With the start of every new year, comes the resolution of taking steps to better ourselves. And taking steps to better the environment is no exception…especially in Ireland. Resolutions like this couldn’t come a moment too soon either, considering many climate change experts are warning against potential threats to the environment due to increased wildfires, storms, and heat waves that plagued 2021 and are expected to continue well into 2022. However, one way Irish citizens are combating climate change is with the inclusion of solar energy in their homes.
Read on to learn more about what solar energy is, how it works in residential property, and what role it plays in the fight against climate change.
Solar energy is energy that is derived from the sun and then converted into usable energy – or electricity. Climate experts agree that it is the most renewable source of energy because the sun never runs out of its supply, as is a possibility with fossil fuels, which are made from decomposing plants and animals and are extremely bad for the environment.
Solar energy is used for a variety of purposes including but not limited to generating electricity, heating your water and charging your car. Solar electricity generated can be used to light up your home, boil your kettle, and power on your television. Regardless of its intended purpose, solar energy harnesses the energy produced by the sun during the day with the help of transparent solar photovoltaic (PV) glass and cells that captures the energy that’s produced from the sun and turns it into free electricity for you to use.
The use of solar power as an alternative to fossil fuels has grown in popularity, however, the shift has been most noticeable in Ireland over the past decade. A lot of this has to do with how much electricity the average solar panel system in Ireland can generate. In Ireland, the average solar panel system can generate approximately 70% of the electricity needed in the average Irish home. This cost reduction makes Irish solar panels attractive from a financial point of view while significantly reducing your carbon footprint.
While many people install solar panel systems to reduce their monthly electric bill, they also cut down their carbon footprint – sometimes without even realizing it. The reason why solar energy fights climate change is that, unlike fossil fuels, solar energy doesn’t release harmful gas into the environment.
As mentioned above, fossil fuels are naturally-derived materials such as coal and oil that are formed from decayed plants and animals. However, to get to these fossil fuels, companies have to drill into the ground and use harmful chemicals to extract them.
While this is cause for concern, the big problem with fossil fuels takes place once they’re burned. When you burn Fossil fuels, carbon dioxide is released. Unfortunately, fossil fuels release a large amount of carbon dioxide into the environment – too much, in fact, which ends up getting trapped in the atmosphere. Ultimately, this over-release of carbon dioxides increases the planet’s temperature. In fact, since the late 1700s to early 1800s, the Earth’s temperature has increased about 1.7 degrees. While that may not seem like a lot, climate experts agree that temperate increases beyond 3.6 degrees could have catastrophic consequences, resulting in the loss of Greenland’s ice sheets. To put these numbers in perspective, climate experts say that we could reach these catastrophic levels in as little as five years if corrective action isn’t taken.
With solar panels, however, homes can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and take proactive steps to minimize the use of fossil fuels. In fact, the installation of a solar panel that lasts up to 28 years (which is the average life cycle of a panel) can reduce emissions by 100 tons.
The switch to solar panels can also reduce hazardous waste being expelled into the environment. In addition to high amounts of carbon dioxide, fossil fuel plants dispose of toxic waste in landfills, which can have harmful effects on both the environment, local water supply, and people who live nearby.
Fortunately, solar panels can be installed easily and quickly with the help of a trained professional. Panels can be installed on the roof of your house or garage, or the ground or even on the wall. Anywhere that gets good sunlight and has little or no shading will work well. These panels are then wired up and connected to your electrical supply system.
All in all, the installation process should take 1-2 days to complete. This time frame, however, is completely dependent on the size of your home and how many panels you’re getting installed. The average Irish household will install 10–14 solar PV panels to generate approx 70% of their electricity used across the year. The more panels you have, the more energy you’ll produce but it is important to size the system off your energy consumption.
As more and more homeowners turn to solar energy to help them to save money and do their part for the environment, the more important it is to hire a technician who knows how to do this. At Alternative Energy Ireland, we have the knowledge available to help you determine what kind of solar panel system works best for your home and location. We will completely take care of the grant application process for you and ensure you get the right grant reduction.
At Alternative Energy Ireland, we know everything there is to know about solar panel installation and can advise you on how it can benefit your home and family. Our installation process is quick and efficient. Call us today at 01 4433 996 to get started or fill out our online contact form for more information.