How good is solar energy? Like everything else, solar energy has its good and it’s not-so good sides. Humanity hasn’t yet discovered the perfect energy source. However, I have found it interesting to show the 5 most popular disadvantages of solar energy and counter each of them with its positive argument, or advantage. This guide will be useful if you are planning to go a bit greener and invest in solar energy. In this case, I also suggest you visit SolarMart to get a lot more information about solar energy, and everything else you need to know to make a well-informed purchase decision. Otherwise, you can simply read the guide to grasp a different view about solar energy.
Expensive to install
Installing solar panels requires a huge initial investment, usually around £7,000 and £10,000, depending on the size of the panel and the roof space. This is the main reason that discourages people from installing solar panels at home.
Solar energy is FREE. Once installed, panels pay for themselves and solar energy is totally free. Moreover, as years go by, technology gets better, and so do solar panels. As it happened with computers and other tech items, that used to be luxury items, solar panels’ prices have lowered a lot, and will still decrease as they get more popular.
Solar power is not available at night
Unfortunately, sun doesn’t shine 24 hours, and solar power relies on it. Since solar electricity storage is not yet fully developed, you will need to use an alternative energy source to cover the hours of darkness.
Humans are more active during the day, which is when electricity is most expensive. This makes electricity produced from solar panels more valuable, since you can have free electricity during the day, when demand for electricity is at its highest. Moreover, although a bit costly, there are solar drip batteries available, suitable for small scale home solar panels.
It is generally argued that solar energy production is relatively inefficient. Usually, a solar panel can convert 22% of the energy it gets from the sun into electrical energy, meaning you need a big surface area to produce the desired amount of electricity.
Technological advancements have led to a considerable improvement of solar efficiency, and this will intensify as years go by. Moreover, an attractive benefit of solar energy is the possibility of saving on utility bills. The UK government scheme, the so-called “feed-in” tariff, enables you to receive monetary payments from the government and electricity suppliers, when your surplus energy is exported back to the national grid. Therefore, although still not 100% efficient, using solar energy will for sure save you some money!
Most of the photovoltaic panels are made up of silicon and other toxic metals like mercury, lead and cadmium. Pollution in the environment can also degrade the quality and efficiency of photovoltaic cells.
The sun is a renewable energy resource. Solar energy is a silent and green energy source, which pollutes less than almost every other source of energy, and will help you reduce your household’s carbon footprint. Solar power doesn’t produce greenhouse gasses and it doesn’t pollute water or any other part of nature. It is almost self-sufficient, and only requires a little water to work.
Although there is potential for solar energy everywhere, there are some parts of the UK, which are better suited to solar panels. For example, a solar powered house in Cornwall is more lucrative than a solar powered house in the Scottish Highlands, due to the amount of sunlight and daylight received.
Solar power works everywhere, with more or less intensity, even when the days are cloudy. Moreover, underutilized land can be used for solar power, generating value to vast pieces of land which would otherwise be unused.