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How Is Solar Energy Clean and Green. Clean green solar panels

How Is Solar Energy Clean and Green. Clean green solar panels

    What is Clean Energy?

    What is clean energy? Typically, the term “clean” or “carbon-free” energy is used to refer to the electricity that is generated by facilities that do not directly emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide during the generating process. Though there is some overlap between the categories, clean energy is different from “green” energy and “renewable” energy.

    solar, energy, clean, green, panels

    Green energy refers to energy resources that provide the greatest environmental benefit. Most green energy sources, such as wind and solar, are also renewable resources, meaning they’ll naturally replenish over time. Most renewable resources are also clean, but there are some instances where that isn’t the case.

    Why is Clean Energy Important?

    Our world runs on the energy we produce. Clean energy production allows us to generate the energy we need without the greenhouse gas emissions and negative environmental effects that come with fossil fuels, in turn helping to reduce climate change.

    What are greenhouse gases? Put simply, they’re gases that trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. The greenhouse gases that get released during fossil fuel combustion are one of the largest contributors to increasing CO2 levels. For example, coal was used to create about 10 percent of the energy consumed in America in 2020. That same year, coal was responsible for about 19 percent of total annual CO2 emissions.

    The more we’re able to reduce our carbon footprint and rely on clean and renewable sources of energy, the better chance we’ll have of mitigating the effects of climate change and preserving our planet for future generations.

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    Examples of Clean Energy

    When discussing clean energy, the conversation isn’t limited to wind power vs. solar energy. There are other types of clean energy beyond just wind turbines and solar panels. Clean energy can be sourced through nuclear resources, wind, the power of the sun and even water. The following are examples of clean energy.

    Nuclear energy

    Nuclear energy is generated through a process called nuclear fission. First, atoms are split apart to form smaller atoms, creating heat in the process. The heat that’s created is then used to boil water into steam, which powers an electricity-creating turbine. It’s one of the most efficient and reliable sources of carbon-free energy available in our country.

    Hydroelectric energy

    Hydroelectric energy, or hydropower, is created using the force of running water. As the water moves, it spins in the blades in a turbine, which then powers the generator that produces energy. Hydropower also offers benefits beyond electricity generation, such as flood control and support for irrigation.

    Solar energy

    Solar energy works by using solar panels to absorb and trap sunlight. An inverter then converts the sunlight into AC electricity, which can be used to power your household appliances.

    Wind energy

    Wind is another energy source that is both abundant and easy to access. To create wind energy, air blows across the blades of large turbines, causing them to rotate. The energy created by the rotating blades is then harnessed and converted into the electricity we use in our homes.

    Geothermal energy

    Geothermal energy is produced using heat from within the Earth’s core. The process begins by drilling holes into the ground, which enables steam and water to rise to the surface. Once it reaches the surface, the water is then used to power the turbines that generate electricity.

    Benefits of Clean Energy

    There are many benefits of clean energy, but the top two are environmental and financial. From an environmental standpoint, the process for producing clean energy emits fewer pollutants than the process for generating fossil fuel-based energy. Reducing these harmful emissions is a vital step in combating climate change. From a financial perspective, as the clean energy industry continues to grow, it can help create new job opportunities and stimulate the economy.

    • Limits greenhouse gas emissions. This improves air quality and reduces environmental harm.
    • Creates new jobs. As production plants are built, it could bring an increase in jobs and benefit the economy.
    • Reduces dependence on other types of energy sources. There is an abundance of clean energy resources such as wind and solar. Utilizing these may help reduce reliance on other types of fuel sources, such as coal.

    How Can Clean Energy Be Used?

    Clean energy has several uses which vary based on the source of the energy. For example, solar energy, wind energy, and hydroelectric energy are all types of clean energy, but each is used in slightly different ways.

    Solar energy is versatile and can be used to heat water and buildings, power appliances, and provide light to homes. Solar energy is also used to create electricity. In 2021, 2.8 percent of the electricity generated in the U.S. was done using solar energy.

