20 Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy

solar energy advantages and disadvantages


Solar energy is an excellent energy source, the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy are all contained in this article.

As we all know Solar energy is gotten from the sun’s radiation. The sun’s energy can be harnessed into Solar panels. We are only able to access only 0.001% of the solar energy. Statistics have shown that Solar energy is trending now because it is very beneficial to provide the necessary energy for whatever and whenever. Due to higher demands for it, Solar energy is being improved every day. Modern technology can harness solar energy to be used for a countless number of things.

Though Solar energy has many advantages and it also has its benefits. This article will outline the various advantages and disadvantages of solar energy.

Advantages of Solar Energy

  • Continuous Energy Source

Solar energy can be harnessed in all the parts of the world, so we can never run out of solar energy unlike other types of energy. We have access to solar energy as long as the sun exists and according to scientists, the sun will still be available for at least 5 billion years.

  • Storage

Excess solar energy can be stored in batteries which are charged when there is the availability of sunlight and used when there is no sunlight. This provides energy that you might need at a later time.

  • Energy Independence

The fuel used to power the solar system which is sunlight cannot be bought, therefore it cannot be monopolized. Once you have solar panels installed, you have an independent source of electricity that belongs to you solely. Sunlight is free, and you can decide to use your solar energy anytime and whenever you want to.

  • Lowers Electricity Bills

Since the Solar energy will provide the amount of electricity you will need for your day to day activities, your electricity bill will drop. The amount of electricity bill you will save depends on the size of your solar system. You might be able to generate more electricity than you can use and when that happens, the home storage unit (or batteries which come with programmable control units to hold back electricity) are charged and can be used later or sold.

  • Wildlife conservation

Fossil fuels cost a lot of damage to the earth’s ecosystem; it leaves thousands of animal species homeless. Advantages of Solar Energy

Fossil fuels are a threat to wildlife compared to solar energy which does not require mining or the cutting down of trees. The use of solar energy preserve wildlife and therefore our lives in the long run.

  • Various Application

Solar energy does not only provide electricity, but it can also be used for other purposes. It can also be used to produce heat, power vehicles and aeroplanes, cooking, power calculators, clocks, watches and many more. Solar energy can be used to provide electricity in places without access to the energy grid, to power space satellites and to distil water in areas without access to clean water. Solar energy can be integrated into materials that are used to build.

  • Low maintenance

Almost no maintenance is needed when using solar energy. Solar cells are fragile but are protected under shatter-proof tempered glass. Storms or any weather element cannot cause damage to your solar panels. Most manufacturers provide up to 25 years warranty for their solar panels and also the installers carry insurance on their work. Excellent and quality solar lights last for a very long time without servicing or maintaining them.

  • Technology Improvement

Solar energy was discovered is used through the help of technology. This means that it can be improved every day. Solar energy will no longer be as expensive as technology continues to grow. Solar energy is not labour intensive,  so it will only reduce in price rather than increase.

  • Possibility of Expansion

If you have much space available to you, you can increase the power of your solar system without hindrance. If you need more energy, you just have to add more solar panels to the ones you have before and then power them to the system. You are in charge.

  • Less Pollution

Solar energy plants and panels do not produce any air,  water or noise pollution and it does not provide any greenhouse gases. The large-scale power plant does not disturb plants and wildlife compared to fossil fuels which pollute any environment they are.

  • Creates Jobs

Solar energy provides more job opportunities in the USA than the Oil & Gas sector (According to Forbes). It employs solar panel manufacturers and solar panel installers.  This, in turn, helps the economy, as more job opportunities are provided and the economy can grow.

  • Fewer Hazards

Once solar power plants are built, they have less safety risk and low operating cost since all they need to function is sunlight. It does not pose a serious threat to the people installing or using it.

  • Saves Water

Water is needed in the production of electricity at this moment leading to water shortages in the world. The use of solar energy does require water since it works with only sunlight.

Disadvantages of solar energy.

  • Expensive

The cost for the purchase and installation of solar panels is very expensive. The number of solar panels needed to generate the amount of energy required can prove to be a lot.

  • Suitable space

The solar panels take up a lot of space, and such space may not be available to people to install the number of solar panels that will give them the required energy. For people who reside in apartment buildings, there might not be space to install the solar panels on. One hundred acres of land is required to produce 20 megawatts of solar energy. Solar energy requires lots of space to function to satisfaction.

  • Weather Dependant

Weather plays a role in the amount of solar energy provided.  The amount of solar energy gotten in rainy and cloudy days are less and reduces the efficiency of the solar system. When there is no sunlight, the solar panels cannot function properly.

  • Location Dependent

There is less sunshine in places that are cloudy and rainy. Therefore,  there will be less solar energy. Some location does not have sufficient sunlight, for example, Seattle,  Washington only has 72 days out of a year that can be considered as sunny because they have a cloud cover that is less than 30%. Cities in the North can have prolonged periods without sunlight during winter months. In such cases,  Solar energy is not an option.

  • Pollution

No matter what, any type of energy production creates some type of environmental pollution. Solar energy is not all perfect. The production of solar cells make use of some toxic materials, some of them include Lead, Cadmium and Gallium Arsenide which is harmful to the environment when released. Another source of pollution is transporting and installation, but this is common in every type of energy use.

  • Fewer materials for production

Solar panels cannot be mass produced due to less availability of materials for manufacturing and technology. This increases the cost of the solar panels. The price cannot be made more affordable due to fewer materials.

  • The high cost of Storage

Apart from the cost of purchase and installation, Solar energy needs to be stored. If the energy gotten cannot be used immediately then it has to be stored in batteries. This is an expensive process since large batteries are needed especially if no electricity is available during the night or the day.

Read this also: 20 Effects of Social Media on Students

However,  Solar energy has more advantages than disadvantages. We are yet to realize the full potential of solar energy. Solar energy has come to stay and has changed the energy industry.

What are your thoughts on Solar energy? Please let us know by placing your comments below, we look forward to hearing from you

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