Did you know that the sun’s energy supply to the earth for one hour could fulfil one year’s global energy needs? Undoubtedly, the sun is a strong source of energy, and while we can’t gather a fraction of that energy, it can make a huge difference to the world to harness that power by installing solar panels.
Although solar energy has been frequently criticised for being overpriced and inefficient – solar energy is not just beneficial for the environment but also for the private economy, has now proven to be extremely beneficial on multiple levels.
Solar energy has become the primary source of energy for more and more households, and more and more people are now looking into the advantages and disadvantages to having solar panels installed thanks to the available grants for solar panels and the relatively low prices for solar panels on the market. In recent years, the technology has been greatly enhanced and augmented with solar battery storage systems, rendering solar a much more effective source of renewable energy.
However, no matter the energy source you want to examine, there are still downsides.
What Are THe Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Power?
Advantages of Solar Energy & Solar Panels
Renewable Energy Source
The most significant thing of all the advantages of solar panels is that solar energy is a genuinely sustainable source of energy. It can be harnessed with ease and is available almost every day in almost all parts of the world. It’s almost impossible to run out of solar energy (unless the sun stops shining), unlike some of the other sources of electricity.
So long as we can rely on the sun, solar energy will be abundant. Sunlight should be available to us for at least the next 5 billion years until, according to scientists, the sun will die.
Reduces Electricity Bills
Since the electricity your solar system has generated is going to meet some of your energy needs, your energy bills will decrease. The scale of the solar system and your energy or heat consumption will depend on how much you save on your bill.
For instance, this move can have immense advantages if you are a company using commercial solar panels since the large system size can cover large chunks of your energy bills.
In addition, not only can you save on the power bill, but there is also a chance of earning compensation through the Smart Export Guarantee for the surplus energy you export back to the grid (SEG). If you produce more electrical energy than you use (considering that your solar panel system is connected to the grid).
The solar energy that has been collected can be used for a multitude of purposes. Electricity (photovoltaics) or heat can be produced (solar thermal). Solar energy can be used to generate electricity in areas without connection to the energy grid, to distil water in regions with insufficient sources of clean water, and to power space satellites.
In the materials used for homes, solar energy may also be incorporated. Not long ago, transparent solar energy windows were introduced by Sharp.
Low Maintenance Costs
Generally, solar energy systems don’t need a lot of maintenance. You’ll just need to keep them as clean as you can, you can get away with cleaning them just a few times a year or get professionals in to do it for you instead. You can always rely on specialist cleaning firms, which provide this service from about £25-£ 35, if in doubt.
Many reputable solar panel manufacturers give a warranty of 20-25 years.
Often, there is no wear and tear, since there are no moving pieces. Usually, the inverter is the only part that needs to be updated after 5-10 years, as it continues to transform solar energy into electricity and heat (solar PV vs solar thermal). The cables will need maintenance apart from the inverter to ensure that your solar power system operates at optimum performance.
So, you should foresee very little expenditure on maintenance and repair work after paying the initial expense of the solar system.
Technology is continually evolving in the solar power industry, and developments will accelerate in the future. Innovations in quantum physics and nanotechnology could theoretically improve solar panel efficiency and double, or even triple, the electrical input of solar power systems.
Disadvantages of Solar Energy Energy
Initially High Costs
There is a very high initial cost of buying a solar system. This involves paying for the installation of solar panels, inverters, batteries, wiring. Nonetheless, there is a continuous evolution of solar technology, so it is fair to say that prices will decline in the future.
While it is still possible to capture solar energy on cloudy and rainy days, the solar system’s performance decreases. To capture solar energy effectively, solar panels are based on sunlight. A few cloudy, rainy days will, therefore, have a noticeable impact on the energy system. You should also take into account that during the night, solar energy can not be gathered.
On the other hand, thermodynamic panels are an option to consider if you also want your water heating system to be able to operate at night or during wintertime too.
Solar Energy Storage Is Expensive
It is best to use solar energy right away, or it can be stored in big batteries. Used in off-the-grid solar systems, these batteries can be charged during the day so that the electricity is used at night. This is a safer way to use your solar energy all day long, but it’s also very costly.
Using solar energy during the day and taking energy from the grid during the night is safer in most situations (you can only do this if your system is connected to the grid). Fortunately, your energy demand is typically higher during the day, so you can use solar energy to fulfil much of it.
Uses a Lot of Space
Solar panels can take up a lot of space – especially if you need more than a few panels and tanks. The more electricity you need to produce – the more solar panels and tanks you’ll need, as you want to capture as much sunlight as possible. For solar PV panels, it takes a lot of space, and some roofs are not wide enough to hold the number of solar panels you would like to have or that are required to power a homes hot water system or other electrical usage requirements.
Panels in your yard may be mounted as an alternative, but they need access to sunlight. If you don’t have the space for all the panels you want, you can choose to add less to meet some of your energy requirements.
Associated with Pollution
While there are far fewer emissions related to solar energy systems compared to other sources of energy, pollution may be associated with solar energy. The release of greenhouse gases has been correlated with the transport and construction of solar systems.
During the production process of solar photovoltaic systems, there are also certain harmful materials and dangerous items used that can indirectly impact the environment.
Solar energy pollutes much less than other renewable sources of energy, however.
In conclusion, we feel that the advantages of solar power far outweigh the disadvantages of solar power. Solar energy is available for water heating systems to eradicate the need for gas boilers or to lower the usage requirements (especially in the summer months). Solar panels can also be used to charge an electric vehicle, power the lights in your home, electrical devices and all of your entertainment systems.
When getting solar panels installed – we would recommend looking into getting a solar energy storage system installed and also a solar water heating system. The heating systems with water tanks are currently applying for funding from the government’s green home grants scheme so we would recommend you look into that too as it’s been extended to 2022, we presume so many many more people can get them fitted on their homes.
We hope you found this post useful. If we missed anything or you have a question for us to answer in a blog, please get in touch or leave us a comment below.