    Wind power has long been used to perform strenuous mechanical tasks, such as grinding grain and pumping water. It’s also commonly used to produce electricity, accounting for 9.2 percent of the electricity generated in the U.S. in 2021.

    Hydropower has had several uses throughout history. In its earliest forms, hydropower was used to automate manual tasks like irrigating crops and grinding wheat into flour. Now it’s also used to produce electricity, with 6.3 percent of all U.S. electricity generation coming from hydropower in 2021.

    Nuclear energy was first used to create electricity in 1951, making it a fairly new technology. However, it’s becoming an increasingly common choice for generating the electricity that’s used in businesses and homes. In 2021, 18.9 percent of all the electricity generated in the U.S. was made using nuclear energy.

    How is Clean Energy Related to Climate Change?

    To understand how clean energy is related to climate change, it’s important to first understand what climate change is. Climate change refers to the long-term shifts that occur in Earth’s temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts have become more dramatic due to human activity and will continue to lead to droughts, severe fires, and other natural disasters if not properly addressed.

    Knowing what climate change is is one thing, but it’s another to understand what’s driving it. There are a number of different factors causing climate change, with one of the largest contributors being greenhouse gas emissions. When fossil fuels such as coal and oil are burned to generate electricity, they release carbon dioxide, a harmful greenhouse gas. In 2020, electricity production accounted for 25 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., making it the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country.

    The use of clean energy sources, such as water, wind, sunlight and nuclear, to generate electricity helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. This is because clean energy sources don’t emit any greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, during the electricity generating process. As energy technologies continue to develop and expand, the possibilities of creating new carbon-free electricity sources expand as well.

    How Can We Get Clean Energy?

    Clean energy can be obtained using any of the following sources:

    • Sunlight. Sunlight is an easily accessible and abundant source of energy. Though there are limitations in how much of it we can turn into energy, the amount of sunlight that strikes the earth’s surface in an hour and a half is enough to power the entire world for a year.
    • Water. Water is another common source of clean energy. Every state in the U.S. except for Delaware and Mississippi uses hydropower for electricity, though some use more than others. For example, over 70 percent of the electricity in Washington state comes from hydropower.
    • Wind. Humans have been using wind as source of energy since 5,000 BC. The practice has remained both accessible and popular, with wind power being the largest renewable energy source in the United States in 2020.
    • Geothermal heat. The heat from within the Earth can be used as source of energy. Most of the United States’ geothermal resources are located in the western states and Hawaii. Geothermal energy is not as abundant as other types of clean energy and was only used to generate 0.4 percent of the electricity in the U.S. in 2021.
    • Nuclear fission. The energy that exists in the nucleus of an atom can be used to create electricity through a process known as nuclear fission. As of 2021, the U.S. had 93 commercial nuclear reactors in operation throughout the country.

    Is Clean Energy Really Clean?

    An energy source is only considered clean if no, or very little, pollutants are emitted during the energy generation and storage processes. Most clean energy sources are also renewable, but that doesn’t have to be the case. For example, nuclear energy is a zero-emission clean energy source that won’t naturally replenish over time.

    There are still environmental considerations to consider with clean energy sources, such as land use impacts and impacts to soil and water. However, clean energy emits fewer carbon emissions than fossil fuels and the greenhouse gases they produce.

    Constellation Clean Energy

    With the various clean energy options now available, determining what’s best for your needs can be overwhelming. Constellation has renewable energy solutions available to businesses and homeowners in most states, and clean energy options available to many businesses, bringing renewable and clean energy resources to both homeowners and business owners alike. Compare energy solutions for your home and renewable energy plans.

    How Is Solar Energy Clean and Green?

