Solar Energy Advantages and Disadvantages

Solar Energy Advantages and Disadvantages

Solar energy is the most abundant form of energy available. There are many solar energy advantages and disadvantages. We are going to go through many of the most significant factors to consider when you look at solar energy.

In simple terms, solar panels mounted to your roof or mounted in a rack in your yard take the energy provided by sunlight and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. This technology once converted back to AC current has the ability to power everything in your home and the potential to eliminate your electric utility bills.

Every year, solar energy becomes a larger part of our lives whether we realize it or not. If your family has reached a point where you are starting to look at your carbon footprint and evaluate the solar energy advantages and disadvantages then this may help.

Advantages of Solar Energy

  1. Sustainable Source of Energy: Solar energy will be available for as long as the sun shines. The same cannot be said for fossil fuels.
  2. Clean Energy: Solar panels create no toxic emissions while they do their work. The only emissions are those created in the manufacturing and transportation. This is no different from so many other products. Once installed they will continue to produce years of clean energy.
  3. Will Save You Money on Your Electricity Bills: Whether you choose to simply supplement your home’s electricity or install a complete off-grid system, you will experience a reduction in your energy bills.
  4. Remote Access to Electricity: Solar provides an outstanding energy solution for remote cabins or locations that do not have practical access to power lines.
  5. Minimal Maintenance Requirements: Today’s panel installations require very little effort to maintain.
  6. No Noise: None of the rumbling noise you hear from gas generators!
  7. Versatile: Solar has been deployed in a wide range of uses including remote phone boxes along the highway, traffic signs, attic fans, water heaters, and too many more to include here.
  8. Tax Incentives: There are a number of tax incentives for installing solar panels in your home.  This government website allows you to select your state to find the incentives available.

Disadvantages of Solar Energy

  1. Initial Investment Cost: This is the most significant disadvantage of solar energy. While new approaches to leasing the equipment and installation costs have emerged, this remains the most significant obstacle to solar going main stream.
  2. No Electricity at Night: Obviously solar only works when it’s daylight. Unfortunately, this is a problem in running your lights, running your heat, or doing anything else that requires electricity at night. This means your system will require power storage to be useful around the clock, further increasing your investment cost.
  3. Space Requirements for Panels: Depending on your energy needs, you may find yourself needing a sizable area (larger than your roof) to support your needs. This is especially true for commercial installations.
  4. Risk of Installation Damage: Mounting solar panels on your roof means that you may need dozens of holes drilled into your roof to hold everything in place. Each hole represents an area for potential water damage. While most installations are done properly, heavy winds or snow build-up can result in the panels shifting and exposing holes into your home.
  5. Require Exotic Resources: Solar panels and in some cases battery storage requires a number of exotic materials that are fairly rare in nature. While technology is constantly advancing, this is still a serious concern for the future.

When long term benefits are weighed against short term concerns, the advantage still seems to tip towards solar power. Just be sure to do your homework with whatever solution you choose. And be sure you get a licensed and insured contractor to do your installation work!

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