Solar power is becoming one of the reliable sources of energy, each time more people are going to solar, but the question remains is, “Is everything about solar energy good?”
Today, I am going to answer that question by sharing the solar power pros and cons so that you can make an educated decision before going solar.
There are many reasons to go solar, but for many people, it is either they want to reduce their utility bills or they are environment enthusiasts who want to save the mother earth.
Whether you are a clean energy advocate or you just care about where your finances go, or you just think that going solar will make you look cool, looking at the solar power pros and cons will help you decide on whether to convert or not.
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Solar Power Pros
Here are some of the solar power pros.
Solar power is free
Did you know that the earth absorbs 174 petawatts (that is 174,000,000,000,000,000 watts) of solar radiation?
This means that we have more than enough sources of free solar energy to power every house in the world.
The most unfortunate thing is that most of our energy is still drawn from oil, gas, and coal.
But in recent years, there is a steady increase in demand for alternative and renewable energy like solar power.
Solar energy is clean, renewable, and sustainable
Because solar power is produced from the sun’s rays it does not produce byproducts like those from fossil fuel power plants (sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury, or carbon dioxide).
Since every day the sun comes in ( unless you leave in the north or south pole) you will always have solar energy this makes it renewable and sustainable.
The price of photovoltaic cells is steadily decreasing
The demand for solar panels is increasing each year, especially in first-world countries like China, the United States, Germany among others.
The increase in demand results in the improvement of solar technology as a whole. The prices of photovoltaic cells have declined on an average of 4% every year over the past 15 years.
They require little maintenance
Since 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 only maintenance you need to do is to clean the solar panels when they get dirty or cut trees if they start to generate shadows to the panels.
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.
You can get tax credits for installing solar panels
Many states in the United States give tax credits and rebates to households who want to install solar energy systems. Check with your state government the cost of these incentives.
If you are outside the united states, most countries like Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil to name a few of them also provide these types of incentives.
You can cut your electric utility by more than 80%
Depending on how much do you pay for the electricity bill you can install solar panels on your roof, if your system is designed correctly you can save up anywhere from 50% to 100% and the expected return of investment can be between 4 to 10 years and after that the energy is free.
It can give you social validation
Believe it or not, we leave in a society that takes everything to the extreme, with a lot environmental activists, having solar panels on your roof will show you that you can for our mother earth, and for some that can be a very positive thing.
Solar Power Cons
These are some of the solar power cons.
The initial cost is very high
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.
For many lower-class income families, this will be something that they can not afford to have solar panels on their house.
The energy produced by solar panels can be affected by weather
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 the daytime
Solar energy is only produced during the daytime, in order to use solar during the night you will have to connect to your state or national power grid (Grid-tied solar system) or you will need to buy batteries so that you can store the energy for the night usage.
The problem with the second option is that solar batteries are very expensive, in some projects I designed solar batteries will take between 40% to 60% of the project cost. This makes the already expensive system more expensive.
Solar Panels make house fire more dangerous
If accidentally your house catches fire it can more difficult to put it off compared to the one without solar panels.
Those solar panels on your roof can cause extra danger for firefighters and anyone in your house. Firefighters say battling fires at houses that have solar panels is a lot tougher and be a safety hazard.
These are general solar power pros and cons, you need to take them into account before you decide to go solar.
It would be best if your decision is based on location, cost, budget, rebates, tax credits, and practicality.