Solar Power: Advantages and Disadvantages

Solar Power: Advantages and Disadvantages

It seems like people everywhere are talking about solar energy, from advocacy groups to the media to the Obama administration. What causes all of this interest in solar electricity?  There are a few disadvantages, but where are also many advantages that have so many people excited. Overcoming the disadvantages can be accomplished if you have some knowledge and are willing to put in a little work yourself.

Advantages

Infinite energy source

There is a never-ending supply of solar energy because it is produced by the sun all the time.  Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, fifty-two weeks of the year the sun is producing energy.  Solar energy will continue to be available long after fossil fuels like oil and natural gas run out.  The price of these limited fossil fuels will continue to go up as more and more are used up. The opposite is true of solar power!  It will never run out and the cost will continue to go down as technology gets better and better.

Free energy

As long as you can look out the window and see the sun shining, solar power will continue to be free.  Aside from battery replacement, if batteries are used in the solar power system, there is virtually no ongoing cost for solar energy.  With enough solar panels, you can stop paying electric bills to the power company forever.  This is called living off grid.   If you can generate more energy than you need, you can stay connected to the grid and actually sell the extra energy to the power company!

Lower greenhouse gasses

For people who are concerned about global warming, solar energy is the answer! Solar power produces absolutely no greenhouse gasses, unlike fossil fuels like oil and natural gas. If you wish to reduce your carbon footprint, solar electricity is a great way to do it.  There are no emissions of any kind produced by solar energy.

Lower dependence on foreign oil

One of the biggest threats to national security is widely considered to be dependence on foreign oil. Dependence on foreign oil is considered by many people to be one of the biggest threats to national security today.  Using solar power will reduce dependence on foreign oil.  Solar electricity produced in this country would directly replace energy that is now produced using foreign oil.

Disadvantages

Initial cost

The biggest disadvantage to solar electricity is generally considered to be initial cost.  The ongoing cost of solar energy is very small, but the cost of buying and installing solar panels can be quite high.  You can figure out how much it would cost to install enough solar panels to power your home and download a spreadsheet to do the calculations by taking a look at  Solar Panel Cost Solar Panels Cost.

With a good set of plans, a few common tools and enough time, the initial cost can be reduced significantly by building your own solar panels.  If would like instructions for how to build your own solar panel, visit DIY Solar Panel.

Space

Solar panels require sufficient space and also must be oriented so they point south.  Solar panels work best in areas that get a great deal of sun.  The average sun in all parts of the country are shown on solar maps.  Solar panels located in areas with larger scores will produce more electricity with a solar panel of the same size.  You will need more solar panels to generate sufficient electricity to power your house if you live in an area with a lower score.

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to solar electricity.  The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, I think you’d agree.  You can avoid most of the disadvantages by building your own solar panel.  For the best guide to building your own solar panel, check out  GreenDIYEnergy Review.

 

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