Home » Blog » Solar Water Heating » The Advantages of Solar Thermal Over Natural Gas for Heating Water

Natural gas has been a popular fuel source in the U.S for well over 100 years. From providing light, to heating homes, to powering entire industries, it has played a major role in the country’s modernization. As long as it can be safely and cleanly extracted and transported to end-users, natural gas should and will remain an important fuel source in the U.S.   

Recently though, environmental and safety concerns have highlighted the dark side of natural gas. Protests and legal battles, for example, have drawn attention to hydraulic fracturing, a controversial method of extracting the fuel. The September 9 tragedy in San Bruno is a chilling reminder of the destruction that natural gas can unleash in a worst-case scenario. 

Some good will no doubt come about as a result of the San Bruno disaster: Increased safety inspections, new safety processes and new pipelines are steps in the right direction. PG&E has also pledged $100 million to compensate victims. What remains to be seen is who – an insurance company, PG&E or rate payers – will ultimately bear the long-term economic fallout of the disaster.  

The solar industry, the State of California and PG&E itself have sought to educate consumers on how solar thermal systems can reduce reliance on natural gas for heating water used by homes and businesses. Unfortunately, many people remain unaware of the profound advantages solar thermal has over natural gas, such as:  

1. Safety: Solar thermal energy is a much safer fuel source than natural gas.  
2. Environment: Solar thermal systems run far cleaner than natural gas-powered systems.
3. Cost: Solar thermal systems insulate owners from natural gas price volatility.  
4. Reliability: Solar thermal systems function even when natural gas flow is disrupted.

Concerned end-users/rate payers should recognize that solar thermal is the best option for offsetting the risks of natural gas, and transition from natural gas-fired energy to solar thermal energy whenever and wherever applicable.

Category: Solar Water Heating
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Posted On : Monday, September 20, 2010

Making hot water from the sun...

SunWater Solar is a design/build company based in the San Francisco Bay Area, specializing in solar water heating systems. The company provides these systems for many types of commercial projects. More»


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