How sustainable is solar energy?

Solar sustainability

Issues such as too much CO2 emissions and climate change are (unfortunately) the order of the day. Climate targets have been set and governments are constantly looking for new solutions to achieve them. One such solution is a sustainable power supply from solar panels. But how sustainable is this solar power really?

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How sustainable is solar energy?

What is solar energy anyway?

Solar energy is energy generated from the light and heat of the sun. It is a renewable energy because the source of energy never runs out and no CO2 is emitted. In fact, there is not even any noise pollution when using solar energy. And no waste products are released when converting solar energy into electricity either. This makes the well-known solar panel one of the most effective forms of sustainable energy supply.

CO2 emissions in the production process

Unless a sustainable energy supply is used, observant readers will note that the production process of solar panels does emit CO2. Rightly so, as making solar cells takes a relatively large amount of energy. Yet the technology is becoming more sophisticated and the efficiency higher and higher, so the break-even point is being reached faster and faster. Meanwhile, the energy used for production is often recovered within a few years.

Lifespan

To determine how environmentally friendly solar panels are as a sustainable energy supply, we must also look at the lifespan of the panels. Newer panels often last up to 30 years. That means they can often provide clean energy without any emissions for over 25 years after the payback period. Moreover, much of the panel can also be recycled, which also keeps final waste very low.

Advantage over other renewable energy supplies

Besides solar energy, you can also generate power sustainably in other ways. With wind, water or biomass, for example. However, wind turbines cause nuisance to local residents and affect the view. Dams and turbines affect natural ecosystems. And when biomass is burned, CO2 is again emitted. This makes the noiseless, versatile and emission-free solar panel the most sustainable energy supply in our view.

onne energy as a mobile energy supply

Another advantage over other renewable energy sources is that solar energy can be generated anytime and anywhere. So even when there is no wind and in places where there is no running water. Even when it is cloudy, the cells still generate energy. And because they do not affect local flora and fauna and cause no nuisance, portable solar panels are particularly suitable for mobile power supply at construction sites, event sites and in nature.

Invest or rent?

The relatively high production costs and necessary modifications to the home or business premises deter many people and companies from investing in solar panels. Renting solar panels therefore often offers a solution, although many energy suppliers now also no longer offer this option. The government’s net-metering scheme is being phased out bit by bit, making renting less attractive. However, for the construction sector, agricultural businesses and event organisers, renting a sustainable genset is still advantageous.

In brief: what makes solar panels such a sustainable energy supply

So, for the following reasons, as far as we are concerned, solar panels are among the most sustainable energy supply:

  • no CO2 and nitrogen emissions
  • no nuisance (smell or noise)
  • versatile placement options for minimal impact on natural ecosystems
  • short payback period in CO2 emissions
  • long lifespan
  • ever-increasing efficiency
  • suitable as an on-site power supply

Do you also want a sustainable on-site energy supply?

Would you also like to benefit from the most sustainable on-site energy supply, saving emissions and costs? Then meet Volta Energy. We supply mobile solar-powered generators to (temporarily) supply your project or event with green power. Check out our models or contact us and get inspired by all the possibilities.

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