    For a while, there has been an unending push to improve the world’s electrification from supply to distribution. In recent years, there is a growing FOCUS on “clean energy” and “green energy”. So much so that, in fact, those energy sources are now so economical they are competing with all the traditional means of burning fossil fuels to create power. Coal generated power is declining rapidly. Much of the recently added production capacity in the United States and many other countries is dominated by clean energy sources, mostly solar power and wind energy.

    Here’s what that means.

    Defining Clean Energy

    There are a lot of terms used to describe these energy sources that are proving to be better than older, centralized mega-factories churning out electricity along with solids and gases into the air. Sustainable. Clean. Green. Renewable. For sure, they are the future.

    What is clean energy? Clean energy is energy that is produced through methods that do not release greenhouse gases or any other pollutants. Clean energy can be generated from renewable sources like solar and air currents (wind energy).

    What does renewable energy mean? To be renewable, an energy source should be limitless in supply and naturally regenerated. But not all clean energy might be renewable energy. For example, geothermal power uses naturally occurring hot water sources, yet some of the ways it can be processed can have a negative impact on the environment.

    The United Nations defines a sustainable energy source as one meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. For many, this makes sustainable energy synonymous with renewable energy.

    Solar Power as Clean and Renewable Energy

    The facts surrounding solar energy from manufacturing through its full lifecycle show why it is a primary option for clean renewable energy.

    • Clean: Solar energy generates zero emissions of any kind during power production. On average, solar panels last 30 years, or more. As the earliest installed systems are approaching the age for removal and disposal, recycling is growing as viable business. From private waste management, to panel manufacturers, there are new recyclers starting up every day. So, from beginning to end of the solar lifecycle the environmental impact is negligible.
    • Solar energy is abundant. So plentiful, it is truly limitless. By some calculations, there are173,000 terawatts of solar energy striking the Earth instantly. That’s more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use.
    • It is the prime example of a sustainable source. If there were ever reason to question its future abundance, the world’s problems would be much greater than power supply!

    Net Benefits of Clean Energy

    Clean energy sources are important because of the net positive impact on human and animal health across the world. Fuel burning sources of power emit pollutants. The compounds exist in the air and in water supplies. Over decades, research has defined the negative health impact as a result. It includes the following:

    Asthma, emphysema, and other breathing problems. Neurological issues. Cancer. Premature death.

    Exact Solar is proud of being a part of the solar revolution. On top of bringing solar power solutions to neighbors and local communities, we actively seek to better our world through participating in many other environmental and justice seeking programs and organizations.

    How To Clean Solar Panels?

    Getting lower energy production from your solar system? It’s time to wash off the dirt and clean up the gunk!

    Your solar panels are tilted to face the sun’s route across the sky, which means they’re pretty much self-cleaning as rain washes them down. But what if the rain doesn’t fall for months?

    No rain often means more dust in the air. Add the sticky tree sap, and you end up with a messy panel surface that attracts dirt and blocks the sunlight from reaching solar cells.

    As a result, your solar panels produce less electricity.

    Not in my backyard! As someone who owns and runs a 5kW solar system, I’ve found a way to keep my panels clean as long as they last.

    My solar panel cleaning kit consists of a soft-bristled brush on a pole, a soft sponge, chamois (synthetic, no sheep harmed), and mild dish soap. I always start by gently brushing away leaves, twigs, and loose dust. This makes the next steps much more effective and easier to complete.

    How to Clean Solar Panels in x Simple Steps?

    Step 1: Check the manufacturer’s instructions safety

    Not all solar panels are made the same, nor do they have the same maintenance suggestions. Always check manufacturer instructions before getting down to any DIY cleaning. Also, make sure you can complete the job safely. If your solar panels are too high for you to reach even with pole attachments or set on a steep or slippery roof, please leave it to professionals.

    Step 2: Remove loose debris with a soft brush

    Shut your solar panels off. Solar panels are electrical equipment, and you shouldn’t do any maintenance on them while active. Use a soft-bristled brush to remove leaves, dust, and bird poop from the surface of your panels.

