Advantages and disadvantages of solar energy

2022-09-16


What is solar energy?

Solar energy is radiation from the sun that can generate heat, cause chemical reactions, or generate electricity. The total amount of solar energy received on Earth far exceeds the world's current and projected energy needs. When harnessed properly, solar energy has the potential to meet all future energy needs.




Solar energy is often used for solar water heaters and home heating. The heat generated by solar ponds can be used to produce chemicals, food, textiles, warm greenhouses, swimming pools and livestock houses. So using solar energy can also be used for cooking and powering electronic devices.


How to use solar energy

Solar energy is a very flexible energy technology: it can be built as distributed generation (located at or near the point of use), or as a central power station, utility-scale solar power plant (similar to traditional power plants). Both methods can also use cutting-edge solar+storage technology to store the energy they produce for distribution after the sun goes down.

The pros and cons of solar

Solar power has pros and cons. Finding the right energy source for you is important, and determining whether solar power is right for your everyday life is a priority. Here are some factors to consider when deciding which energy option is right for you.

 

Advantage

The advantages of powering your home with solar energy are many, but we've narrowed the list down to the most important. Here are some of the advantages of converting your home or business to solar.

lReduce electricity bills

Reducing your monthly electricity bill is a top priority for most households, and generating electricity from solar is an easy way to reduce your electricity bills.

Not only does solar power save money, it also helps you make more money. Since you'll be using the electricity produced by your solar system to meet some of your energy needs, your energy bills will go down. How much you save on your bill will depend on the size of your solar system and your electricity or heat usage.

lEnvironmental protection

Compared to standard non-green energy sources that rely heavily on fossil fuels, solar energy has far fewer carbon emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions are negligible because solar energy does not use fuel to burn. Each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar energy significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions such as CO 2 and other hazardous pollutants such as sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

lPushing us towards energy independence

Finite resources like fossil fuels will one day be exhausted and irreplaceable, but the sun will continue to shine for about 5 billion years. Remaining independent will allow our renewable resources to grow as technology further develops and we find more ways to integrate renewable energy into everyday life.

lSustainable

Solar energy may be a stable resource for billions of years. It's the most abundant energy source on Earth - 173,000 terawatts of solar energy hitting the planet constantly. That's more than 10,000 times the world's total energy consumption.

lLow maintenance cost

Most solar systems have very long warranties - most reliable solar panel manufacturers offer 20-25 year warranties. There are no moving parts, so there is less chance of failure or error.

The inverter is usually the only part that needs to be replaced after 5-10 years because it is always working, converting solar energy into electricity and heat (solar photovoltaic vs solar thermal). In addition to inverters, cables require maintenance to ensure your solar system operates at peak efficiency.

Since solar systems are easy to maintain, you won't have to spend too much on repairs. It also makes solar systems an attractive option for people who may not be able to repair or maintain their home appliances.


Shortcoming

While there are plenty of reasons to turn to eco-friendly renewable energy options, solar isn't the best for everyone. 

lLarge initial investment

The initial installation of a solar system can be very expensive. Each company offers different pricing options. Costs may vary based on your location, the number of solar panels required, installation requirements and labor costs. The initial cost of purchasing a solar system is quite high. This includes paying for solar panels, inverters, batteries, wiring and installation. Still, solar technology continues to evolve, so it's safe to assume prices will drop in the future.

lDepends on the weather

While solar energy can still be harvested on cloudy and rainy days, the efficiency of the solar system will drop. Solar panels rely on sunlight to efficiently collect solar energy. Therefore, some cloudy and rainy days can have a significant impact on the energy system. You should also take into account that solar energy cannot be collected at night.

Solar power relies on the utility grid to generate electricity at night when there is no sun. So when the sun isn't out, you're going to have to rely on the energy grid like everyone else. On the other hand, if you also need your hot water solution to work at night or in winter, consider a thermal panel.

lEnergy storage

The more electricity you want to produce, the more solar panels you need because you want to collect as much sunlight as possible. Not all roofs have enough space to have the number of solar panels a customer wants or needs. Another way is to install some panels in your yard, but they need full sun. If you don't have enough space for all the panels you need, you can choose to install fewer panels to meet some of your energy needs.

lLocation is important

Although the sun is an abundant energy source, its strength and availability can vary around the world. Depending on where you live, your weather conditions may be rainier and cloudier than elsewhere. In some parts of the world, like Alaska, the sun doesn't come out for days in winter, which can be a problem for those who rely on solar power.




Is solar right for you?

As energy customers turn to more renewable and green energy options, it is important to distinguish their strengths and weaknesses. Before committing to newer, greener energy sources, try to create a budget that you and your family can afford. Then, calculate how much the solar option will cost you in the long run and how much it will save you over time.