Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy


Authored by Kristian Keefer in Energy
Published on 01-19-2009

Solar energy has been gaining more attention over the past few years. In a world that relies heavily on limited natural resources and high pollutant forms of energy, solar power is worth a second glance. The use of solar energy is not yet widespread but with education and help from the government, solar electricity could easily become one of the main sources of energy in years to come.

There are, of course, both advantages and disadvantages of the use of solar energy. For the most part, the advantages of solar energy far outweigh potential problems. Solar energy is free over the long haul. An individual or company interested in using solar power, will need to invest in solar panels. Solar energy technology can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $10,000 or more depending on the size of the house or building. The bigger the home or building, the more solar panels that are required.

There are a few potential pitfalls of solar energy. For instance, it can only be converted to power during the sunlight hours. In order to have energy during times when the sun is not shining, the energy must be stored. Additionally, many solar panels are large and do not conserve space. They are often placed on a roof in whatever way they can fit. The location of a solar panel is not always an ideal angle to maximize the energy from the sun, therefore being less effective. The pollution in the area and environment can also hinder solar energy production and its effectiveness.

The cost to have solar panels installed is often a deterrent for many working class families. There are still not enough people trained to install solar energy panels. Most people still need to be educated to know how solar energy works and the benefits of solar power and electricity.

The government is trying to encourage solar power. They know that families and businesses can reduce their electrical bills by using solar energy as their primary source of electricity. The use of solar power reduces the level of reliance on natural resources and nuclear power to create energy. People who install solar energy systems can receive a tax rebate of a percentage of the cost to set up their new solar panels and technology.

Solar energy provides consumers and businesses with a clean form of energy that does not pollute the environment. The production of solar energy is quiet. Very little noise will be heard as the sun’s energy is converted into a power source. The technology used to harness solar energy needs very little maintenance which is an obvious advantage for anyone.

Individuals or groups who are able to covert solar power into more electricity than they can use or store, can often sell the electricity. In some cases, electrical power companies will purchase this electricity. In other cases neighbors and other people living close to the person with excess solar energy will pay for use of the stored solar power.

Solar power is ideal for areas that electricity lines cannot reach. There are segments of the world (even today) where there is not any electricity.

Everyone should continue to learn about solar energy. It might very well become the primary source of energy in the future.


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