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The global shutdowns in response to COVID-19 have resulted in dramatic changes in our daily lives, economies, and work across every industry. One of the most surprising side effects is the environmental impact of widespread closures and restrictions. Decreases in transportation (localized and global), industry production, and overall energy usage, have caused a notable drop in carbon emissions and pollution. Many areas have experienced better air quality and the benefits that come with it, one being an increase in clean energy production. 

Less Pollution Means More Clean Energy

The amazing thing about clean energy is that the more we use it, the better it works. As air pollution dissipates, alternative energy systems such as solar panels are able to generate energy more efficiently. Since the coronavirus shutdowns have reduced carbon emissions, there has been less air pollution, which has allowed solar panel systems to produce even more energy. 

Countries like Germany have generated more clean energy than ever during this time. According to Time, Germany has seen an annual pattern of breaking its record for clean energy production, since more and more systems have been installed each year. This year, however, the country broke records twice over. First in March, last year’s record was broken, fitting the country’s annual pattern from a growing number of systems. Then that record was broken in April, due to clear skies from the lack of air pollution. 


What Causes Air Pollution? 

Things like transportation fuels, factory production, and traditional power plants release carbon emissions, among other pollutant particles, that pose threats to the environment as well as human life. Air pollution can form visible hazing over cities and compromise air quality and respiratory health. It can also collect in the atmosphere, causing warmer global temperatures and contributing to climate change. 

We can combat these issues by choosing renewable resources over the fossil fuels that traditionally power society. Everyday habits such as work commutes and energy usage directly contribute to pollution and climate change. But even sustainable energy can be compromised while fossil fuels continue to dominate. When the air is overwhelmed by pollution, smog and haze block solar panel systems from absorbing and producing energy at their full potential. Additionally, when the trapped gases raise temperatures, solar panels operate at a lower efficiency than they would in a temperate climate. 


What Does This Mean?

Our actions create cycles. Using clean energy helps to clean the environment, which in turn is better for producing more clean energy. Using energy sources that pollute the environment contributes to climate change, which intensifies pollution. We can choose whether we’ll continue a destructive cycle, or replace it with a positive one. Switch to solar power and help the world become more sustainable.


Learn more about generating your own solar power by speaking with a YellowLite solar consultant! 

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