The Good Vs The Bad: Solar Energy

By | July 31, 2022

The sun in the solar system that hangs above our head provides us with the warmth and light that we take advantage of day to day. However, there is an alternative to the sun’s purpose. With an hour’s worth of energy that the sun emits, it can be processed into global energy for a year. Undeniably, the sun is a powerhouse that produces energy strong enough to provide us with a handful of benefits. Although we are unable to harness the full potential of the sun’s energy, we are still able to take advantage of a fraction of it through the construction of solar panels.

Since its launch, there have been many who were quick to call the panels expensive as well as question their efficiency of it. As time passes, sentiments toward solar panels are now more neutral as it has been proven to be beneficial for both the environment and the private economy. 

With more companies being introduced into the market, it naturally brings about competition between brands to have competitive prices so consumers will pick one over another. Apart from that, there are also grants available for solar panels. As solar panels gain traction, it has slowly become the main energy source for more people in the world. After years of research and development, technology has improved such that battery storage for solar energy is at its optimal stage, as such, allowing solar to be a significantly efficient and cleaner source of energy.

However, there is always a flip side to a good story. In this article, we will list the advantage and disadvantages of consuming solar energy to fuel our everyday lives.

Advantages

1. Renewable Sources of Energy

One of the most recognisable benefits of having a solar panel is the fact that solar energy is a renewable energy source. With it being available worldwide and present day to day, it is a source of energy that will not run out, unlike other energy that may or may not be scarce in a certain part of the world. 

With scientific research stating that the sun will be available for at least another five billion years, it can therefore be safe to assume that sunlight will be present and available for a long time. As such, we will be able to harness the benefits that solar energy can provide mankind for at least another billion years or so. 

2. Reduction in Electrical Bills

The ability to generate energy from solar panels will allow one to rely on solar energy to provide an alternate source of energy. However, the amount one is able to save will depend on the solar system that is constructed and the amount of electricity and heat that is being used. 

Businesses that leverage commercial solar panels will be able to reap benefits as the size of their large system will provide enough energy to cover a portion of the energy bills. 

3. Wide Range of Usage

Apart from being able to reduce energy bills, there are many other uses for solar energy in our everyday lives. For locations without proper access to energy grids, an alternate source of energy can be solar energy as it helps to generate electricity in those areas. It can also serve as a solution for regions where there are scarce clean water supplies and used as the power source for satellites that are situated in space. 

With the advancement of technology, solar energy can now be integrated into architecture and buildings. 

4. Relatively Low Costs

The cost needed to maintain and clean the solar energy system is not one that steep, it is generally easy to keep the system clean. There is only a need to clean the system routinely every few months. In any case, there are also cleaning companies that specialise in cleaning solar energy systems. 

Manufacturers of solar energy panels often offer a warranty that extends to 20 to 25 years. 

With the lack of moving parts, owners do not have to worry about the wear and tear of the panels. Apart from the initial cost of purchasing the system, one can expect to only fork out a small expense on subsequent maintenance fees and repair work.

5. Technology Advancements

With the advancements in technology in the field of solar power and energy, improvements to the solar system can be expected. With innovations in science and technology, there is potential to increase the effectiveness of solar panels as well as electrical input. 

Disadvantages

1. True Cost

The initial funding required to purchase a solar system will be relatively high as the system includes solar panels, inverter, batteries, and wiring as well as the installation of the system. However, with the constant development, one can expect the prices of installing a solar system to decrease in near future. 

2. Dependent on Environment

Contrary to popular belief, solar energy can still be produced on days with grey clouds and rain. However, on such days the ability to generate energy will be greatly reduced. Apart from that, after sunset, there will be no solar energy available to collect. 

3. Cost to Store Solar Energy

The solar energy that has been collected has to either be used immediately or be stored in batteries with a large capacity. Oftentimes, these batteries are used alongside off-the-grid solar systems. These systems will charge up energy during the day to allow for it to be used during the night. 

An alternative way is to use solar energy as the main source of energy during the day and then switch over to using energy from the grid when night falls.

4. Space Required

With a higher demand for electricity, more solar panels will be required to produce the energy needed. Many times, solar panels require a substantial amount of space for construction. However, roofs may not always be the best option as not all roofs provide such space.  As such, a large amount of space is required to provide room for the construction of solar panels to gather a substantial amount of energy.   

Homeowners can opt to install the panels in the backyard of their homes while ensuring they provide enough sunlight for the panels to collect solar energy. 

5. Pollution Caused

Solar energy is a cleaner source of energy compared to other sources, yet there is still pollution generated from collecting solar energy. The process of transporting and installing the solar system causes a substantial amount of pollution through the emission of greenhouse gases. 

Conclusion

The ability to produce electricity from gathering solar energy has provided us with access to cleaner and renewable sources of energy. As much as there are pros and cons to using solar energy as a source of energy, it is still dependent on the individual to integrate it into their lifestyle.

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