The principal driving force for adoption of solar energy as the primary source for heating and electricity is its non-generation of greenhouse gasses, thus reducing its negative impact on the environment to almost zero. In addition, the gathering of solar energy does not contaminate waterways.

The only negative effects of solar energy on the environment are confined almost entirely to the location where solar collectors are installed to receive solar radiation from the sun. Commercial solar farms require the clearing of sizable areas to install arrays of solar collectors. Furthermore, some negative impact is possible on the animals and birds that populate the solar farm locale.