ocean sunset

Save the oceans with solar power

March 24, 2021 | 3min read

Saving the oceans is top of mind for many environmentalists and for good reason! The oceans are home to many beautiful creatures and wonders but are also crucial to reducing climate change. The ocean absorbs over 90% of atmospheric heat and about 30% of carbon dioxide emissions. Ocean conservation, also known as marine conservation, is crucial to help fight climate change. There are many things you can do to help, but did you know that solar panels actively help conservation efforts too? Solar power reduces our reliance on fossil fuels and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, helping the ocean absorb even more heat and emissions. 

Why the oceans are important

As mentioned, the ocean actively reduces atmospheric heat and absorbs carbon dioxide, while producing over half of the world’s oxygen.  It also helps distribute heat evenly throughout the earth. Our oceans may just be the key to reducing the global temperature. However, if we do not do our part, we cannot expect our oceans to do theirs. Our current fossil fuel economy makes absorption difficult for the ocean. Not just that, but rising pollution has a major impact on the marine ecosystem. Coral bleaching, species migration, and plankton’s stunted growth are some results of traditional fossil fuel use. Marine conservation may also pave the way for renewable energy alternatives. 

Ocean energy 

Oceans cover over 70% of the earth’s surface, making them a viable option for many renewable energies. The three main types of energy are wave, tidal, and ocean thermal. Wave energy converts the energy within ocean waves into electricity. Tidal energy is divided into tidal range technology and tidal stream technology. Tidal range technology harvests energy from the height difference between high and low tides. Tidal stream technology is similar to wind turbines, it captures the energy from the currents that flow in and out of tidal areas. Ocean thermal energy converts the temperature difference between the different ocean depths. All types of ocean energy are at the early stages of commercialization, it may be some time before they become a prevalent energy source. 

How would floating solar panels work?

You may have heard of floating solar panels (floatovoltaics), a new type of solar that could generate more electricity. Floating solar panels are already being used extensively in other countries, such as Japan. Floatovoltaics work the same as land-based panels, but utilize all the unused surface area on oceans. They have great potential because they are less costly than traditional land-based solar panels and they are complementary to the ocean below. The ocean’s naturally cooling effects can actually boost panels’ production by up to 22%.

Solar power helps save the oceans

Floatovoltaics are beneficial because they can help prevent harmful algae blooms and toxins in the water below. However, land-based solar panels also benefit the oceans because they work toward the same goal: reducing carbon emissions. Every solar home contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. By replacing fossil fuels, solar power helps preserve coral reefs and shellfish, maintaining a strong ecosystem. Solar is also a great way to conserve water. Solar panels require no water to produce or to cool down. They can eliminate freshwater withdrawals, helping conserve billions of gallons of water. 

You can help save the oceans 

Of course, there are many ways you can help save the oceans. Conserving water, reducing waste, and shopping wisely are great ways to start. However, the biggest impact you can make is reducing traditional energy use and reducing pollutants. To do so, switching to solar makes the most sense. Solar energy does not harm the environment because it does not release greenhouse gas emissions. By installing a solar system in your home, you are doing more than just reducing energy. You are making a switch to a cleaner alternative. A solar system helps reduce pollutants and helps the oceans maintain a lower atmospheric temperature. Solar energy is a very viable and affordable way to help combat climate change. Let us guide you through your solar journey and let’s save the oceans together. 

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