    Use a telescopic attachment if you can’t reach the panels from the ground or your ladder. I have a flat roof with enough walking room between the rows of 100W panels, so I can do without the pole.

    Step 3: Spray the panels clean with a garden hose

    Here comes the most important part. Once you dislodge loose dirt, use a garden hose to wash down the rest of the muck. No need to spray them hard.

    Step 4: Tend to problem areas with a soft sponge

    After the hose water washes away most of the gunk, it will also reveal the stubborn areas. Get a bucket of lukewarm water and some mild dish soap. Dip your sponge and scrub away in a gentle repetitive motion.

    My tip: I use a soft, perforated sponge you use for washing your car. These sponges have to be extra soft not to damage the car’s paint finish. This makes them great for solar panels.

    Step 5: Rinse solar panels with the hose once more

    Use the garden hose to rinse solar panels with clean water for the second time. Wash away any soap residue.

    Step 6: Wipe solar panels dry

    Wring the chamois dry and wipe the panels dry from top to bottom. Don’t wait too long for this step, as water will quickly evaporate, leaving white streaks you’d have to remove again.

    What Is the Best Thing to Clean Solar Panels With?

    If you tried googling this answer, you probably realized that different sources tell you to use different cleaners.

    The problem is that not all cleaners are safe for solar panels. The more efficient the detergent, the more likely it is to damage the glass surface of solar panels.

    Water is the best solar panel cleaner, especially if it’s deionized or distilled. Demineralized water attracts other chemicals, so it’s more efficient for cleaning. However, it can be challenging to provide enough distilled water.

    If the tap water is soft where you live, you’re lucky.

    Unfortunately, my utility water is rather hard, so I need to use mild dish soap. I use the Frosch brand with the green frog logo because it’s earth-friendly and non-toxic for water organisms.

    I found that mixing 3% soap in a bucket of lukewarm water is the best way to clean solar panels. If your water is extra hard, mix in one part vinegar with eight parts water to boost the cleaning power.

    For wiping them down and removing water residue, I discovered that a chamois cloth works much better than a microfiber. It soaks in more water before it needs wringing, which allows me to wipe one panel dry in much less time.

    How Often Should You Wash Solar Panels?

    As a rule, you should clean your solar panels every six months, at least.

    However, if your location is prone to extreme climate conditions, like dust storms, excessive rainstorms, or high winds, you should clean your panels more often.

    If your home is positioned within close range of a highway or a construction site, you’ll also need to clean your solar panels more often.

    Both locations produce a lot of airborne debris in the form of fine dust that literally sticks to the glass surface.

    This is also important if you have solar panels on your RV. Being on the road exposes those panels to airborne buildup, both in the form of road dust and exhaust particles.

    Also, homes in coastal areas are exposed to the buildup of marine salt residue, which also leaves a thin film that reduces the performance of your solar panels. The good thigh is that this buildup is easy to clean with water, and no soap is needed.

    Now we should also mention portable solar panels that you take camping. Although these panels probably won’t accumulate leaves and debris like home solar panels, there’s still tree sap.

    Have you ever washed a car and left it under a tree on a hot summer day? In just a couple of hours, it’s covered with sticky droplets that attract dust and bugs.

    Luckily, these portable panels are waterproof, so you can easily wipe them with a moist cloth after every camping trip.

    Is It Safe to Wash Solar Panels?

    Yes, it is safe to wash solar panels if you take some basic precautions. This applies to both your safety and the safety of the solar panels.

    Whether you bought or leased your solar panels, they are not cheap, and the last thing you want is to damage them by cleaning.

    Your safety comes first

    Before you climb the roof with your cleaning gear, you need to consider your safety. Keep in mind that you’re not just climbing the roof but need to do work up there, which will split your attention.

    Again, your mileage may vary. If you have a flat roof with a parapet, your job is pretty easy. But if my roof sloped, I wouldn’t go up there without wearing a safety harness and a hard hat.

