How Does Solar Energy Reduce Carbon Footprint

Solar Power is one of the renewable energy resources in the world. The sun’s radiant light and heat are harnessed by various technologies like Photovoltaic systems, solar thermal collectors, etc.

The Earth receives 174 petawatts (PW) of solar radiation at its upper atmosphere. 30% of the energy is reflected in space, and the rest is harvested by cloud, ocean, land, etc.  The spectrum of solar light at the Earth’s surface is mostly spread across the visible and near-infrared ranges with a small part in the near-ultraviolet.[6] Most of the world’s population live in areas with insolation levels of 150–300 watts/m2, or 3.5–7.0 kWh/m2 per day.

 

Reduction of Carbon footprint by solar power

From various research and resources, including the referred document of Central Electricity Authority1 and MNRE2, the average emitted Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from various conventional energy sources like thermal power, Oil & Natural Gas is 0.82 KG/kWh. On the other hand, the energy generated from solar PV emits zero amount of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). So it can be said that by generating each kWh of energy from solar power, we can reduce 0.82 KG of Carbon Dioxide.

For example, if a house owner installs a 10kWp solar rooftop power plant on his rooftop in India and generates 15MWh per year, he/she will save 12 tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) per year!

Resources:

1. https://cea.nic.in/reports/others/thermal/tpece/cdm_co2/user_guide_ver10.pdf

2. https://mnre.gov.in/

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