Understanding solar energy pros and cons will help you decide whether you should invest in it.
Solar energy is a recent technology that involves drawing energy from sunlight. Unlike traditional electricity, solar energy doesn’t require the use of fossil fuels to generate power. Solar energy isn’t limited, so you don’t need to pay monthly electric bills based on how much you use.
Many people are starting to install solar energy systems in their homes because they can save money. Although solar energy comes with many benefits, it also has a few drawbacks.
Keep on reading to learn about the pros and cons of solar energy.
The Pros of Solar Energy
Solar energy comes with many advantages. It’s reliable, affordable, and efficient at producing energy. The best part about it is that it can be used in most places. Even if you’re in an area that doesn’t get much sunlight, you can use solar energy.
Here are the main pros of solar energy:
Solar Energy Is Free Energy
One of the biggest benefits of solar energy is that it provides free energy. Unlike standard electricity, you don’t need to pay a bill each month for your energy consumption when using solar panels.
The only costs that come with solar energy are the installation fees, which are debated as to whether they’re worth the small savings you get.
Solar energy is renewable, which essentially means that you can continue to use it forever. The earth is constantly receiving solar radiation (sunlight), so you won’t have to worry about not having energy. NASA estimates that the sun will continue to shine for another 5 billion years.
Solar energy is environmentally friendly as it doesn’t cause pollution. Some emissions come from the equipment that produces energy, but they’re far less compared to the emissions from fossil fuels. It takes up to 4 years for a panel to generate the same amount of energy that was required to make it.
The sun hits all parts of the Earth, so you don’t need to worry about where you if you’re interested in installing solar panels. However, some areas receive a lot less sunlight than most places. Some of the most common places that solar energy is used are towards the equator because there is more solar irradiation.
The Cons of Solar Energy
Like most things, solar energy also has a few disadvantages that can deter people from using it. It generally costs a lot to set up solar panels and the fact that solar energy relies on sunlight convinces many people to stick with traditional electricity.
Here are the main cons of solar energy:
High Initial Cost
One of the biggest cons of solar energy is that it costs a lot of money to buy the products required to produce solar energy. This is mostly due to its heavy competition with the oil and coal industries, which regularly earn billions each year.
Along with the competition, the materials that are used for solar panels are rare and expensive. Some of the common solar cells are cadmium telluride and copper indium gallium selenide.
You need a lot of space if you’d like to set up a solar energy system that can power a home. When you see buildings that make use of solar energy, they’ll typically have panels across the entirety of their roofs. This allows them to draw as much energy as possible to power the building.
If you have a small house, you won’t be able to get much out of solar energy unless you put panels on your land. In this case, you’d be sacrificing a lot of space that you could use for activities and other structures.
Solar Energy Is an Intermittent Energy Source
Although areas that get a lot of sunlight will be able to make the most out of solar energy systems, one of the drawbacks is that they can only do so if the sun is out. During the night, the solar energy system won’t be drawing power.
Certain times of the year get a lot less sunlight, so you shouldn’t rely on solar energy as your main source of power until we have more advanced systems.
It Can’t Be Transported Easily
Solar panels are large and fragile, so they must be handled with care. They’re not as transportable as many people think because one slight error could ruin an entire panel. Because of this, you may have to invest in new ones if you plan on moving to a new home.
Solar energy systems can raise the value of your home, so you may not have to break the bank if you plan on selling a previous home that’s equipped with one. If you’d like to transport your panels, ensure that you fully own them.
Some people will try to move their panels when they’re in the middle of a lease which causes them to run into problems with their lender due to the risk of damaging them.
Start Evaluating the Pros and Cons of Solar Energy
Solar energy can benefit anyone that’s looking to save money on electricity costs. Although you’d have to pay a lot upfront, you’ll end up saving a ton over your solar energy system’s lifetime. Depending on where you are, you’ll have to use little to no electricity from fossil fuels.
If you think a solar energy system is something you’d like to invest in, look at all of the pros and cons of solar energy to determine if it’d be good for you.
Check our solar energy guide to learn more about solar energy and how you could benefit from it.