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Solar Energy vs Fossil Fuels: The Pros and Cons

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Did you know that the United States has used 13% fewer fossil fuels from 1966 to 2019? The total usage decreased from 93% to 80%. We all know fossil fuels have huge cons for us and the environment. 

But are there some advantages to using this nonrenewable energy? Does solar energy come with certain disadvantages? Things may not be as cut and dry as they appear regarding solar energy vs. fossil fuels. 

solar panels

If you’ve ever wondered what solar energy or fossil fuels are, keep reading. We’ll discuss both types of energy sources and a few solar energy vs. fossil fuel statistics.

What Is Solar Energy? 

What is solar energy, you ask – its power captured from the sun. Solar energy is the most plentiful energy source on the planet. 

Solar energy comes from the nuclear fusion reaction inside the sun’s core. The sun then radiates heat outward which comes to Earth in the form of photons (or sun particles). 

Solar panels are how you capture photons. Panels are not a form of energy but rather a storage device. For example, if you wanted to prepare for home solar energy usage, you’d need solar panels to store the captured energy inside. 

Solar Energy Pros and Cons

Solar energy can help save money on your electric bill. You may also qualify for tax incentives if you switch to solar power.

When comparing solar panels vs. fossil fuels, you’ll find that people are willing to give tax credits if you purchase a solar system. 

Perhaps the biggest and most obvious pro to solar energy is that you can help the environment. Solar power doesn’t harm the ozone layer.

Solar is also a safer energy source – fossil fuels harm many people. Solar energy has only killed people every 50 years or so

Solar energy doesn’t have many disadvantages – at least none you can’t overcome. Many places offer loans or payment plans for your solar system. As for weather issues, solar panels still work in cloudy, overcast weather. 

What Are Fossil Fuels? 

Learning about fossil fuels requires a minor crash course in paleontology. Fossil fuels are the ancient, decomposed remains of plants and animals. Natural gas, petroleum, and coal are all types of fossil fuels. 

Fossil fuel is also a nonrenewable energy source. Technically, it is possible to make more fossil fuels, but it takes millions of years and specific environmental conditions. “Nonrenewable” means “finite and hard to get more.”

Are There Advantages to Fossil fuels? 

What are fossil fuels? One answer to that is that it’s a cheap energy source. It’s easy to find and produce fossil fuels, and we already have the infrastructure to create them. 

Fossil fuels also help create valuable by-products, like plastic. Many everyday items are made of plastic. Plastic has its problems, but it’s still a useful item. 

Of course, there are still considerable disadvantages to using fossil fuels. The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused billions in environmental damage.

Drilling for oil and gas also causes health complications like respiratory and cardiovascular problems. 13% of people 14 and older have died from mining fossil fuels in the US. 

Solar Energy vs. Fossil Fuels: Which Is Better? 

What are fossil fuels and solar energy? They’re sources of power we rely on for everyday life. However, solar energy vs. fossil fuel statistics state it clearly; solar energy is the better option. It’s a safer and cleaner alternative. 

If we’re talking about solar energy vs. fossil fuels – solar energy is the clear winner. 

Did you like this article? If you thought it was, check out more of what we’ve got to offer on the website. We’re sure you’ll find something else worth reading.

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