There are a lot of aspects that go into solar energy. If you’re like me, some things may surprise you.
Since 1982, we have been harnessing the power of the sun through photovoltaic power stations, otherwise known as solar farms.
Any time you move to an area, living next to a solar farm might make you curious.
Out of a habit, you might want to know everything that goes into the process.
When choosing to live in an area, you always want to ensure the safety and health of you and your family.
Solar energy is an impressive solution to power our lives, while minimizing the impact on the environment – but before considering moving next to a solar energy farm there are some factors that you should know.
Solar Energy Explained
According to theSolar Energy Technologies Office, solar energy is generated through the use of photovoltaic (PV) panels or mirrors.
The engineering behind this is fascinating. While our go-to line of thought is that energy generated from solar farms is just up to the sun, there’s more to it.
Solar radiation is collected from the sun, and the silicone material in the panels absorbs it.
While going through this process, the electrons from the solar energy generated by the sun separate, and the atoms are distributed throughout the solar farm.
The Benefits of Living Next to a Solar Farm
There are many benefits to living next to a solar farm.
- You have a reduced cost of energy.
- With such close proximity, power interruptions are rare.
- Unlike many forms of energy production, solar energy is quiet.
- There is zero pollution created.
- One area that might not be thought of is the generation of nearby jobs. In a report from 2020, 230,000 workers were employed in solar farms according to the 11th annual National Solar Jobs Census.
So the benefits are clear – clean and reliable energy.
Is living near a solar farm Dangerous?
Like with anything, there can always be downsides. Living next to a solar farm does have factors associated with it.
- The first concern with any power source is radiation. Solar panels produce electromagnetic waves, these waves can be strong and prove damaging to our environment and to our bodies.
- People who live near solar farms reportedly feel sick more often. This can be as simple as a headache or more serious illnesses.
- With serious illnesses, the quality of life and a potential effect on one’s lifespan.
- Solar panels are used to collect light from the sun. The reflective surface can inadvertently bounce sun beams off of it. Think of when you’re outside near a metal surface. This can cause severe burns and vision issues. According to the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there is an increased risk of both heat and cold stress.
Additional Factors to Consider
While health is always our first concern, there can be other factors that go into living next to a solar farm.
- Solar farms depreciate house values. This is mostly due to the proximity and the aesthetics associated with being so close to the large panels.
- Solar farms have an impact on wildlife. Solar farms need a great amount of space, displacing wildlife that resides there.
So is Living Next to a Solar Farm a Good or a Bad Thing?
As with everything in life, there are pros and cons. Living next to a solar farm can be significantly beneficial when it comes to clean, renewable energy. You do have to consider the adverse impacts on your health. While it is not unsafe, these factors should be taken into consideration.
- The electromagnetic waves that are emitted from solar panels are low.
- While living in proximity, or utilizing solar panels on your own home, you can produce what is according to the EMF Academy, can produce what is called ‘dirty energy’. This is when energy gets trapped inside your home.
- Oftentimes, people worry that there is too much electricity being released and that living close to a solar farm is dangerous. As technology continues to develop, more research is being put into this factor.
- EMF and Smart Meters can be a valuable resource of protection when there are energy surges.These meters alert you as to when levels become unsafe. While rare, energy surges are possible when living in close proximity to solar farms.
- Creating proper shielding from adverse rays from solar panel reflections inside your home can provide protection against panel reflections.
The best route to take when considering moving next to a solar farm is education.
Fully understanding both the risks and benefits is important.
Whenever energy comes into play, like any source of energy, there are things that we are still continuing to develop and learn. Living near a solar farm has its possible dangers, but also has benefits.