Solar panels have been hailed as a way to curb global warming.
But a new study says the panels can actually reduce CO02 emissions by up to 70%.
The new research, led by scientists from the University of Arizona and Duke University, shows that by installing solar panels in areas that receive the most sunlight, it’s possible to reduce global warming by a staggering 70%.
The study, which appears in the journal Science, examined the effectiveness of solar energy installations in different countries around the world.
The researchers calculated that installing solar energy in the United States could reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide by a whopping 3.7 billion metric tons a year.
That’s equivalent to putting 3 million cars on the road.
The findings also show that it’s relatively simple to install solar panels on existing roofs.
The study found that in the U.S., where more than half of the country’s electricity is generated from natural gas, the majority of solar panels installed are installed in rural areas where people don’t have access to a car or a home, according to a press release from the study’s authors.
In fact, it was the lack of a car in rural America that was the biggest driver of the researchers’ study.
“It’s quite an important fact that we’re not seeing in the national data,” said Dr. Eric Lander, a co-author of the study and an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Arizona State University.
“We’re seeing it in rural places, which have a lot of climate change.”
Lander and co-authors from the U-T San Diego State University, who were part of the project, conducted a detailed analysis of the data they gathered to determine how much solar energy was actually generated in the cities where they installed solar panels.
They found that the majority, or more than 90 percent, of solar panel installation is done in cities where people have access or can afford a car.
In contrast, only about 15 percent of the panels installed in the rural areas they studied were done in those areas, according the press release.
The U.K. and Germany, the country that produced the most solar energy during the study, had much lower solar energy production rates, Lander said.
The results suggest that if cities are willing to install more solar panels, it may be possible to make a significant contribution to reducing CO2 pollution in those regions, Larenter said.
“If you have a system that’s efficient, it will reduce the amount of CO2 you are releasing.”
The study’s findings also highlight the need to consider the economic impact of solar installations on the U,S.
According to the U of T researchers, a lot depends on the quality of the solar panels you choose to install, the types of materials you choose and the cost of the installation.
They also found that people in rural regions are likely to be more affected by solar energy.
“The vast majority of the world’s population is rural, and they have limited access to electric cars, but that does not mean that solar energy is not an important economic tool,” Lander added.
This study also found a clear correlation between solar energy usage and the percentage of the population that lives in areas with very low solar energy consumption, the researchers said.
In other words, a country with a lot more solar power is likely to have a lower proportion of its population that is exposed to CO2.
“That is a really strong correlation between electricity consumption and carbon emissions,” Larenner said.