of adding to the huge amounts of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere every day.
Solar reduces water pollution
Solar power systems don’t require any water at all to run. This is a huge benefit over other energy sources such as coal, natural gas and even sustainable biomass, which call for lots of water for production and refinement.
Solar lowers our dependence on limited resources
Fossil fuels, by definition, aren’t ‘sustainable’. Because of vast human usage since the Industrial Revolution, these resources will soon run out. Already, there are concerns about competition for limited fossil fuels driving up the costs of mining and extraction.
By using solar energy, we reduce those worries. Residential usage of solar power allows us to preserve natural resources and help lower the economic burden and environmental toll of fossil fuel dependence.
Solar is renewable and abundant
The sun will always be there — at least, for all our lifetimes and many generations to come! By harnessing what it freely provides, we can meet all of our electricity needs.
The earth’s surface receives a remarkable 120,000 terawatts of energy from the sun, exceeding the energy needed to power the entire world by 20,000 times. There’s no way that we can use ‘too much’ of this power. For those reasons, solar power is considered both extremely abundant and renewable.
Solar improves our communities
Trina Solar, who we source our panels from, are in the top three in the SVTC solar scorecard (2015-2017). The Scorecard reveals how solar PV manufacturers perform on SVTC’s benchmarks to ensure that they protect workers, communities and the environment.
The PV industry’s continued growth makes it critical to take action now to reduce the use of toxic chemicals, develop responsible recycling systems, and protect workers throughout global PV supply chains.
Many PV companies want to produce truly clean and green energy systems and are taking steps to implement more sustainable practices.
For example, Trina takes responsibility for the environmental and health impacts of its products throughout their life cycles, including adherence to a mandatory policy for responsible recycling and labour. Their environmental values are second to none and they pursue innovative approaches to reducing and ultimately eliminating toxic chemicals in PV module manufacturing.
As you can see, solar power is nature-friendly in many more ways than one. By harnessing the sun’s power to meet our home energy requirements, we tap into a sustainable resource while reducing pollution and saving natural resources.
While it’s not a traditional ‘luxury’ home addition, installing and using solar will make you one of the many trailblazers creating — and re-creating — a truly green, healthy New Zealand.