Solar Panels Cause Climate Change, Study Finds

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Solar power is the world’s most abundant source of renewable energy, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Yet despite its abundance, researchers say using even the smallest amount of attainable solar power would be enough to provide energy for the entire globe.

If just a little amount of energy would help us for years, wouldn’t it be smart to install copious amounts of solar panels for an endless supply? As the study reveals, probably not.

Large solar installations affect global and regional climate by taking solar radiation and distributing it in a different manner than natural processes. In turn, the farms change local radiation balance, “resulting in changes in atmospheric circulation.”

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Furthermore, aside from the study results, the production of solar panels has its own negative environmental impacts.

Various chemicals, including sodium hydroxide and hydrofluoric acid, are used in panel production, emitting greenhousegases and creating waste, National Geographic reports. The Solar Scorecard, an idea generated by the Silicon Valley Toxic Coalition, ranks the world’s manufacturers each year and pushes for companies to use more sustainable practices.

But in the end, despite the drawbacks of instillations, solar energy consumption is still a better alternative to using fossil fuels. “Globally it will not affect the global climate much,” Hu told The Washington Post.

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