We talk a lot about Carbon foot print & Green House Gases (GHG). What are these? Why is it so important to talk about these?
Starting with Green House Gas, GHG can be any gaseous compound present in the earth’s atmosphere which can capture infrared radiations resulting in the capture of heat and holding it eventually causing an increase in temperature causing global warming. This leads to increase in Greenhouse effect.
Now, what is Greenhouse effect?
The process through which radiant heat is captured from the sun by earth’s lower atmosphere to maintain earth’s temperature is called greenhouse effect. Gases which are helping in capturing this heat from the sun are the greenhouse gases.
But, the question arises on what are the gaseous compounds that cause the greenhouse effect?
The main greenhouse gases in the atmosphere of the earth are water vapour (H2O), Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4) and Nitrous oxide (N2O). These are the gases which are responsible for our existence by maintaining the average temperature of the earth’s surface at 15°C else the temperature would have been -18°C.
But anything too much is difficult to take. Human activities from the time industrial revolution till now caused the increase of carbon dioxide concentration by 40% which resulted in the increase of green house effect raising the average temperature. There are a lot of other anthropogenic chemicals along with the CO2 which is responsible for the GHG effect.
What does carbon foot print have to do with all these GHG effects?
The total number of Green house gas emissions caused by an entity or an individual or a product is called Carbon foot print.
Green house gas emissions due to electricity consumption can be calculated with the help of energy consumed. Let’s consider the total consumption of electricity in Units (in kWh) per year.
Carbon foot print due to the consumption of electricity = [consumption of energy in kWh/Year] X emission factor = Output (in Kg of CO2) [Source]
Latest emission factor in India for electricity consumption is 0.82. [Source]
On an average, a plant when matured can consume up to 21.77 kg of CO2 per year. [Source]
Now with 5kW of Solar Rooftop annual saving of Carbon foot print will be (0.82 X 7300kWh) = 5986 Kg of CO2
which is almost equal to carbon foot print saved by 275 trees/year.