How many trainloads of coal does it take to make as much electricity as a trainload of solar power panels? That’s the million dollar question. Well, truth be told, you actually need 3.6 coal trains to make the same electricity in a year as the panels on the solar train. And that’s just in the first year! Solar panels will keep producing energy for 30 years with no additional parts and minimal maintenance, meaning you need 100 more coal trains. Yikes!
Let’s review the facts. Solar panels generate household electricity, reducing the amount you are purchasing and getting credit for the excess you send back to the grid for others to use. Sunlight is the most abundant form of renewable energy and when sunlight hits an object, most of the energy turns to heat. However, when light hits certain photo-reactive materials, the energy turns into an electrical current instead, which can then turn into electrical power for your home.
Solar power is pretty powerful, to say the least.
There are numerous benefits to using solar power including:
- Emission-free power generation
- Reduces 2 lbs of carbon dioxide (CO2) for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) produced
- Saves ½ gallon of water for each kWh of solar energy produced
- Systems are custom designed to your home’s needs, with 30% of the cost reduced by tax credits, producing a return on your investment in as little as 6 years
- With system lifespans of 30-50 years, there are literally tens of thousands of dollars to be saved by going solar!
So, now that you know the basics, let’s get back to our example: how many trainloads of coal does it take to make as much electricity as a trainload of solar panels? Not only do you need 3.6 coal trains to make the same electricity in a year as the panels on the solar train, but you also need a lot more pollution, which isn’t a good thing. Coal production contributes significantly to higher levels of carbon pollution. In this example, exactly 1.44 million tons of coal and 330 acres of land destroyed by coal mining would require 2.88 million gallons of diesel fuel and in turn, release 3.05 million tons of CO2 after mining, transport, and building. This doesn’t even include the toxic lead, cadmium, carbon monoxide, VOCs, arsenic, and mercury that comes from burning coal.
However, to be fully transparent, the production of solar panels creates carbon pollution as well. For the panels in our example, it’s about 140,000 tons over their lifespan which is still significantly less than the production of coal. Keep in mind that the amount of coal used in this example would also only be enough to make electricity for 8,000 people. Fortunately, there have recently been major advancements in solar technology, making it much more efficient and cost-effective to gather solar power from the sun.
Compared to coal, solar power is incredibly diverse. Solar power can be used to fulfill all of a household’s energy needs, from heating water to powering lights. Utilizing solar energy has been proven to reduce people’s monthly energy expenses. The same can’t be said of coal.
The verdict is in: When it comes to sustainable energy, there’s no beating solar power. It’s clean, it’s safe, and it’s free.
At Custom Solar and Leisure, we are committed to excellence.
Who are we?
Custom Solar and Leisure is a full-service solar power contracting company that is dedicated to providing alternative energy solutions at affordable rates. We stand by our high-quality solar installations and are certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), a founding member of Southern Arizona Solar Standards Board, an Angie’s List Super Service award winner, and A+ rated business by the Better Business Bureau.
We have the expertise to efficiently diagnose and repair most solar systems. Contact us today by calling (520) 367-3699 for new installations or service for:
- Solar electric systems, on-grid or off-grid
- Solar pool heating systems, both circular and rectangular panel types
- Solar water heating systems, passive or active, direct water or indirect with propylene glycol
When you do business with us, you can be assured that you are dealing with Solar experts committed to high-quality solar installations. We have been working in the greater Tucson area since 2007 and are committed to quality solar installations, customer service, and assisting our clients with all of their solar needs.