Read the full article to learn the importance of renewable energy and how it can benefit both you and the environment.
The existence and usefulness of fossil fuels seem like a miracle, or at least the most fortunate accident. We may not think about the underlying meaning often, but fossil fuels are aptly named. All life on earth is based on carbon. Carbon atoms can bond with four other atoms simultaneously, and bonds formed between carbon and elements such as oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorous, and sulfur create the chemicals necessary for life.
When animals, plants, bacteria and other carbon-based creatures die, become buried under layers of soil and rock, and decay, they can undergo the process of fossilization, in which some compounds in organic remains are replaced by rock. During this process, other organic (carbon-based) compounds left in these remains are transformed by the earth’s natural forge. Under the weight and heat of tons of soil, rock, and the planet’s molten mantle, these organic chemicals become fossil fuels like petroleum, coal, or natural gas.
The catch? That process takes millions upon millions of years. As many as 650 million years, in some cases. The implications for us today are clear: these resources are finite. We will run out of them, and likely sooner than you may think.
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
Despite taking millions of years to form, fossil fuels are, theoretically, constantly developing. After all, with a few brief exceptions, the last 650 million years of earth’s history have continuously seen microbial, plant, and animal life forms rise and fall. However, while humanity has only utilized fossil fuels on a massive scale for the last 200-250 years, the rate at which we discover new reserves of fossil fuels has plummeted, and the reserves we have now can’t last forever.
According to some estimates, the outlook is rather grim. For example, data compiled and analyzed in 2015 suggests that oil reserves could last another 51 years, natural gas another 53 years, and coal another 114 years. Similar research from other sources may differ on the exact number of years, but most seem to agree that fossil fuels will be all but wholly depleted within a century or two.
Not Without Hope
Fortunately, there is good news. While fossil fuels helped humanity rocket our way through the industrial age, paving the way for breakneck technological advancement and all that comes with it, we effectively ignored a virtually limitless source of energy close to home: the sun.
The sun is, in fact, the source of all energy on earth, including the energy stored in hydrocarbon fossil fuels. That’s the Law of Conservation of Energy in action – energy can be neither created nor destroyed, only transformed. All energy used on earth comes from our sun, from the ultraviolet radiation plants absorb for photosynthesis to the charcoal briquettes you burn for your weekend barbecue. The sun offers us a way forward without fossil fuels, paved by virtually limitless energy production.
The sun will eventually implode and die, but astronomers’ best estimates put that doomsday roughly 5-7 billion years away. In the meantime, the potential for harnessing solar energy is limited only by our desire and our drive to do so.
Solar energy is a gift in every sense of the word. Our overuse of fossil fuels may have been short-sighted, but we have a way out. Now – how do we take it?
Solar Energy and You
Solar energy is most commonly harvested by photovoltaic solar panels, which absorb radiant light from the sun and use that energy to fuel microscopic chemical reactions which convert the light energy into usable electricity. The technology behind solar panels is more compact, efficient, affordable, and accessible today than it’s ever been. Still, one question remains: can solar energy really displace our reliance on fossil fuels?
In short, not entirely, but solar energy will be the most essential player in our renewable energy future. We’re already starting to see the balance tip toward solar energy production, if somewhat slowly. In 2019, solar energy accounted for just 2% of U.S. energy production, but even the last two years have seen rapid advancement. By the end of 2020’s third quarter, the U.S. used enough solar panels to power 16.4 million homes. In addition, our current solar power generation is estimated to offset over 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year, the equivalent of nearly 131 million acres of mature forest.
Beyond the environmental benefit, solar panel installations also make more economic sense for homeowners than ever before. In most cases, and with a reliable solar provider like DFW Solar Electric, residential solar installations can reduce your monthly energy bill, are more insulated from energy disasters like the Texas power grid failure in February 2021, and are eligible for a host of local, state, and federal tax incentives.
Solar panels may pose an intimidating up-front cost, yes, but there are also many financing options available, including private loans and PACE loans. Additionally, solar panels from DFW Solar Electric can quickly and easily pay for themselves. After that point, you aren’t just saving money but effectively making it.
Contact DFW Solar Electric Today
If you’re interested in taking advantage of solar energy, this effectively eternal source of energy we’ve been granted, contact DFW Solar Electric today for a consultation. Of course, your reasons for pursuing solar can vary – wanting a more ethical, renewable energy source, wanting a cheaper electric bill, or wanting to add to your home’s value – but in any case, DFW Solar Electric can make it happen. We use experienced and professional solar installation teams, reputable suppliers for our panels and support systems and tailor each installation to that client’s needs. As a result, our customers save an average of $1,203 each year by switching to solar, and as a DFW Solar Electric family, we estimate that we’ve saved the equivalent energy of 4,788 trees.
Stake your claim in our renewable energy future today and call us at 972-827-7651 or visit https://dfwsolarelectric.com/ to learn more.
Our Solar Energy Solutions
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