Pros and Cons of Solar Energy
The advantages and disadvantages of solar energy are numerous. While this is probably among the most desirable energy options in the world due to it being so green and economical in the long term, there are still many elements one needs to consider before making use of it.
The aim of this article is to make you aware of all the pluses and minuses involved in the selection and installation of an effective solar array to allow you to determine whether or not this is going to be the right route for you.
Before we get started, it is worth noting that the majority of points here are entirely dependent on personal circumstances. If you are lucky, then it might just be that solar energy is all “pro” and no “con” for you, which will make it an easy decision.
Main Advantages of Solar Energy
First, we are going to evaluate the advantages of solar energy. Usually, people would first think of the renewability of this energy source when contemplating this subject because this is likely to be the most widely understood benefit it offers.
But there is so much more to it than that. As you read on, you will discover many other positive attributes here. People probably do not even know about most of them.
- Reduced costs
Outfitting your property with this technology is somewhat pricey up front, but the cost has certainly gone down significantly over the years. One of the huge pros of solar energy now lies in what you are actually able to keep in the bank by using it.
This is thanks, in large part, to the many government programs out there that will allow you to claim back as much as 30% of the total cost. This amounts to a small fortune when you are dealing with a large-scale array.
- Renewable and green
When it comes to green energy, it would be almost impossible to find a better option than this. That is because it is always available or will be for as long as the sun remains in the sky, which is basically forever.
This technology relies on photon rays from the sun being harnessed via solar cells and redistributed as usable energy throughout your chosen location. Photons will never stop being produced by the sun. Therefore, we will never stop having power when we get it from solar cells.
Another one of the benefits of solar energy is that you have so much choice about how you actually integrate and use it in your home or workplace. While certain types of energy from fossil fuel can only be used for a limited number of utilities or functions, solar can be adapted for use with almost anything.
Not only are its potential applications very numerous, but the means through which you can actually integrate a solar array are numerous too including options for locations.
- Added value
Another often overlooked fact when comparing the pros and cons of solar energy is that it is likely to add value to your home. Not only are you making long-term savings by installing a solar array, but you are probably also making a long-term investment that may just add a few thousand dollars (or more) to the value of your property. If you are likely to be at the location for a considerable duration, then this is a huge factor to take into consideration.
Most arrays feature excellent weather resistance and will stand up incredibly well to the test of time. Provided yours is in a safe and inaccessible location, you can sleep well at night knowing that your investment is going to be secure regardless of what the weather is like outside.
This technology will not only save you money, but it is also possible to adapt it to be able to power pretty much anything in your home that you can think of. Regardless of whether or not you want to warm your water, power your lights, or heat your kettle, you can do it with sun power.
- Low maintenance
Once in place, your array is not likely to require much, if any, additional attention to keep it running. This is thanks to solar panels being almost completely self-sustaining. If you have a monitoring system in place, the only time someone is going to need to look at your system is when annual service is performed.
Main Disadvantages of Solar Energy
Now it is time to consider the disadvantages of solar energy. Realistically speaking, the negatives on display here are largely circumstantial. In itself, solar power could never be a negative thing because its renewable nature makes it a “no-brainer” option in the energy competition, but you must be able to access it.
Besides the initial costs associated with outfitting a location with solar panels, there are several other elements to take into consideration before making a choice about whether or not solar is going to be the best option to serve your needs.
- Long-term commitment
With it taking roughly 7 years before the average installation begins to pay for itself, those hoping to make quick savings are probably better off looking elsewhere for a way to reduce their bills. One of the main benefits also ends up being one of the cons of solar energy.
This needs to be something that you only purchase if you are satisfied that you will not be moving any time soon. It is also worth noting that increased property value and savings on electricity only really mean anything if you do not move shortly after installation because the installation costs are likely to outweigh these benefits in the short term.
- Complicated installation
Even though DIY kits are available to help you bring down the overall outlay of using solar, they are also a very complex option. They require a pretty large degree of technological know-how and manpower to bring to fruition.
As previously mentioned, solar energy pros and cons largely relate to individual circumstances. If you happen to be in a country where DIY installations are not allowed, your only option is to have the panels professionally installed.
- You might not save money
One of the widely overlooked areas when it comes to solar power pros and cons, is the availability of government programs and rebates. Simply put, they are not available everywhere and to all people.
If you are about to make a huge commitment to solar and are banking on making use of one of these programs to claim back up to 30% of the total cost, then make absolutely sure that you definitely qualify for it before taking the plunge.
As with almost any form of construction, you are going to need a permit in order to be able to bring your planned solar array to fruition. Whether the permit is included as part of the cost when you purchase the solar panels from a large company or is funded separately as part of DIY installation, you are going to need one to make it happen. If you do not have a permit, then sadly, you do not have a solar array.
- It’s all about the weather
The main positive with this type of technology is also its major downside. If you have limited daylight where you live, then you obviously have restricted levels of solar energy as a result. Weather also has an impact. Clouds reduce the amount of energy collected by solar panels.
- Can cost a lot for 24/7 access
In some instances, it can actually prove more beneficial to only use solar during the day and grid power at night. This consideration is very dependent upon your location, and it also depends on the uptake capacity of your cells and solar array.
Inefficient varieties can force you to use wired power anyway, which somewhat defeats the purpose of installation. The expense of a battery and whether or not you can collect enough power for the dark hours should be evaluated.
Whether it is a roof- or land-based array, it is going to take up a lot of available space. If you are planning to use your backyard for things like a patio, vegetable garden, pool, or shed, you should be careful about which type of array you choose to install. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for you to fulfill your power requirements and your entertainment and comfort needs.
Regardless of your previous knowledge of this subject, it is safe to say that you are now aware that the solar energy pros and cons are numerous. It is important that they are fully weighed before any final decision is made.
As mentioned previously too, solar power itself is always wholly positive in nature. If you can access it in a way that works well for you, then it is going to be the ideal choice available for you to power your home or business.