    Heat is another challenge. On a hot summer day, solar panels can heat up to 149 °F (65 °C), so either choose a cool, overcast day for cleaning roof solar panels or do it early in the morning.

    Wash solar panels safely

    By this, I mean you should avoid scratching solar panels at all costs. Make sure you use a soft-bristled brush to remove dirt and debris first and wash away the rest with a garden hose.

    If you’re using a brush with a telescopic attachment, be careful not to hit either the side or the glass surface with the brush or the hose head.

    Even though the best flexible solar panels are made with anti-scratch coating, that doesn’t cover aggressive scrubbing using the rough side of a sponge. This coating is meant to protect the panel surface from airborne dust and particles, snow, ice, etc.

    Use only soft cloths and sponges, and if you need to use soap, don’t use anything stronger than dish soap.

    Can You Use Vinegar and Water to Clean Solar Panels?

    Yes, you can use vinegar and water to clean solar panels. If water alone won’t do it, and you’re concerned that commercial chemicals will be too harsh on the delicate glass surface of the panels, you can try using vinegar.

    Vinegar is a great alternative to commercial cleaners. It’s not only naturally derived and eco-friendly, but also less abrasive than many chemical cleaners.

    One of the biggest perks of using vinegar is that it contains acetic acid, which causes the strong smell that we associate with vinegar. This acid is strong enough to break most of the dirt and gunk on your solar panel but not too strong to damage the panel surface.

    Still, not all types of vinegar are safe. Get white cleaning vinegar that has between 5-8% acetic acid, while cooking vinegar has a stronger concentration percentage.

    However, even if you use white cleaning vinegar, it’s too strong by itself, so you need to dilute it before use.

    Mix ¼ cup of vinegar with two cups of deionized water. This water has no mineral content and won’t leave any streaks when it dries, unlike tap water.

    Conclusion

    Cleaning solar panels is easy if you know how to do it and have the right tools at hand.

    Pick a cool day for the job, or start early in the morning before the panels get too hot.

    Remove the loose debris using a soft-bristled brush and hose down the panels. Never apply high-water pressure.

    If needed, gently scrub the stubborn areas with a soft car sponge and a solution of water, mild dishwasher soap, and white vinegar.

    Rinse again with a garden hose and wipe off the excess water with a chamois cloth.

    I hope that now the solar panel washing process is crystal clear — just as your panels will be.

    solar, energy, clean, green, panels

    Renewable energy – powering a safer future

    Energy is at the heart of the climate challenge – and key to the solution.

    A large chunk of the greenhouse gases that blanket the Earth and trap the sun’s heat are generated through energy production, by burning fossil fuels to generate electricity and heat.

    Fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas, are by far the largest contributor to global climate change, accounting for over 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions.

    The science is clear: to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, emissions need to be reduced by almost half by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050.

    To achieve this, we need to end our reliance on fossil fuels and invest in alternative sources of energy that are clean, accessible, affordable, sustainable, and reliable.

    Renewable energy sources – which are available in abundance all around us, provided by the sun, wind, water, waste, and heat from the Earth – are replenished by nature and emit little to no greenhouse gases or pollutants into the air.

    Fossil fuels still account for more than 80 percent of global energy production, but cleaner sources of energy are gaining ground. About 29 percent of electricity currently comes from renewable sources.

    Here are five reasons why accelerating the transition to clean energy is the pathway to a healthy, livable planet today and for generations to come.

    Renewable energy sources are all around us

    About 80 percent of the global population lives in countries that are net-importers of fossil fuels.- that’s about 6 billion people who are dependent on fossil fuels from other countries, which makes them vulnerable to geopolitical shocks and crises.

    In contrast, renewable energy sources are available in all countries, and their potential is yet to be fully harnessed. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that 90 percent of the world’s electricity can and should come from renewable energy by 2050.

    Renewables offer a way out of import dependency, allowing countries to diversify their economies and protect them from the unpredictable price swings of fossil fuels, while driving inclusive economic growth, new jobs, and poverty alleviation.

