Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy
Advantages of Solar Energy
The first thing you hear about in any discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy is the fact it saves you money in the long run. Once you've recovered your initial investment, solar energy is for all intents and purposes free of charge. If you live in a household that has a large electrical bill each month, investing in solar panels will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Not only can you completely eliminate your electricity bill, you can sell excess electricity back to your utility company. This allows you to build up credits that can be used in case your system is down or at night. This is called net-metering and will literally cause your meter to spin backwards when you produce more power than you are using.
To top it off, government incentives are available to help reduce your initial cost. Check with your state and local agencies, as the incentives can really add up. In addition to state incentives and tax credits, there are federal incentives available as well. Do your research prior to purchasing a solar energy system and you may be able to get refunded or write off almost the entire cost.
In addition to the cost-benefits, solar energy is clean, renewable and sustainable. There are no pollutants released into the environment as it is produced, so it doesn't contribute to greenhouse emissions or smog.
Solar energy systems are low maintenance and will last for up to 30 years. There are no moving parts in a solar energy system so it will last a long time. The only required maintenance of the panels is a good cleaning once or twice a year. Home solar systems do not depend upon the energy grid so you'll continue to have power when the electricity is out for the rest of the neighborhood. For this reason, solar is ideal for remote locations that are completely off the grid.
Disadvantages of Solar Energy
When discussing the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy, it quickly becomes obvious the good outweighs the bad. However, there are some disadvantages that must be taken into consideration. The biggest issue people have with solar is the initial cost to install the solar energy system.
Solar panels also require a lot of space in order to generate enough electricity to eliminate energy bills. Most people have them put on the roof of their home. How much electricity produced is dependent on how much sun the area gets and no power is generated at night. Solar power can't be produced during storms or cloudy days, and pollution can make it difficult to get enough light. Net metering can be used to remedy this issue.
Is It Worth It?
When considering the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy, it's a must you look at the amount of sunlight you get daily. If you live in a area that gets a decent amount of sun, solar energy is well worth the investment. If you live in a high pollution area or an area that is overcast and cloudy, you may be better off looking into other forms of alternative energy. One thing's for sure...If you have the money for it, a solar energy system will eventually pay for itself.
Do the advantages outweight the disadvantages of solar energy? Your thoughts are welcome: