The first form of sustainable energy that usually comes to mind is solar energy. This post is going to compare the advantages and disadvantages of using solar power. My idea is that everyone would be acquainted with the pros and cons before making any type of decision, including the one regarding what energy to use.
Solar power has many advantages in and of itself, as well as when compared to fossil fuels. Here are some of them.
Solar power is in the truest sense of the word renewable. We literally can’t drain the sun, despite what some elected officials and people may think. Sun emits large quantities of energy and will continue to do so long after our planet is gone. We are not draining the sun, we are merely using a fraction of a fraction of the power it has already produced. Unlike fossil fuels, like oil and gas, we will not run out of places to get solar energy.
The practical outcome of using solar energy is the decreased electric bill. Private residences and companies that set up solar panels become less reliant on the electric grid provided by their community. This means that your electric bill will become smaller or even be reduced to zero. If you have a surplus, if your community’s infrastructure can handle it, you can even get paid for power. One more thing – If there’s ever a power failure in your community, you can use your own saved power.
Solar panels are not that difficult to take care of. There are no moving parts, so it is relatively easy to set them up. All they require is occasional to regular cleaning. Also, you need to make sure they are in a location where they will not suffer any physical damage. However, as solar panels are usually set up on roofs, this is not an issue.
There are no perfect solutions, so, naturally, there are a few disadvantages to using solar energy. Here they are.
I know I’ve just said that setting up solar panels is frugal, especially in the long run and I stand by it. However, the initial cost and set-up may be too much trouble for some people, especially if we are talking about domestic use. For example, in the UK, a 4kW solar panel system costs around £6,000 and will cover around 29 square meters of your roof. It may be 25 years before the panels pay for themselves.
The installation also needs to be done by professionals. You also need batteries that cost a lot and require space. Buying and installing a solar panel in a country or community that doesn’t usually use it adds to the expenses.
An occasional cloud in the sky is not a problem. However, cloudy or rainy weather will seriously impede your energy production. If you don’t already have a lot of power saved up, you may find yourself without power, especially if you rely on the sun 100%. And, obviously, you can’t collect sunlight at night. So, solar panels work only in places with warm and sunny climates.