When it comes to solar power vs. fossil fuels, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each energy source. We’ve largely been using fossil fuels because they’re convenient. However, with increasing warnings from experts about climate change and a desire to do our part to help the environment, solar power is slowly but surely gaining more traction. Let’s take a closer look at the major factors to consider when comparing solar power to fossil fuels.
Availability differs between solar power and fossil fuels
- Solar power: Because it’s derived directly from the sun, solar power is considered a renewable source of energy. It’s free and it’s not a finite resource because as long as the sun continues to rise every day, we are able to create solar power.
- Fossil fuels: Conversely, fossil fuels are a non-renewable energy source. There is not an endless supply of fossil fuels here on earth, and once the supply runs out it will take millions of years to replenish.
Cost comparison between fossil fuels and solar power
- Solar power: It goes without saying that sunlight is free, and the largest costs associated with solar power are the manufacturing and installation costs for solar panels. Fortunately, home solar systems have become much more affordable over the years, and there are federal tax rebates you can claim to help offset your installation costs.
- Fossil fuels: There are costs associated with every step of fossil fuels, from mining, transporting, supplying, and using fossil fuels. As resources run out, these costs are set to increase. If you have gas in your home, your monthly gas bill reflects only part of the cost.
Difference in carbon emissions between solar power and fossil fuels
- Solar power: Solar power doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide, nor does it emit any other harmful gases that are bad for the environment.
- Fossil fuels: When fossil fuels are burned, it emits carbon dioxide – which becomes trapped in the atmosphere and leads to heat retention. With climate change and rising temperatures around the world being serious threats to our livelihood, it makes sense to avoid energy sources that produce carbon emissions.
The Future of Energy Usage
- Solar power: From an environmental perspective, solar power is the better option for the future. The sun is a completely free source of energy that will never run out, and solar power can be used to run everything from small homes to large warehouses. And as far as vehicles go, solar power is already being used to power charging stations for electric vehicles.
- Fossil fuels: Moving away from fossil fuels on a large scale will require collective action from our governments. The recent tax incentives and federal rebates are a good start to encourage homeowners and business owners to make the switch to solar power.