The Advantages And Disadvantages of Solar Energy
Perhaps the biggest argument that could be leveled about having to use fossil and nuclear fuel is our dependence on it. Global warming, though a real serious threat, maybe something that we could only be very worried about. Singly nothing much could be done about it as it will take serious political will if it is to be addressed effectively and for now, other countries are not cooperating. But the choice between traditional and alternative sources of energy, that is something most of us can choose to do.
First the advantages:
Solar energy is abundant and is free. We can count on the sun to rise tomorrow and the day after that. Oil and natural gases on the other hand are non-renewable, once the source taps out, it is gone forever. Sure, there are other areas that could still be tapped but sooner that could run out of oil as well.
Solar energy does not pollute the air. If ever, the heat coming from the sun cleans the environment and maintains the earth’s eco balance. Not so with oil. Oil, its derivatives and its byproducts, are great pollutants. In fact, 22,000 pounds of carbon monoxide will need to be produced first for the oil to be processed and supply a home with electrical energy for a year.
Solar energy harnessing panels are silent operators. Except maybe for the mechanical contraptions that are built into the panels so it could track the sun, from the collection of the suns rays to its photovoltaic conversion, they give neither a peep nor a squeak. It is a world of difference from the cacophony of giant drills and pumps that are used to extract oil from the ground.
Maintenance for the solar panels is very minimal. Except for the mechanical parts that are optional, almost no maintenance is needed. Once it is installed nothing much will be the cause for worry. The energy that is derived is free. With oil there is no telling what the next pump price would be and when. Oil, being a commodity, heavily depend its prices on market forces. Often with the right strategies, even market forces could be manipulated that could cause volatility in pricing.
The Disadvantages of Solar Energy
The cost. While solar energy is free, the cost of installation setbacks many household from installing it. Brand new solar energy generating systems are expensive. Although it tends to pay off overtime, initial cash out could range into several thousands of dollars depending on the quality and volume of generated power a household or an establishment would require. While solar energy technology has been around since the 1950’s it is only in recent years that its development was spurred. While costs of installation could also be subjective depending on the purchasing capacity of a customer, the benefits that could be derived out of it is enormous although mostly in unquantifiable terms.
For mass consumption, distribution lines are needed and this remains to be a big issue. Old antiquated distribution lines used to transfer electricity and other modes of fuel into the homes are clogged in many regions that to deliver solar energy power into the houses of consumers will require a different approach.
Be that as it may, the benefits from solar power far outweigh its disadvantages. It is an ideal source of energy that it may soon be the norm in power generation.
Pros and Cons Of Residential Solar Energy System
Harnessing the power of the sun’s ray to create energy to power our house is very appealing. But the question is, “Is everything about solar energy good?”
Looking at the current price of fossil fuel-based electricity, it is quite impractical to convert into solar energy system. However, with the growing concern on the state of the earth, there is really a need to find other means of energy aside from what power plants are using right now. Where do you place yourself?
Whether you are an advocate of clean energy or simply care about where your finances go, looking at the pros and cons of residential solar energy system will help you decide on whether to convert or not.
Solar energy is free. Did you know that the earth absorbs 174 pettawatts of solar radiation? This means that we have more than enough source of free energy to power every house in the world. Unfortunately, most of our energy is still drawn from oil, gas and coal. But in recent years, there is a steady increase of demand for alternative and renewable energy like solar power. It is estimated that the demand for alternative sources of energy will increase by 53% between 1999 and 2020.
Solar energy is clean, renewable and sustainable. Because the energy created from the sun’s rays does not produce byproducts like those from fossil fuel power plants (sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury or carbon dioxide), it does not contribute to pollution. Accordingly, the increase in the use of solar energy and other alternative forms of energy will decrease the demand for greenhouse gases-producing power plants.
The price of photovoltaic cells is steadily decreasing. The demand for solar panels has risen by 57% in the United States in 2007 and is steadily increasing on a monthly basis. The increase in demand results to the improvement of solar technology as a whole. The prices of photovoltaic cells have declined on the average of 4% every year over the past 15 years.
Solar panels can be installed on most rooftops, eliminating the problem of finding a suitable place for installation. Solar panels require little or no maintenance. The original photovoltaic cells technology is used for most satellites orbiting our earth today which are not maintained at all. Many solar panel manufacturers give 25 to 40 years warranty on their products.
Because most areas of the country receive a substantial amount of sunlight throughout the year, solar panels can be installed anywhere.
Many states in the country give tax credits and rebates to households who want to install solar energy system. Check with your state government the cost of these incentives.
While the prices of PV cells are in constant decline, the cost of installation is substantially high compared to the current electric cost. But the good thing is, after your initial cash out, you don’t have to pay every month on electric bills for the rest of your life.
On areas cities and areas with heavy pollution problem, solar energy may not work as fine. Weather can also affect the efficiency of solar energy. If it is raining, overcast weather or if there is a hurricane, the solar panels’ efficiency is decreased.
You are only producing energy during day time.
These are general pros and cons you might encounter when considering the conversion to solar energy system. It would be best if your decision is based on location, cost, budget, rebates, tax credits and practicality.