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Life Cycle Analysis – Coal produces 25 times more greenhouse gases than solar photovoltaics

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has performed a “harmonization,” or a further refinement, of hundreds of studies of life cycle analysis of solar photovoltaics, and compared it to the life cycle analysis greenhouse gas emissions of coal. The image above from the NREL study illustrates the difference.

Cradle to grave, producing electricity from coal produces 25 times the greenhouse gases from producing electricity from solar photovoltaics. We know increases in greenhouse gases are unnaturally fast and causing changes in the climate that are overall negative for human survival. We know how to stop causing this harm. We also know that air pollution from burning fossil fuels causes millions of deaths from air pollution. Time to switch away from fossil fuels to solar photovoltaics.

Always keep in mind that we’ve known this for a while, and fossil fuel companies, like cigarette companies did, lie about it. Also keep in mind that when you count up all the health costs and subsidies our taxes pay for because of fossil fuels, fossil fuels aren’t cheap. Also keep in mind that switching to renewables can help us keep global temperature change under 1.5 Celsius and create millions of jobs.

The only thing holding back huge growth in solar photovoltaics is the upfront investment and political will. Time to come up with better business models. Here’s one. Also, keep in mind that currently, huge federal tax credits exist for investors in solar systems, and they can be depreciated as a business expense.

If you’re not voting for clean energy supporters and installing clean energy on your home or business, then you are really working against your own best interests, and the interests of humanity in general. Why would anyone do that?