How Does Solar Energy Help the Environment?
How Solar Panels and a Home Battery Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
A safer and healthier planet starts with us. See how powering your home with solar panels and battery storage can help reduce the global effects of climate change and promise a brighter future for all.
There’s no question that our planet is changing dramatically. In the face of climate change and devastating natural disasters exacerbated by a global pandemic, we’re here to help work toward a brighter future.
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Sunrun is on the front lines of the fight against global warming by helping thousands of American households across the country run on affordable renewable energy. Going solar will not only help offset climate change—it’s also a crucial step towards addressing inequalities among communities that suffer the most from the harmful effects of environmental contamination.1
Realistically, solar panels alone won’t be enough to mitigate the effects of rising global temperatures and greenhouse gas emissions. A cleaner world will require holistic renewable energy solutions, like solar panels paired with battery storage, to protect our planet from further air pollution, warmer temperatures, and increasingly dangerous weather events. By making solar power and storage accessible to all, we can help foster a safer world for our families and generations to come.
Want to do your part to protect the environment? Learn more about Brightbox™, Sunrun’s holistic home solar battery service. Available for as little as $0 down.
A Better Planet, by the Numbers
To see how much Sunrun solar panels have reduced the country’s carbon footprint, just take a look at the numbers. Our 2019 Impact Report shows what’s possible when you partner with a sustainable business. Here are a few highlights from the past year:
- Sunrun has offset 5.2 million metric tons of carbon since 2007. That’s the equivalent of 586 million gallons of gasoline from an average car.
- We’ve deployed 1,987 megawatts of solar since 2007, which makes Sunrun one of the largest solar companies in the world.
- A new Sunrun system is installed every two minutes on average.
- In 2019, Sunrun and GRID Alternatives installed 4.5 megawatts of solar for 917 low-income families. This provided $19 million in lifetime savings and prevented 45,000 tons of GHG emissions in communities that bear the brunt of environmental pollution and health disparities.
Read our full 2019 Impact Report.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs) Impact the Planet and Our Health
Scientists agree that extreme weather events are caused by an increase of greenhouse gas emissions, also known as GHGs, in the atmosphere.2 The U.S.’s electric grid accounts for 28% of our GHG emissions, which is more than a quarter of the country’s total emissions.3
The environmental impact of greenhouse gases is undeniable, affecting weather, air quality, and health. Gases like carbon dioxide and methane hug the ground and trap heat that would otherwise continue rising to keep our planet cool.4 The human cost of toxic air pollution amounts to 60,000 American lives each year, due to illnesses related to heart disease, respiratory diseases, and even cancer.5
How Do Solar Panels and Battery Storage Help the Environment?
When we transition to renewable energy sources like solar power, we can help reverse the devastating effects of GHGs on the environment and air quality. Solar energy is emissions-free and could significantly reduce air pollution caused by greenhouse gases.3
While solar panels can generate renewable, emissions-free electricity, it’s equally important to know how that electricity is distributed. Battery storage reserves solar energy for when you need it most, which ensures that the gains from renewable energy don’t go to waste.
States across the country recognize the benefits of battery storage. For example, Texas is beginning to invest heavily in solar energy storage, and with good reason: studies show that adding energy storage to the grid could cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 57%.6,7 In Hawaii, a solar power plant in Kauai with battery storage is expected to save 2.8 million gallons of diesel oil annually and power more than half of the island’s peak nighttime electric load.3
Increasing Blackouts Due to Extreme Weather
Solar power and battery storage will help to mitigate our impact on the environment and our health. They’ll also help Americans keep the lights on in the face of an aging electrical grid that can’t hold up to extreme natural disasters and powerful storms.9,5
Unless we act now, by 2050 there will be even more extreme drought, wildfires, floods, and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people due to rising temperatures and sea levels caused by GHG emissions.10 Entire regions face catastrophic consequences from the ongoing changes in our planet’s atmosphere and ecosystem.11
We Can Make a Difference Together
Sunrun continues to work on individual, local, and state levels to provide clean energy for all. We recently committed to installing at least 100 megawatts of solar for people who live in low- and moderate-income multifamily developments in California. What’s more, these installations will be done at no cost to the tenants. It’s important that everybody has an opportunity to play a part in the country’s transition to renewable energy.
Across the U.S., customers are going solar not only for their own well being, but for the health of their communities as well. Sunrun customer Jim Fleming moved to Arizona after he developed a breathing condition. Retired and on a fixed income, Jim was shocked by Arizona’s high electricity prices. Looking for more predictable rates, Jim went solar with Sunrun. Now Jim and his wife have gained control over their energy, and they can breathe easy knowing that they’re helping to keep their local air cleaner. See Jim’s story.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with Sunrun
Fossil fuels are not renewable. They’re expensive to produce, cause damage to our environment, and are in limited supply.12 In contrast, energy from the sun is free, sustainable, clean, and renewable.
Together, we can create a cleaner, safer planet for all to enjoy. Join Sunrun and reduce the need to burn fossil fuels when you install solar panels and battery storage. Every individual or family that converts to solar helps mitigate the effects of climate change in their neighborhood and around the world.
See why Americans across the country are going solar with Sunrun. Speak to one of our experienced Solar Advisors with a socially-distanced virtual consultation and get a complimentary solar quote today.
When a battery stores power from a PV solar system.
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