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The efficiency of solar panels depends on a lot of things. Dust and dirt can degrade performance. If they get too hot, they produce less electricity. Aiming them at the proper angle is crucial to optimal performance. But there is another factor that few people have thought much about until know — air pollution. Crud in the atmosphere — mostly from burning fossil fuels — obscures some of the sunlight falling on solar panels, causing them to produce less electricity.

One of the weird benefits of the coronavirus is that it has halted most industrial and transportation activities. With less junk spewing out of smokestacks and tailpipes, there is less pollution in the atmosphere. It’s almost as if some cosmic force is trying to tell us, “Hey, listen up, dummies. You’re killing yourselves and the Earth that sustains you with all this fossil fuel madness. Take a look around and see what life could be like if you just stopped depending on fossil fuels to power your lives!” But of course no one is interested in such wisdom, least of all the American government.

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