Solar energy is one of the renewable energy sources that scientists are working to harness more effectively. Renewable energy sources will become more and more important as our fossil fuel resources start to run out. Solar power has both advantages and disadvantages. At the moment, most scientists and environmentalists agree that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages and solar power will help reduce climate change and its negative impact on the planet.
ADVANTAGES OF SOLAR ENERGY
Solar power has many advantages and as the technology around it keeps improving, it becomes more affordable and more practical.
Solar energy is:
…eco-friendly and clean. It does not require the use of dangerous or harmful elements to generate electricity. It also does not produce harmful chemicals or gases that pollute our air and harm our atmosphere.
…free energy. Once you have solar panels or another solar power device, your energy is free. You don’t need to pay anyone to generate or use your solar energy. Different countries work differently, but here you have free energy and you can even make money by selling your surplus energy to the grid. By using solar energy you will be saving money by reducing your energy bill drastically.
…renewable. This means that we cannot run out of sunlight. It is a resource that we have everyday and that will not become exhausted. Free energy that will never go away – that is basically what solar energy is.
…low maintenance. Once your solar equipment is installed, the biggest job is done. Solar panels are good for about 20 to 25 years and require little to no maintenance. The only thing you will need to do is keep it clean. Cleaning it a few times a year is sufficient and that is the extent of maintenance.
…of value to your home. Installing solar panels increases the value of your house. If you are looking to sell in the near future, it may be a good plan to install a solar power system. A house with solar panels will be in demand and can sell for a good price.
…versatile. Solar panels are not only used to generate electricity. It is also used to warm water through solar water heaters. You can see these on roofs as well and they have a little tank attached to them. These solar water heaters further reduce your electricity usage. These heaters are very effective in replacing traditional electric heaters.
These advantages show that solar energy is the way to go. It is the best way to do your part in reducing your carbon footprint and it will save you a lot of money. You may even be able to go completely off the grid if your solar energy system generates enough electricity to serve your home. If you are looking to get yourself a solar energy system, now is the time. However, we know that most things also have disadvantages, so let’s have a look at the drawbacks.
DISADVANTAGES OF SOLAR ENERGY
Not everyone in the world is on the solar power support train yet. There are still some issues that need to be addressed and solved before solar energy will be seen assustainable. Now we look at why some people are still sceptical about the future of solar energy.
Installing solar panels or a solar system is expensive. The initial costs involved with getting a system installed and running is very high. The installation requires panels, batteries, wiring, and more. A unit can cost anything between £3000 and £7000. You will make this cost back triple-fold in the energy savings, but it will take years. A solar system is an investment and if you plan to stay in your house for many years to come, you will reap the benefits.
You have to use it or lose it. Technology is still advancing, but at the moment you cannot store solar energy for later use through just a normal system. If you want to save solar energy for use when there isn’t light, you will need a solar battery. These batteries are big and expensive and may not be worth it. Alternatively, you can use the solar energy during the day and use grid energy at night. This will still reduce your power costs immensely.
Solar energy generation is dependent on weather conditions. People often think that the sun must shine for solar panels to work, but this is not completely correct. It only has to be light. However, when it is raining and snowing and things like that, the solar panels may be less effective. Strong, direct sunlight is the best way to get your solar energy. The effectiveness of a solar system will depend on where you live and how the weather conditions are. For some areas, it may really not be worth it.
A solar system can be quite extensive and take up space. Depending how much energy you want to generate, you may need more than one panel and a battery and everything else that goes with it. This system can take up a lot of space and may cause you some inconvenience.
Solar energy is great, but you should carefully consider the pros and cons of installing a solar system for your home. Technology is constantly improving and soon these panels and batteries will be smaller and less expensive. We never know what the future holds, but these issues may well be addressed in the near future to make solar energy much more efficient.
Based on these advantages and disadvantages, you should be able to make an informed decision on whether you can and want to make use of solar power in your home and business. The bottom line is that it will benefit you more than you may think. If you would like to know more about solar energy and its latest developments, have a look at our previous article here.