7 Disadvantages Of Solar Energy

There are a lot of advantages to having solar energy in your home or business, while I am an advocate of solar energy today I am going to share with you 7 disadvantages of solar energy so that you should be aware of them.

7 Disadvantages Of Solar Energy

Here are 7 disadvantages of solar energy you should be aware of.

It produces intermittent energy

Solar panels will produce electricity only when there is a sun, when it is dark or on cloud days the amount of electricity produced will vary.

Temperature affects the efficiency of solar panels, in environments with high temperatures, the panels will produce less electricity.

Also, factors like a shadow, the direction of the sun, and dirtiness play their part in this.

To combat this intermittency we recommend having a grid-tied solar panels system, this is cool and everything but it has its own drawback, it will only work when there is grid electricity, if there is no grid electricity it will stop working.

Another solution is to have a standalone system, backed up with batteries, but this is the most expensive solar energy system, the batteries cost a lot of money, and in my experience, just the batteries will case up to 60% of the total cost of the project, most people can not afford this.

Geographic Limitations

You can not install solar panels and generate energy in all the places around the globe, the issue is that there are places that get sun for less than 3 months a year, and there are some areas that do not get sun at all or just a few hours per day.

These geographical limitations make solar energy not to be available to everyone.

Also, there are issues in high-temperature areas, as we know that solar panels’ efficiency is lower and the temperature increases, although this issue can be solved by installing solar panels with lower temperature coefficients, again these types of solar energy cost more hence the cost of the installation goes up.

High initial installation costs

To be honest with you, installing solar panels at your home could be easy in the top 3 expenses in your lifetime, buying the house, buying a new car, and solar panels.

According to Forbes, For a family home, the average cost of installing solar panels is $16000, this investment may go up to $35000.

This is a lot of money for a low-income family, this is the reason it is very difficult for middle to lower-class families to have solar energy on their roofs.

The good news about this is that many governments and states can offer you some grants and taxes rebates and this will help to reduce the installation costs.

Storage Challenges

At the moment of writing this, the main challenge in solar energy is creating batteries that are capable of storing solar energy for a long time.

As we stated earlier, some areas can not get sun for 3 to 9 months, in order to for them to have solar energy they will need batteries that are capable of storing electricity for 3 to 9 months.

The technologies we have today do not allow us to store electricity for that amount of time, so it is impossible to implement solar panel installation in those areas.

Also, remember even if we had the technology it is still very expensive to buy solar batteries, which most people could not afford them anyway.

Environmental Concerns

Solar energy is often touted as a clean and green source of energy, but there are still environmental concerns associated with its use. 

Firstly, the production of solar panels requires the use of hazardous materials such as lead, cadmium, and gallium arsenide, which can be harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly.

While efforts are being made to recycle and reuse these materials, the process is still not entirely sustainable.

Reliability Issues

Solar panels rely heavily upon weather conditions to produce energy, they depend on the availability of the sun, the temperature range, the shadow, the dust and debris around the solar panels, and the tilt angle of the sun.

These factors make them unreliable in many applications, for example in the manufacturing industry, hospitals, and many more.

The solution for this is to combine solar panel systems with the grid systems, this solution will require you to get more permissions to connect to the grid network and you will need a net meter.

Another solution would be to use batteries, but this solution will cost you more money. As batteries are very expensive.

Limited lifespan

Most solar installers will tell you that when you install solar panels you will get electricity for the rest of your life, this is not entirely true.

Most solar panels have a 20-30 years warranty, and after time they might stop working.

Even though I know this is a long period and most of the solar installation projects have a return on investment of between 7 to 10 years ( that is 15 years of free electricity), I think it is very important to consider this factor before going solar.

Final words

Those are the 7 disadvantages of solar energy you should be aware of, this is not me saying that solar panels are bad or it is a bad investment, this is just to make you aware of the potential issues so that you can be informed before making the decision.

If you are considering going solar, please read this post, as it contains important questions you should ask solar companies, so that you can minimize the risks of going solar.

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