Many of us know that solar energy is a good thing, but few really understand why and, if you’re considering whether to go for solar at your home, camper or business then you’ll probably want to know what are the pros and cons of solar.
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There are a number of positives around solar power and home based solar energy systems which will benefit anyone who has such a system installed:
1. Solar saves you money on your bills
- After the initial investment has been recovered, the energy from the sun is practically FREE.
- The recovery/ payback period for this investment can be very short depending on how much electricity your household uses.
- Financial incentives are available form the government that will reduce your cost.
- If your system produce more energy than you use, your utility company can buy it from you, building up a credit on your account! This is called net metering.
- It will save you money on your electricity bill if you have one at all.
- Solar energy does not require any fuel.
- It’s not affected by the supply and demand of fuel and is therefore not subjected to the ever-increasing price of gasoline.
- The savings are immediate and for many years to come.
- The use of solar energy indirectly reduces health costs.
2. Solar power is environmentally friendly
- After the initial production and delivery/installation solar is clean energy
- Solar Energy is a renewable energy source (unlike gas, oil and coal) and sustainable, helping to protect our environment.
- It does not pollute our air by releasing carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide or mercury into the atmosphere like many traditional forms of electrical generations does.
- Therefore Solar Energy does not contribute to global warming, acid rain or smog.
- It actively contributes to the decrease of harmful green house gas emissions.
- It’s generated where it is needed.
- By not using any fuel, Solar Energy does not contribute to the cost and problems of the recovery and transportation of fuel or the storage of radioactive waste.
3. Off grid or on grid solar power
It is possible to use solar power in a number of ways, the most common being as a support for your utility conmection or as a totally standalone system:
- Solar Energy can be utilized to offset utility-supplied energy consumption. It does not only reduce your electricity bill, but will also continue to supply your home/ business with electricity in the event of a power outage.
- A Solar Energy system can operate entirely independent, not requiring a connection to a power or gas grid at all. Systems can therefore be installed in remote locations (like holiday log cabins), making it more practical and cost-effective than the supply of utility electricity to a new site.
- The use of Solar Energy reduces our dependence on foreign and/or centralized sources of energy, influenced by natural disasters or international events and so contributes to a sustainable future.
- Solar Energy supports local job and wealth creation, fuelling local economies.
4. No maintenance once installed
4. Low/ no maintenance
- Solar Energy systems are virtually maintenance free and will last for decades.
- Once installed, there are no recurring costs.
- They operate silently, have no moving parts, do not release offensive smells and do not require you to add any fuel.
- More solar panels can easily be added in the future when your family’s needs grow.
There are solar energy advantages and disadvantages and, having looked at the first, we’ll now look at the latter.
- The initial cost is the main disadvantage of installing a solar energy system, largely because of the high cost of the semi-conducting materials used in building one.
- The cost of solar energy is also high compared to non-renewable utility-supplied electricity. As energy shortages are becoming more common, solar energy is becoming more price-competitive.
- Solar panels require quite a large area for installation to achieve a good level of efficiency.
- The efficiency of the system also relies on the location of the sun, although this problem can be overcome with the installation of certain components.
- The production of solar energy is influenced by the presence of clouds or pollution in the air.
- Similarly, no solar energy will be produced during nighttime although a battery backup system will solve this problem.
- As far as solar powered cars go – their slower speed might not appeal to everyone caught up in today’s rat race.
In looking at solar energy advantages and disadvantages we can see that there are pros and cons for the use of this type of power.
From a cost and environmental perspective we can see that there are benefits and, as technology develops it is highly likely that the future for solar power is one of expansion and greater take up and use.