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Solar power is an emerging technology that converts sunlight into electricity. The power harnessed from the sun generates electricity, providing light and heat. It is also used for industrial and commercial purposes. Nevertheless, there are solar power advantages and disadvantages.
The energy produced by the sun in an hour can meet global energy needs for an entire year. However, you can only tap a limited amount of it. That notwithstanding, the sun is a powerful energy source that does not hurt the environment like fossil fuels do. Its also cheap, worth every penny.
If you’re looking to install solar on your business premises or home, then it’s crucial to understand solar power advantages and disadvantages. Tag along and let’s uncover the solar power advantages and disadvantages in more detail.
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Advantages of Solar Power
Solar is a formidable source of energy. Solar power advantages and disadvantages are numerous. Here are some of the advantages.
Renewable Source of Energy
Solar energy is renewable. The sun doesn’t get depleted when we use solar energy. As much as it is a celestial body that might burn out, that can only happen in billions of years to come.
Sunlight provides more than enough energy to meet the world’s energy needs, unlike other sources such as fossil fuels. Furthermore, all areas all over the globe can harness solar power.
Technology, too, has grown to improve the capability of harvesting solar energy and converting it to energy. Some experts have been working with solar for years and can guide you in your solar investment, be it your business or home.
Solar Power Is Low Emission
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy, solar energy reduces the amounts of carbon dioxide and pollutants generated. In addition, solar power panels produce no emissions during their generation, only negligible environmental costs incurred during construction.
The burning of fossil fuels produces up to 21.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. As a result, the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere significantly contributes to air pollution.
As a result, environment-friendliness has prompted nations around the globe to choose solar power as an alternative to replace fossil fuels that cause harm to the environment.
Another advantage of solar power is its sustainability. Solar is a sustainable source of energy compared to fossil fuels. Sustainability means that you are not consuming resources that future generations will need.
Once installation of panels, minimal maintenance and repairs are required.
The solar panels are durable; hence time, energy, and money required to buy replacement parts are saved.
In most cases, the inverter is the only one that needs change after an average of 5-10 years. The inverter needs to be replaced because it works continuously to convert sunlight into usable energy.
When purchasing solar power panels, most manufacturing companies offer a warranty. The warranties may exceed 20 years and usually cover repairs and replacement costs.
The solar panels are only cleaned a few times a year. Also, there are no moving parts, thus no wear and tear caused by friction.
Every country around the globe is a potential solar energy producer. Countries thinking of going completely off the fossil fuel grid can consider solar power a realistic option.
Solar energy can provide enough power for home and commercial purposes.
Energy Bill Eliminated
Over the past decades, electricity rates have risen at an average of 3.4% yearly. This rate is exorbitant to consumers and may limit you from meeting all your needs. So installing your solar panel is one way of saying goodbye to high electricity bills. Through solar energy, one can enjoy tax cuts and reap massive savings and take control of their future. Therefore, costs are nearly zero after installing solar panels compared to other forms of energy. In addition, solar power does not use fuel, hence eliminating fuel-associated costs.
Creates Employment Opportunities
Solar is an emerging technology that has created opportunities for people. Solar manufacturers, solar installers, and sales clerks are just a few who leaped on the job gaps. Creating job opportunities, in turn, boosts the economy’s growth.
Selling Power to the Grid
The government is enticing people to adopt solar. This is where excess energy not used can be sold to the grid for extra money. Selling excess power ensures that your surrounding community can easily tap clean, renewable energy. Recently, some owners have been purposely upgrading their solar panel systems so that they can sell excess power onto the grid.
The government is also playing a pivotal role by offering tariffs and awarding homeowners for excess power they don’t use. The free bonus in the form of power credits is a massive advantage.
Solar power is used for multiple purposes, either personal, individual, or commercial use. One can generate electricity (photovoltaics) or heat (solar thermal) through solar energy. Solar energy is also integrated into materials used for buildings; an example is transparent solar energy windows. Also, used on electronic cars that use self-contained solar cells to power themselves from sunlight, this is an incredible progressive development.
Adds Property Value
Let’s use a case scenario of a medium-valued home in the United States. Installing solar panels can increase a home’s value by 4.1 percent. Undoubtedly, solar power is a good investment with high returns. Everyone should play a key role in harnessing solar power to reap the advantages discussed above.
Disadvantages of Solar Power
Solar power has its flaws too. All parties must recognize this imperfection and seek appropriate resolutions and recommendations.
The following are some of the disadvantages of solar power.
The High Initial Cost
The initial cost of solar panel installation is over the roof. One would need an average of $29,000 to install a system producing up to 8Kw of power. The installment costs include the purchase of panel inverters, wiring, charge controller permits, labor, repairs, and maintenance.
The battery needed for solars is also costly. In most companies, they are not included in the panels’ warranty. A single battery for replacement may cost an average of $100 and, unfortunately, have a short life cycle. The cost of installing solar may be lower or higher depending on factors such as energy demands, amounts of sunlight, and government subsidies. However, solar power enthusiasts suggest that one should opt for state subsidies and tax credits in an area where they are available. Subsidies and tax credits significantly reduce the buyer’s financial burden.
Lack of Reliability and Consistency of Sunlight
Solar power will not necessarily work for every person or business. Solar energy heavily relies on the sun being available. In areas or days where there is no steady absorption of photons, inadequate energy will be converted. Areas with inadequate sunlight due to various factors may not motivate an individual to install solar panels. These factors include:
- Clouds may limit the power of solar energy. For example, areas with foggy and obscure solar rays thus deterring energy from being converted.
- Night – which disturbs the flow of photons meaning solar energy cannot be collected at night.
The Size of Solar Panels
Space availability is a significant factor in solar panel installation, as it influences the type and size of panels used. The more solar power an individual or company wants to produce, the more solar panels are required for maximum sunlight collection. Solar panels use batteries too that also occupy ample space. The space on the roof may not be adequate to fit all the panels, hence causing a constraint in harnessing enough power required. As a result, an individual may be forced to downsize the system or abandon the idea of installing solar.
Solar Power Deterioration
Severe hazards and damage are inevitable when solar panels are exposed to environmental conditions. The panels are not immune to damage by ultraviolet radiation. Extreme weather conditions such as rain, dirt, temperature fluctuations, wind, and hail also deteriorate the life cycle of solar panels.
Solar panels are large and easily noticeable by all passersby and neighbors. But unfortunately, many homeowners are reluctant to install large solar panels on their beautiful roof tiles.
Power Storage Is Expensive
Homeowners can store solar energies through batteries. The batteries ensure that excess energy generated during the day will be saved and used at night. Batteries are a great way to harness power; however, the cost is a turnoff.
The Production of Solar Panels Has a Carbon Footprint
The amount of harmful greenhouse gases released while manufacturing solar panels is significant. On the same note, there are no widespread methods of recycling solar panels after their life span. The environmental concerns tied to the production and manufacturing of solar panels are being addressed, and in a few years to come, progress will take shape. As much as solar power has advantages and disadvantages, the disadvantages can be overcome through extensive research, planning, and regularly maintaining the solar panels.
Trust ONIT Home For Your Transition for Solar Energy
Having learned the solar power advantages and disadvantages, you can now make an informed decision to go the solar way. If you want to install solar in your home or business, contact ONIT Home today. We also offer a variety of resources to guide you through your process of transitioning to solar.
Visit us online or give us a call today at 1-833-433-0331 to get started on this renewable energy source.