Solar Panel Advantages and Disadvantages
Pros of Solar Energy
As a renewable energy source, solar energy will always be there when we need it (as opposed to fossil fuels, nuclear, coal, and similar non-renewable energy sources).
As long as the sun is active, solar energy will be accessible. According to NASA, the sun will last for another 6.5 billion years (scientists believe that in 5 billion years, the sun will swallow the Earth).
Solar energy’s potential is limitless. The Earth’s surface obtains 120,000 terawatts of sunlight (solar radiation), which is 20,000 times the amount necessary to power the whole planet.
3. Free of Pollution
Nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, and other toxic chemicals become airborne when utility companies burn fossil fuels. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, carbon dioxide, which is one of the primary byproducts of burning fossil fuels, stimulates global warming. They also result in smog and other types of air pollution. When solar panels harvest solar energy, the environment is under no such danger.
The entire world has access to solar energy. A country doesn’t have to be situated near the equator to use solar energy, either. For instance, Germany has the largest solar power capacity in the world.
- Minimizes Electricity Expenses
With the launch FIT (feed-in-tariff) schemes and net metering, homeowners are now able to obtain bill credits or “sell” extra energy when they have more than what they need.
- Diverse Applications
Whatever the purpose, solar energy can be used to achieve it. You can produce heat (solar thermal) or electricity (photovoltaics). You can use solar energy to distill water in places where clean water supplies are scarce, to create electricity in places that can’t access the energy grid, and to power space satellites. You can also integrate building materials with solar energy. Recently, Sharp debuted transparent windows powered by solar energy.
- Development of Technology
In the solar power field, technology is always progressing, and enhancements will surpass expectations down the road. Nanotechnology and quantum physics innovations can enhance the impact solar panels make and multiply their systems’ electrical input.
The production of energy from using fossil fuels and similar sources (for instance, wind turbines) would be substantially loud. However, solar energy creates power silently. As such, you needn’t worry about sound insulation where you reside. Solar panels are beloved by many families and neighborhood residents since they run quietly.
Cons of Solar Energy
Is it costly to run solar power? This is maybe the most argued part of the whole solar energy advantage/disadvantage list. The motivating factors of solar energy development stem from politics. Because solar power is incentivized, it can go up against other sources of energy. Alternatively, the American government, much like other countries, offer incentives to all notable energy production markets, rather than solar exclusively.
Coal and energy production obtained federal support and subsidies totaling $1,189 billion in 2010. Solar obtained $968 billion that same year.
These days, the greatest solar panels can, in some ways, be more economical than purchasing electricity from the utility company. Without incentives, this wouldn’t have been an option.
Another downside is solar panels’ reliability on the weather. A solar panel can generate more power if it receives direct sunlight. In cloudy weather conditions, the panel’s output is drastically lowered. Arizona and similar American locales have an advantage regarding solar power use (in comparison to places like Seattle, where most of the year transpires under cloudy skies).
The atmosphere also impacts solar panels. For instance, homes, buildings, and trees can block sunlight, minimizing the output of the panels. Even if you are situated close to open sunlight, unanticipated developments of commercial or residential properties can ruin your solar investment.
- Costly Energy Storage
Batteries and other energy storage systems will balance-out load and demand, and as such, solar power is more stable. However, such technology is costly.
Fortunately, there is optimal interaction between the demand for human energy and our access to solar energy. Our demand for electricity is most active during mid-day, which is also when sunlight is most abundant!
The amount of space necessary in your residence for solar power installation can be a negative aspect. Solar panels require sufficient surface space to obtain power. Such sizeable panels, combined other system elements, can occupy a superfluous amount of room in a small space.
Since solar power is fairly new, panel maintenance might be troublesome. Besides maintenance of solar panels, panel fixtures must be executed by a technician who is energy photovoltaic-certified. Locating this kind of technician and funding such a service can be expensive.
- Pollution Connection
Although solar power is more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels, there are some issues to consider. Several manufacturing processes are linked to greenhouse gas emissions. Sulfur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride have a connection to solar panel production. These greenhouse gasses are potent and have a much worse effect on global warming than carbon dioxide does. Solar power system installation and transportation can also result in pollution.