Solar Panels vs. Trees: Which is Greener?

Apr 24, 2013   //   by Russell   //   Solar Panel Questions  //  No Comments

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Solar panels vs. trees: is it worth cutting down a tree to install your solar panel?

solar panels vs. treesImagine this: you’ve finally made the decision, and you went and made the arrangements to buy your very own solar panel, guaranteed to cut your utility bill big time.

All of a sudden, you realize that there’s a large tree with branches extending right over your home. Now you, as an environmentally aware citizen, must make a decision: should you cut the lone tree down to install your solar panel, knowing the benefits of solar panels? Worse yet, what if that tree is in your neighbor’s yard?

All of this and more causes quite a few tough dilemmas, and normally these situations work case-by-case, but knowing who is the better asset in the competition of solar panels vs. trees is vital for homeowners in that very situation.


Solar Panels: Benefits for the Environment

Solar panels have been around for decades; primarily used in the public sector and by bigger businesses. Solar panels are developed by solar cells or photovoltaic cells, which are cells that have the ability to convert a percentage of available sunlight into energy.

These cells, are, in turn, connected to make modules, panels, and arrays, which all have efficiency ratings based on the power put in the cells, the number of cells, and the efficiency of the cells. The main three different solar panel designs are crystalline, noncrystalline, and thin-film, which all have different ratings on price, efficiency, and durability.

All three are made by big solar panel companies such as SolarCity and SunPower. Recently, thin-film was redesigned and employed in a solar roof shingle, which is currently being marketed mainly by Dow Powerhouse.


Trees: Benefits for the Environment

Obviously, trees are the original environmental benefit, not only providing oxygen and reducing the levels of carbon dioxide via photosynthesis, but also preventing the erosion of soil and runoff. Trees are a source of food and shade for a variety of animals and, for countless centuries, humans.

Therein, there a quite a few risks when it comes to cutting down a tree. Even losing one tree can do quite a bit of damage to the soil, not to mention cutting down trees is considering appalling to environmentalists.


Solar Panels vs. Trees: Which to Choose

Most would say that, without dispute, a single tree is not a comparison to a solar, as a panel does reduce far more carbon dioxide by converting sunlight to electricity to cut down on the utility bill.

However, the dangers of taking even one tree down are tough to beat for many citizens, and they can have some dangerous effects as far as the soil around the house and the runoff.

Even so, the tree is considered the original green technology, while the solar panel contrasts as the new green technology, as normally, comparing the two side-by-side, solar panels are more environmentally efficient. However, the case-by-case scenario works best, especially in situations involving a neighbor’s tree covering the roof.


When you have to make the choice, which do you keep in Solar Panels vs. Trees?

Getting the opportunity to install a solar panel in your home is an exciting prospect, and can be easily ruined if you’d happen to discover quite a bit of foliage over your rooftop. Now, you’re to face the choice of which do you pick in solar panels vs. trees?

Obviously, in cases with merely one or two trees, the option of removal in order to put a solar panel could be environmentally beneficial. Unfortunately, the trees covering your roof may not necessarily be on your land.

In a case like this, the decision is entirely between you and whoever owns the land the tree is on. However, most don’t realize that even though the tradeoff is dire, solar panels are extremely beneficial for the environment.


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