    Renewable energy is cheaper

    Renewable energy actually is the cheapest power option in most parts of the world today. for renewable energy technologies are dropping rapidly. The cost of electricity from solar power fell by 85 percent between 2010 and 2020. Costs of onshore and offshore wind energy fell by 56 percent and 48 percent respectively.

    Falling make renewable energy more attractive all around – including to low- and middle-income countries, where most of the additional demand for new electricity will come from. With falling costs, there is a real opportunity for much of the new power supply over the coming years to be provided by low-carbon sources.

    Cheap electricity from renewable sources could provide 65 percent of the world’s total electricity supply by 2030. It could decarbonize 90 percent of the power sector by 2050, massively cutting carbon emissions and helping to mitigate climate change.

    Although solar and wind power costs are expected to remain higher in 2022 and 2023 then pre-pandemic levels due to general elevated commodity and freight prices, their competitiveness actually improves due to much sharper increases in gas and coal prices, says the International Energy Agency (IEA).

    Renewable energy is healthier

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 99 percent of people in the world breathe air that exceeds air quality limits and threatens their health, and more than 13 million deaths around the world each year are due to avoidable environmental causes, including air pollution.

    The unhealthy levels of fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide originate mainly from the burning of fossil fuels. In 2018, air pollution from fossil fuels caused 2.9 trillion in health and economic costs, about 8 billion a day.

    Switching to clean sources of energy, such as wind and solar, thus helps address not only climate change but also air pollution and health.

    Renewable energy creates jobs

    Every dollar of investment in renewables creates three times more jobs than in the fossil fuel industry. The IEA estimates that the transition towards net-zero emissions will lead to an overall increase in energy sector jobs: while about 5 million jobs in fossil fuel production could be lost by 2030, an estimated 14 million new jobs would be created in clean energy, resulting in a net gain of 9 million jobs.

    In addition, energy-related industries would require a further 16 million workers, for instance to take on new roles in manufacturing of electric vehicles and Hyper-efficient appliances or in innovative technologies such as hydrogen. This means that a total of more than 30 million jobs could be created in clean energy, efficiency, and low-emissions technologies by 2030.

    Ensuring a just transition, placing the needs and rights of people at the heart of the energy transition, will be paramount to make sure no one is left behind.

    Renewable energy makes economic sense

    About 5.9 trillion was spent on subsidizing the fossil fuel industry in 2020, including through explicit subsidies, tax breaks, and health and environmental damages that were not priced into the cost of fossil fuels.

    In comparison, about 4 trillion a year needs to be invested in renewable energy until 2030 – including investments in technology and infrastructure – to allow us to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

    The upfront cost can be daunting for many countries with limited resources, and many will need financial and technical support to make the transition. But investments in renewable energy will pay off. The reduction of pollution and climate impacts alone could save the world up to 4.2 trillion per year by 2030.

    over, efficient, reliable renewable technologies can create a system less prone to market shocks and improve resilience and energy security by diversifying power supply options.

    What is renewable energy?

    Derived from natural resources that are abundant and continuously replenished, renewable energy is key to a safer, cleaner, and sustainable world. Explore common sources of renewable energy here.

    Why invest in renewable energy?

    Learn more about the differences between fossil fuels and renewables, the benefits of renewable energy, and how we can act now.

    Five ways to jump-start the renewable energy transition now

    UN Secretary-General outlines five critical actions the world needs to prioritize now to speed up the global shift to renewable energy.

    Net zero

    What is net zero? Why is it important? Our net-zero page explains why we need steep emissions cuts now and what efforts are underway.

    What is climate change?

    Our climate 101 offers a quick take on the how and why of climate change. Read more.

    Finance

    How will the world foot the bill? We explain the issues and the value of financing climate action.

    Climate issues

    Learn more about how climate change impacts are felt across different sectors and ecosystems.

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