5 Benefits of Solar Energy to the Environment

You’ve heard that solar energy is good for the environment, but have you ever wondered why or how?

In this article, we’ll look at the different environmental benefits of solar energy to help you better understand the impact that renewable energy has.

Benefits Of Solar Energy To The Environment

There are plenty of different reasons why solar energy is so advantageous. There are some financial benefits to solar, such as savings through lowering your electric bill. There are some other benefits and advantages as well. Some people just like the idea of being green and more energy independent. They like that they don’t have to depend as much on the grid for their energy needs.

But some of the best benefits of solar energy are the way it impacts the environment.

Here are five of the environmental benefits of renewable solar energy.

1. Reduces Air Pollution

Fossil fuels create a lot of pollutants. If you’ve ever been to California, New York, China, or anyplace whose geography consists of mountains and valleys, you’ve seen what dirty air looks like.

Smog, dirty air, is bad for the environment, it’s bad for our health, and it’s bad for aesthetics. When pollutants get trapped in the air, everything just looks worse.

Solar panels help get rid of air pollution. Your solar panels create clean energy that won’t contribute to air pollution.

2. Reduce Water Usage

If your energy source doesn’t use fossil fuels to power itself, it probably uses some sort of water as its resource. Hydropower and nuclear energy both use a lot of water to produce electricity. Often a dam will need to be built to control the water flow and electricity production. With dams, there’s the problem that damming water will have a significant impact on the local ecosystem.

Solar panels create energy without water nor a negative impact on the ecosystem. In fact, the US Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy believes that solar energy systems could help drop water consumption in at least 36 states. This would help solve our water scarcity issue.

3. Reduces Dependence On Nonrenewable Energy Sources

We already mentioned how some people enjoy solar energy because they like being green and energy independent. But solar can also help reduce our dependence on nonrenewable sources of energy such as fossil fuels. This is great for so many reasons.

First and foremost, those nonrenewable energy resources create a lot of pollutants that negatively impact our air quality. Second, nonrenewable resources are nonrenewable because they will, eventually, run out. The sooner and more fully we can make the transition to renewable energy, the better for both the environment and our species.

4. Improves Humanity’s Health In The Long-run

We’ve already mentioned how the US Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy believes that a solar energy system can help us reduce water scarcity, but in that same report, the office also estimates that cleaner air could have a positive effect on mankind’s health. In fact, they estimate that we could save more than 25,000 lives.

That’s because with cleaner air comes cleaner lungs.

5. Helps Fight Climate Change

Last but not least, there’s the issue of climate change. The continual dump of pollutants and additional CO2 into the air costs our planet. It makes it harder and harder for the environment to clean the air. As the carbon count continues to increase, so will our retention of heat from the sun. These changing air conditions will continue to have an effect on different climates, causing some to warm, others to cool, and causing weather patterns everywhere to become more sudden and volatile.

Scientists and climatologists have created a large body of work, which includes experiments, climate models, and research. That there is now a general consensus among these professionals that we need a renewable energy project to stem the tide of climate change.

Solar energy is one of the ways we can try to prevent the effects of climate change. By reducing our CO2 emissions, and releasing fewer pollutants into the air, we can all do our part to slow down climate change.

About Green Building

The world over, evidence is growing that green buildings bring multiple benefits.

They provide some of the most effective means to achieving a range of global goals, such as addressing climate change, creating sustainable and thriving communities, and driving economic growth.

Highlighting these benefits, and facilitating a growing evidence base for proving them, is at the heart of what we do as an organisation.

The benefits of green buildings can be grouped into three categories: environmental, economic and social. Here, we provide a range of facts and statistics from various third-party sources that present these benefits.


One of the most important types of benefits green buildings offer is to our climate and the natural environment. Green buildings can not only reduce or eliminate negative impacts on the environment, by using less water, energy or natural resources, but they can – in many cases – have a positive impact on the environment (at the building or city scales) by generating their own energy or increasing biodiversity.

At a global level:

The building sector has the largest potential for significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions compared to other major emitting sectors – UNEP, 2009.
This emissions savings potential is said to be as much as 84 gigatonnes of CO2 (GtCO2) by 2050, through direct measures in buildings such as energy efficiency, fuel switching and the use of renewable energy – UNEP, 2016.
The building sector has the potential to make energy savings of 50% or more in 2050, in support of limiting global temperature rise to 2°C (above pre-industrial levels) – UNEP, 2016.
At a building level:

Green buildings achieving the Green Star certification in Australia have been shown to produce 62% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than average Australian buildings, and 51% less potable water than if they had been built to meet minimum industry requirements.
Green buildings certified by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) results in energy savings of 40 – 50% and water savings of 20 – 30% compared to conventional buildings in India.
Green buildings achieving the Green Star certification in South Africa have been shown to save on average between 30 – 40% energy and carbon emissions every year and between 20 – 30% potable water every year, when compared to the industry norm.
Green buildings achieving the LEED certification in the US and other countries have been shown to consume 25 per cent less energy and 11 per cent less water, than non-green buildings.

Green buildings offer a number of economic or financial benefits, which are relevant to a range of different people or groups of people. These include cost savings on utility bills for tenants or households (through energy and water efficiency); lower construction costs and higher property value for building developers; increased occupancy rates or operating costs for building owners; and job creation. Since the publication of WorldGBC’s groundbreaking 2013 report, The Business Case for Green Building, we have sought to strengthen the link between green buildings and the economic benefits they can offer.

