How Solar Energy Can Conserve Water

You may already know that solar energy provides many environmental advantages. But did you know that it can also conserve water? A little-known fact is that energy produced by fossil fuels requires anywhere from 24 to 60 gallons of water to produce one kWh of electricity. Ironically, about 10% of the energy used from fossil fuels is devoted to purifying, pumping, and delivering water to residential and commercial consumers. This puts a tremendous strain on the world's water supply, which is yet another increasingly scarce and dwindling resource.

Energy Usage Across The Energy Industry

Water consumption rates are not equal across the energy industry, and some sources of energy are much more water-intensive than others. One of the biggest water consumers is coal. Coal production uses anywhere from 100 to 1,100 gallons of water per MWH each month. This equals two Olympic-sized swimming pools! Nuclear power plants use the second-highest volume of water, which is anywhere from 600 to 800 gallons per MWH each month, or 1.5 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Natural gas, which requires 20-300 gallons per MWH to produce, uses about half an Olympic-sized swimming pool each month. Coming in last place, with a zero percent water usage rate, is solar.

Human Impacts On Fresh Water

Freshwater is easy to take for granted. But in some parts of the United States, and elsewhere around the world, it's a scarce commodity. Unfortunately, it's also a resource that we can't live without, and it's used for everything from drinking to providing power. Every day, humans use about 40% of the world's freshwater supply for personal and commercial activities, including farming and agriculture. What's worse is that the water used is a finite resource. It can't be reused or consumed, as it is contaminated with waste products and toxins that harm everything from soil to plants, animals, and humans. Droughts and water shortages have occurred as a result of water depletion across the world, which is where solar energy steps in to help.

The Benefits Of Solar

Since it doesn't require any water to produce, solar electricity is one of the most water-friendly types of energy available. The only time that solar energy systems use water is when the panels are cleaned, which happens about once a month. Even then, the amount of water used is minimal compared to the amount used to create conventional electricity, especially if it rains. A power company Las Vegas can explain that with the installation of just one residential system, which offsets the production of thousands of kWh of electricity each year, it's apparent that the water-saving benefits of solar energy add up quickly. This is important around the world, but especially in areas that are plagued by droughts.

Water preservation is just one of the many benefits solar produces. Its other environmental benefits, including cleaner air, are tremendous. All in all, it's no surprise that of all types of renewable energy, solar power Las Vegas is taking the lead.

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