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Advantage and Disadvantages of Solar Energy
You open your next utility bill, and your heart drops. No matter how hard you try to cut your energy costs, it seems you can’t get your electricity bill much lower.
The good news? It is possible to save on your energy costs by using a renewable energy source, such as solar energy.
Since 2008, United States solar energy installations have increased 35 times to almost 63 gigawatts today. And solar panels‘ costs have decreased by about half since 2014.
Of course, solar power does have some drawbacks as well. Here’s a rundown on the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy.
Let’s get started with reviewing the pros and cons of solar energy
Pro 1: Solar Energy is Clean
One of the biggest benefits of solar energy is that it is 100% clean. In other words, it decreases your reliance on fossil fuels, like natural gas, coal, and oil for the production of electricity.
The problem with fossil fuels is that they produce dangerous emissions that negatively impact soil, air, and water quality. Fossil fuels, which generate greenhouse gases, are also responsible for climate change.
In fact, thanks to climate change, about a million plant and animal species now face the risk of becoming extinct within decades due to global warming. This number is larger than it’s ever been before in history.
However, solar energy doesn’t produce any pollution. The abundant power of the sun provides a limitless energy source that doesn’t ruin the landscape and the ozone layer.
On top of this, you can access solar energy anywhere in the world, and every day. And the good news is that scientists predict that the sun won’t die for at least another five billion years. So, clearly, humankind will be able to take advantage of this renewable energy source for many years to come.
Pro 2: Solar Panels Generate Cost Savings
If you’re tired of rising home energy costs, solar panels offer the benefit of offsetting your energy bills year-round.
In fact, you can still even save money on a cloudy day, or in a cloudy climate. Why? Because the sun produces energy in both cloudy and clear skies.
The reality is, based on your electricity usage and your solar panels‘ sizes, position from the sun, and efficiency, your panels may end up generating more power than your household consumes. This means that your electric bill could very well reach zero each month.
That’s right. Zero.
Also, in certain areas, you might receive payments for the excess electricity your system generates from you utility company. Officials in your city should be able to explain the municipality’s solar energy guidelines to you.
Pro 3: Renewable Energy System Puts You in Control of Your Electricity
Households across the United States have unfortunately experienced longer-lasting and more frequent power outages during the past 15 years.
Because the current power grid is a century old and wasn’t built for the extreme weather and increased population we have today. The grid is in dire need of modernization to meet our plugged-in society’s increasing demands.
Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for the grid to be modernized. Instead, you can add to your home a solar panel–powered battery unit that will store plenty of electricity for powering your residence.
A battery unit will help to power your home during your family’s peak energy usage hours. Also, you can use it during a blackout, rather than going through the hassle of using a diesel- or gas-powered backup generator.
All in all, installing solar panels is an excellent way to reclaim control of your family’s electricity and enjoy freedom from the power grid.
Pro 4: Solar Power Can Be Used in Diverse Ways
The fact that solar energy has diverse applications is one of its biggest benefits.
For instance, you can produce heat (thermal energy) or electricity (photovoltaics) with a solar power system. In addition, you can generate electricity in an area that cannot access the power grid.
Solar energy can also come in handy for distilling water in areas that don’t have much clean water. You can even use it to power a satellite in space.
Solar power can additionally be incorporated into building materials, like windows, to generate energy savings and thus monetary savings.
Pro 5: Solar Panels Feature Minimal Maintenance Costs
As a general rule of thumb, solar panel systems do not require much maintenance for a couple of reasons.
For one, they don’t come with moving parts. So, you don’t have to worry about them experiencing much wear and tear.
Second, many reputable manufacturers of solar panels offer warranties lasting between 20 and 25 years.
However, you’ll still need to follow a few maintenance steps to keep your panels in tip-top shape.
First, you’ll need to clean your solar panels about twice per year to keep them operating at their optimal levels.
Also, you will likely need to change the inverter after five to 10 years, as it works constantly to turn solar power into heat and electricity.
In addition, the cables will require maintenance to make sure that your system operates as efficiently as possible.
Con 1: Solar Panels Can Be Costly to Install
Yes, solar power systems are becoming increasingly affordable, resilient, efficient, and accessible. Still, their initial purchasing costs are relatively high.
Why? Because you’ll need to purchase not only solar panels but also an inverter, wiring, and batteries. In addition, you’ll need to pay to have the system installed at your house.
Nonetheless, as solar technology continues to develop, the prices of these types of systems will likely keep doing down over time. Also, depending on the area you live, you may be able to qualify for tax credit, government rebates and more to help with the initial cost and help you on your way to energy independence.
Con 2: Solar Power Panels Can Take Up Quite a Bit of Room
The more power you’d like to produce with a solar energy system, the more panels you’ll need. For this reason, solar energy systems can consume a great deal of space.
In light of the above, your home’s roof may not be able to accommodate the number of panels you’ll need. You can place some panels in your yard as well, but they need to access sunlight easily to work.
Con 3: Solar Energy is Dependent on the Weather
As mentioned earlier, you can collect solar energy during cloudy days. However, your solar power system‘s efficiency will drop when the weather is cloudy or rainy.
For this reason, if you have several rainy or cloudy days in a row, this may have a recognizable effect on your system.
Con 4: Storing Power Energy Can Be Costly
If you cannot use your generated solar energy immediately, you can store it in big batteries. The great thing about these batteries is that you can charge them in the daytime and use them at night.
This method is excellent for utilizing solar power 24/7. However, it can also be expensive.
Instead, you may simply want to use solar power in the daytime, when you have greater energy demands. Then, use the electricity grid at night. Of course, this will work only if you’re connected to the power grid.
Con 5: Solar Systems May Still Cause Some Pollution
The amount of pollution associated with solar power systems is much less than that associated with other energy sources. However, solar power can still be linked to pollution.
That’s because the installation and transportation of solar power systems have been linked to greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, some hazardous products and toxic materials are used in the solar power system manufacturing process.
Still, overall, solar power is a clean, renewable energy source that can benefit the environment while still meeting your unique energy usage needs.
How We Can Help You to Save Money After Exploring the Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy
After reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy, you may have decided to move forward with installing solar panels in the new year. Fortunately, we have a helpful tool for finding finance industry professionals who can help you to get the job done.
Through our site, you can connect with our partner to research and compare finance service providers for free who can decrease your monthly bills. Click here to enter your information and you can be matched with a company that fits your needs.
In no time, you can save money. Thus, you’ll be well on your way to covering the cost of your own solar power system. And like many homeowners who have made the switch from fossil fuels to solar energy, you can start enjoying the benefits of renewable energy firsthand.