Solar energy pros and cons is a review of the good and the bad about solar energy. This document is targeted at two groups of people. Those who think they know the basics of why solar energy but really don’t. And those who think they don’t have an application for solar energy applications but really do.
Many that solar energy is a good thing. The challenge is few really understand why.
Solar Energy Positives
1. Cost Savings
- Energy from the sun is practically FREE and after the initial investment has been recovered minimal cost
- Depending on how much electricity your household uses, recovery/ payback period for this investment can be very short
- In some countries, financial incentives are available that will reduce your installation investment.
- Your local power company can buy energy back from you if your system produces more energy than used.
- Cost savings on your power bill from the power company.
- No dirty fuel required to power solar energy.
- Since solar power does not require gas or electricity you do not have these costs and will not be impacted when they escalate.
- Cost savings are immediate and continue on well after your installation is paid for.
- Solar power benefits the environment which also means it benefits your community.
2. Climate and Environment
- Unlike gas, oil and coal, which are considered dirty fuel, solar power or energy is clean, renewable, and sustainable thus protecting the environment.
- There are no carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, or mercury emissions like those created in traditional forms of generating power.
- Solar Energy does not cause global warming, acid rain, or smog.
- Solar energy decreases harmful greenhouse gas emissions by not being a contributor to other dirty fuel sources.
- Solar energy is available anywhere the sun is; pretty much anywhere above ground.
- 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. Frees Consumers from Dependency on Other Energy Sources
- 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, fueling local economies.
4. Minimal 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.
Solar Energy Disadvantages
- The main disadvantage of installing a solar energy system is the initial cost.
- The cost of solar energy is also high compared to non-renewable utility-supplied electricity.
- Solar panels require a large area for installation to achieve a good level of efficiency.
- The efficiency of the system relies on the location of the sun.
- The production of solar energy is influenced by the presence of clouds and pollution in the air.
- No solar energy will be produced during nighttime.
Summary Solar Energy Pros and Cons
It is apparent the advantages of solar power outweigh the disadvantages. However, on stickler to most people is cost.
Cost, as technology and production improve, will come down.
What will make solar even more appealing, and more cost effective, is as the price of fuel goes up.
The bottom line is clean renewable energy sources are needed. Solar power is one already in our midst.