Solar energy creates electricity and heat and avoids pollution from conventional coal plants and nuclear plants. Using national average emission factors, every megawatt-hour of electricity generated through a solar PV panel avoids more than 1,300 lbs of carbon dioxide (CO2), more than 5 lbs of sulfur dioxide (SO2), and almost 2 lbs of nitrogen oxide (NOx), and it also avoids producing radioactive nuclear wastes.

Solar energy production is highest on hot, sunny days when air conditioners are running and electricity demand peaks. By providing energy during peak demand times, solar provides a clean alternative to ‘peaking plants,’ that are often the dirtiest and least efficient coal and oil plants.