Solis’ five reasons we need to stop using fossil fuels

The discourse around climate change has been louder than ever over recent weeks, with COP26 dominating many news stories worldwide. Held in Glasgow, this conference saw many European countries come together to review climate goals and drive action in the renewable sector to slow the rising global temperatures.

Nine years ahead of target, Portugal shut down its last coal plant on the weekend of the 20th of November, meaning the country is officially coal-free.

In 2020, South Africa emitted seven tonnes of greenhouse gases per capita: the largest contribution in the world. However, this should not come as a surprise as over 90% of the country’s power comes from coal. But hopefully, all of this is about to change.

At the start of November 2021, France, Germany, the UK and the US announced they would provide $8.5 billion in funds to help South Africa achieve the new carbon emission targets presented at COP26.

But why is it so essential that fossil fuels are phased out?

  1. Fossil fuels are a direct cause of global warming

When coal, oil or gas is burned, it releases carbon dioxide into the air and drives up global temperatures.

While burning fossil fuels is not the sole cause of global warming, it is undoubtedly the worst culprit. In 2019, the world produced 14.36 billion tonnes of emissions from coal alone.

As such, phasing out coal production and use by 2040 will be integral to ensuring global warming does not rise by more than 1.5°C.

  1. Air and water pollution from fossil fuels are killing humans, animals and plants

When coal is mined, acid runoff is washed into local streams, lakes and rivers.

Oil spills pollute valuable drinking water and put entire marine ecosystems in jeopardy.

Drilling and fracking also contaminate drinking water — all while generating vast volumes of wastewater laden with heavy metals or even radioactive materials. Often, this waste is stored poorly and contaminates waterways with pollutants linked to congenital disabilities, cancer and neurological damage.

Obtaining and consuming fossil fuels is a destructive process that pollutes local areas and poses an unthinkable risk to humans and animals alike.

Mining for coal also releases toxic particulate matter into the air. And when burned, coal can produce mercury, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions — all of which are harmful if inhaled.

  1. Mining fossil fuels is impacting ecosystems

The processes involved in obtaining fossil fuels take a considerable toll on the world’s ecosystems. Lands are leached of their natural nutrients, and valuable habitats are destroyed for fuel extraction.

Such fragmentation of wildlife habitats puts biodiversity at immense risk. And while it is assumed that ‘restoring’ ecosystems after fossil fuel extractions can return them to their previous state, this is far from the truth. Large-scale agricultural and land-clearing leaves ecosystems permanently disturbed and degraded.

  1. Coal supplies are running out

As fossil fuels are a non-renewable source of energy, their supply is finite. It is estimated that the world’s coal will be depleted as soon as 2060 if consumption remains at its current rates.

So, regardless of the impact of fossil fuels on the planet, we need to seek alternative forms of energy to keep the world powered — as our natural resources are running out.

  1. Renewables are more accessible than ever

Unlike years gone by, we now have access to renewable energy on a mass scale. Both residential and utility-scale solar power is now the cheapest source of electricity, and the cost of battery storage has fallen by over 90% in the last decade.

Solar products and full PV systems are available to purchase now and offer a viable alternative to polluting fossil fuels.

Renewable energy starts with Solis

SegenSolar is dedicated to supplying high-quality solar products to encourage the widespread uptake of renewable energy across Southern Africa.

We offer solutions from one of the world’s largest and most trusted PV manufacturers: Solis. Solis is a global manufacturer of solar PV inverters — the heart and hub of every solar installation. Solis’ inverters are of the highest quality and rely on the latest, most efficient technologies.

The company is also committed to securing a cleaner future for our planet with renewable energy. Its solar product offering is extensive, meaning there is a Solis inverter for every kind of solar project: whether on a grid-tied industrial scale or for small, off-grid systems.

We recommend the following Solis inverters:

Solis 4.6kW grid-tied (for small domestic systems)

Solis 6kW hybrid (for energy storage applications)

Solis 10kW three-phase hybrid (for small commercial storage installations)

Solis 110kW three-phase grid-tied with surge protection (for large commercial installations)

Ready to commit to renewable energy in the push to phase out fossil fuels? Register to the free installer portal today and choose Solis as your trusted inverter manufacturer.