The energy provided by sun to the earth for one hour is equal to the total global energy needs for one year. It is known that the sun is a powerful energy source and if we are not able but can collect some fraction of this energy and harness this power with the help of solar panels; we can make a significant difference to the planet.
Solar energy has been widely criticized for being expensive or inefficient; it has now proved to be extremely beneficial - for the environment and also for the private economy.
Thanks to solar panel and the increasingly competitive prices in the market, solar energy is becoming the main source of energy for more families. The technology has also been improved and has improved solar battery storage systems that has made solar into a significantly more efficient source of clean energy.
However, there are always downsides. Here we have outlined the key advantages and disadvantages of solar energy in the following points:
Advantages of Solar Energy
1- Renewable Energy Source
Between all the benefits, the most crucial thing is that solar energy is a truly renewable source. It can be harnessed in all areas of and is available every day. We will always have the solar energy, unlike some of the other sources. Solar energy will be there till we have the sun.
2- Reduces Electricity Bills
As we will meet some of energy needs with the solar system the energy bills will drop. Savings on bill depend on the size of the solar system and electricity or heat usage. Also, you will not only save on the electricity bill, but also you will receive payments for the surplus energy that you export to the grid.
3- Diverse Applications
Solar energy can be used for various purposes. You can generate electricity or heat. Solar energy can be used to produce electricity where there is no access to the energy grid, to distil water in regions with limited clean water and to power satellites in space.
4- Low Maintenance Costs
Solar energy generally does not require a lot of maintenance. You just need to keep them clean a couple of times per year. You can also rely on specialized cleaning companies.
Also, there are no moving parts, so no wear and tear. The inverter needs to be changed after 5-10 years as it is continuously working. Apart from inverter, the cables also need maintenance for maximum efficiency.
5- Technology Development
Technology is constantly advancing and improvements intensify in the future. Innovations can potentially increase the effectiveness of solar panels and double or triple, the electrical input of the solar power systems.
Disadvantages of Solar Energy
Purchasing a solar system can be costly as you buy solar panels, inverter, batteries, wiring, and the installation; but as, solar technologies are constantly developing, so you can assume that prices will go down in the future.
Solar energy can be collected during cloudy and rainy days, but the efficiency of drops. Solar panels are dependent on sunlight for gathering solar energy. Therefore, other weather conditions have noticeable effect on the energy system. Also, solar energy cannot be collected during the night. And if you require your water heating solution to work at night or during winter, then thermodynamic panels should be considered.
3- Solar Energy Storage Is Expensive
Solar energy should be stored in large batteries. These batteries can be charged during the day time so the energy is used at night. This is a good solution for using solar energy all day long but it is expensive. It is smarter to use solar energy during the day time and take energy from the grid during the night.
4- Uses a Lot of Space
For more electricity you need more solar panels, as you want to collect more sunlight. Solar PV panels require a lot of space and some roofs are not that big.
5- Associated with Pollution
Although pollution related to solar energy is far less compared to other sources but then also it can be associated with pollution. Transportation and installation have been associated with the emission of greenhouse gases. There are also some toxic and hazardous products used for the manufacturing of solar photovoltaic systems.
Nevertheless, solar energy pollutes far less than other alternatives.