At a global level:

Global energy efficiency measures could save an estimated €280 to €410 billion in savings on energy spending (and the equivalent to almost double the annual electricity consumption of the United States) – European Commission, 2015.
At a country level:

Canada’s green building industry generated $23.45 billion in GDP and represented nearly 300,000 full-time jobs in 2014 – Canada Green Building Council / The Delphi Group, 2016.
Green building is projected to account for more than 3.3 million U.S. jobs by 2018 – US Green Building Council / Booz Allen Hamilton, 2015.
At a building level:

Building owners report that green buildings – whether new or renovated – command a 7 per cent increase in asset value over traditional buildings – Dodge Data & Analytics, 2016.

Green building benefits go beyond economics and the environment and have been shown to bring positive social impacts too. Many of these benefits are around the health and wellbeing of people who work in green offices or live in green homes.

Workers in green, well-ventilated offices record a 101 per cent increase in cognitive scores (brain function) – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health / Syracuse University Center of Excellence / SUNY Upstate Medical School, 2015.
Employees in offices with windows slept an average of 46 minutes more per night – American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 2013.
Research suggests that better indoor air quality (low concentrations of CO2 and pollutants, and high ventilation rates) can lead to improvements in the performance of up to 8 per cent–Park and Yoon, 2011.
Our Better Places for People project focuses on creating buildings that are not only good for the environment but also support healthier, happier and more productive lives.

WorldGBC and the Green Building Council of South Africa established a joint project to develop a framework to enable complex socio-economic issues to be integrated into any green building rating system in the world.

Eco-friendly Construction: 8 Advantages of Green Building

Eco-friendly Construction: 8 Advantages of Green Building

Eco-friendly construction involves the use of materials and processes that are resource-efficient and environmentally responsible throughout the life cycle of a building. Long dismissed as being costly, green buildings have seen a surge in popularity thanks to the many advantages they have over non-green buildings that range from environmental to social and economic. Here are eight reasons why you shouldn’t shy away from using eco-friendly construction companies when building your facility.

1. Low Maintenance and Operation Cost

Green buildings incorporate unique construction features that ensure efficient use of resources such as water and energy. For example, by using a task lighting strategy and a lot of daylight, green buildings vastly reduce the amount of power used in lighting systems; This allows users to save as much as a third of their water and energy bills. Given that operating and maintenance costs can account for as much as 80% of the lifetime costs of a building, reducing such costs significantly increases the earnings of building owners who collect rent from their buildings. Even though constructing a green building may be slightly more expensive than their non-green counterparts, the reduced operation and maintenance costs of green buildings make them much cheaper in the long term.

2. Energy Efficiency

Designers of green buildings try as much as possible to reduce dependency on energy from non-renewable sources such as coal. To this end, they install solar panels to make use of energy from the sun, and design windows in a way that allows as much natural light as possible and, therefore, reduces the use of artificial light; these and other methods ensure that the building uses energy in an efficient manner. Energy efficiency is essential not only for the user but also for the entire world because non-renewable energy sources are expensive and pollute the environment.

3. Enhances Indoor Environment Quality

Indoor environment quality depends on conditions inside a building and how they affect the occupants of the building. These conditions include lighting, ergonomics, thermal conditions and air quality. Good indoor environment quality is one protects the health of the building’s occupants, reduces stress and improves their quality of life. Green buildings achieve this through the installation of operable windows that allow in as much sunlight as possible and reduce the use of materials that may emit elements that are dangerous to health.

4. Water Efficiency

Water efficiency involves using water resources in a manner that saves water and ensures that today and future generations enjoy a reliable supply of clean water. Green building allows for the use of alternative sources of water such as rainwater, reducing water waste through the installation of plumbing fixtures that are efficient and reducing the strain on shared water resources by installing systems that purify water and enable recycling.

5. Better Health

People who live in green buildings enjoy many health benefits because of the safety of materials used in the construction of such buildings. For instance, eco-friendly construction companies avoid using plastic by-products that have been found to release toxic materials. Toxic substances like carcinogens not only cause significant breathing difficulties but also increase the chances of getting cancer.

6. Material Efficiency

Material efficiency involves the use of physical processes and materials in a manner that allows for the minimum use of materials without compromising the quality of the outcome; also, the processes should generate as little waste as possible. To achieve material efficiency, green building companies use materials that are long-lasting, recycle and reuse some products, design buildings in a manner that allow for the use of fewer materials and employ processes that use less water, raw materials, and energy. All these help achieve material efficiency.

7. Better Environment

By reducing usage of energy sources that pollute the environment such as coal, green buildings contribute to keeping the environment clean. In addition, by reducing the levels of carbon (IV) oxide emitted to the atmosphere, they help to lessen the pace of climate change.

8. Reduces Strain on Local Resources

As population increases, local shared resources such as water and energy come under considerable pressure. Through the use of technologies and processes that increase water and energy efficiency, green buildings can reduce this strain.

Start an eco-friendly construction project today!

As these benefits of green buildings show, it is possible for human beings to effectively meet all their present needs without depleting resources and endangering the environment in a manner that makes it difficult for future generations to survive comfortably. Eco-friendly buildings use unique construction techniques that ensure that resources are used efficiently and responsibly while not compromising on the user’s health and comfort.

If you plan to construct any type of building, contact Nationwide and go green! You’ll find that, in the long run, you will save money, enjoy better health, and help conserve the environment for both current and future generations.

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