Traditional means of producing energy haven’t all been very efficient, nor have they been particularly good for the environment or for the health of human beings on this planet. Probably the most generally offensive of all the methods of energy production is coal – for multiple reasons:
- Coal is a non-renewable resource. This means that once it is mined, combusted and disposed of, there isn’t anything left to take its place.
- Coal plants are incredibly inefficient in comparison with renewable energy formats like wind, solar and biomass. Because coal must be burned to actuate mechanical turbines, a lot of inherent energy is lost – energy which can never be recaptured.
- Coal is dirty. The mining and processing of coal produces emissions unlike any other industry on Earth. There may be talk of ‘clean coal’ facilities that have lower carbon footprints, but upon inspection these sites are simply better-run versions of their unclean predecessors.
- Coal costs human lives. Every year, burning coal results in multiple tens of thousands of Americans dying well before their time, due to the effects of air pollution. In fact, if PV systems replaced coal outright, the United States would stand to save roughly 52,000 lives every year. Just imagine!
To be fair, there’s a lot of reasons why coal power systems can’t simply be uprooted and conveniently replaced with PV arrays. The very infrastructure of this country is, to some extent, dependent on the coal industry. It’s jobs, economics, logistical network and so on are all deeply intertwined with the rest of the world. So, it would be remarkably costly both financially and otherwise to just begin shutting down coal plants and constructing solar panels in their wake.
Instead, a better option is to slowly and methodically find areas of coal-powered electricity generation where solar technology can begin to be implemented as a supplement. This could be done in small pieces at a time, until solar sees the kind of popularity realized in places like Europe, for example.
Urban Solar is committed to the business of solar power – this includes residential and commercial projects, both small and large. We pride ourselves on being experts in our field, and we’re eager to help you with your solar power system installation or improvement. Have questions for us? Need a quote, or a free energy assessment? Head over to the contact page and let’s start the conversation.