Pros And Cons Of Solar Energy

Pros And Cons Of Solar Energy Image
When considering installing solar energy systems the good points certainly look like they outweigh the bad points. The advantages of having an alternative energy source that is inexpensive, renewable and green, seems too good to be true. But while solar energy is clearly environmentally friendly, it still comes with some disadvantages. Here are some of the pros and the cons of solar energy to help you make an informed decision.

Let's begin with the pros.

Solar energy is a renewable and perpetual source of energy. Solar power is not location specific, unlike certain other forms of energy. A solar energy system can be installed as easily in the city or remote part of the country, at sea or up a mountain and is available to everyone.

If you live in an area that gets the sun and can install a solar panel, you can have solar energy. If you live in a remote area where there are no power-lines, gas or electric supply, solar energy can be the perfect solution. Solar energy is a great alternative because it provides you with everything to power your home, hot water, powering appliances, lights and heating.

The burning of fossil fuels results in the release of harmful gasses and other by-products, many of which result in the depletion of the ozone layer. They also cause other damage to the environment and often cause health problems. With solar energy however, no harmful gases or by-products are released and so it causes zero pollution and is totally clean and an excellent alternative energy source. To produce electricity with solar energy you only need the sun's rays. There is no use of these harmful fossil fuels.

Another big advantage of solar energy is the cost. Solar energy is far less expensive than more traditional grid-based electric heating. Other than the one-off cost of buying the solar panels and connection materials, solar energy is completely free for the rest of it's life. And since most solar energy systems last for an average of 30 years, that can result in a very big saving on your future energy bills.

For those who opt for a grid-interconnected system, they may well find that they make a profit by selling back excess power to the grid. Solar energy systems require very little maintenance, unlike conventional heating systems, which is likely to be another saving on your household bills.

If this all sounds too good to be true, let's take a look at some of the cons.

The main disadvantage of solar power is the initial cost. Solar panels are comparatively quite expensive mainly due to the cost of materials and the complexity of the technology and design involved. This is what usually dissuades people from installing solar energy.

Professional solar energy installers have not brought down their costs due to overheads, and the medium range forecast is that equipment costs are more likely to rise over the next few years than to fall.

Another disadvantage is that although you can install solar energy in most places, you are reliant on the sun's rays to power the system. If you are situated where there is not much sun light then this could be a problem. In other areas, the sun's rays are almost always covered by clouds, making solar energy collectors less effective.

Lastly, the sun only shines during the day. Therefore if you need to use a lot of electricity or hot water at night, it can be a problem. To get round this you will need to be connected to the grid as a back up. Or you can store the power in batteries for later use. So if you were thinking about being totally independent from an energy supplier, you might be disappointed.

Though there are some cons to installing solar energy in your home, the pros for most people would certainly seem to outweigh them. Although solar energy is not yet a substantial source of energy at present, it certainly looks like it could be for the future.

With the likelihood of the cost of solar panels rising over the next few years, the time to make the switch is now. Of course you should weigh up the pros and cons of solar energy for yourself, but if you want to get the best prices, don't wait too long to decide.