The electricity generation comes with no air or water pollution. There are no carbon dioxide emissions to contribute to climate change, outside of the manufacture of solar panels. Because they’re on roofs, land use impact is basically nil. Solar power generates more jobs per unit of energy than fossil fuels, and those jobs can’t be outsourced because construction is local by definition. It also consumes much less water than sources like coal, natural gas, or nuclear, preventing strains on community supplies.
But there’s a big hurdle: The systems generally cost more than $10,000 a pop, an imposing chunk of change to finance or borrow for all but the luckiest Americans.