Harnessing Sunshine: Exploring the Pros and Cons of Solar Energy
As the world continues moving toward sustainability, the prominence of solar energy is also continuing to rise. Although not very unknown in the past, today solar technology is being utilized on a rapid scale, with its emergence as the leading renewable energy source. Energy is the backbone of the global economy, but with fossil fuels depleting fast, solar has become more necessary than ever. It is also being considered as the best alternative energy source which is safe and cost-saving.
However, before adopting it, a good practice is knowing about solar energy's pros and cons. The renewable and eco-friendly nature of solar should not be the only factor to consider before using a solar system. Although the process is simplified by most solar companies, there are certain factors to take into consideration as well
Solar Energy: An Overview
Solar energy is the electric or thermal energy harnessed from the sunlight. The solar photovoltaic cells are made of silicone type semi-conductor materials that absorb all the protons from the sun. Inside the panels, the protons release electrons from the atoms of the semiconductor materials and these electrons flow from the cells to generate the current reaching the circuit. Various kinds of solar panels are available in the energy production market. It can therefore benefit us in a multitude of ways.
Solar energy is also powerful enough to light up an entire home. Per SEIA, in the US, the solar industry installed a capacity of 6.1 GWdc in the first quarter of 2023. Nearly 3.2 million US homes have solar panels installed. Hence, despite the pros and cons of solar energy, it is an abundant resource, and efficient in multiple ways than using electricity from utility providers.
Solar Energy Pros and Cons
As we seek clean and safe energy alternatives to fossil fuels, solar energy as an option seems viable in all aspects. The concept of converting sunlight into usable electricity is the prime benefit, although the energy output varies due to sunlight and weather conditions. Hence, solar energy comes with a combination of advantages, limitations, and challenges despite guaranteeing its full potential in terms of energy generation.
Advantages of Solar Energy
- Renewable energy
As solar energy is harnessed from the sun, it is a virtually inexhaustible energy source. Unlike fossil fuels, they will never decline in supply. Fossil fuels, on the other hand, are limited in supply. Upon burning, they produce harmful gaseous emissions and byproducts into the atmosphere. You can use solar power daily by installing rooftop solar panels along with a solar battery storage system. Solar can further help reduce your home's carbon footprint and, as a result, mitigate climate change.
- Reduce electricity bills
Both for households and businesses, solar panel installation helps reduce utility bills. With wholesale electricity prices on the rise, consumers can save considerably by switching to solar. When you install the panels, one of the main goals besides powering the whole home is to offset the electricity bills by 100%. You produce your own energy, store it in the solar battery, and use it whenever convenient.
Besides, solar batteries can store surplus energy generated from the panels which you can sell to the utility provider to offset electricity costs. This is a significant pro of owning solar panels.
- Environmental friendly
Solar energy is a clean, green source of power. It produces no greenhouse gas emissions and minimizes carbon footprint while creating cleaner surroundings. Increased use of solar will completely eliminate your reliance on fossil fuels and its resultant impact on the environment. Hence, by adopting solar energy, businesses and individuals can contribute to a green and sustainable future.
- Low maintenance costs
Solar panel maintenance is minimal. Once installed, they are made to withstand harsh weather conditions while having a long lifespan. Only occasional cleaning and professional inspection are required to keep the solar panels and the system in good shape. Therefore, it can function without any additional effort from the consumer.
- Long term savings
The expected lifespan of a solar panel is 25 to 30 years. In the initial phase, consumers might have to pay high upfront costs, however, in the long term, it is mitigated by the savings from electricity bills and minimal maintenance needed. Solar system buyers get back their initial investment within the first 6 to 10 years before the system breaks down or the panels lose their efficiency.
- Increases home value
Per the NREL, for every $1 saved on electricity bills, solar installation increases the home value by $20. This means, if a solar system saves you $300 in electricity, the house’s value doubles by $6000. According to another report by Zillow, houses with rooftop solar sell 41% more than those without any. Read here to know more about this.
Disadvantages of Solar Energy
- High initial investment
One of the cons to adopting solar energy is the high initial investment cost for purchasing and installing the solar system. The charges are significant, however, if you consider its long-term potential, the benefits outdo the initial upfront costs. Solar is a significant investment concerning sustainability, cost saving, the environment, and energy independence.
- Difficult installation
Among all the pros and cons of solar panels, the installation process is hugely complex. This is why it is always advisable to consult professionals like Solarblocks for solar panel installation services. There is no DIY method to install the solar system since the procedure is complicated. Also, the panels need enough space on the rooftop. Other conditions matter too, like the roof age, roof orientation, shading, etc.
- Sunlight dependency
Indeed, solar panels cannot function without sunlight. However, the availability of sunlight varies due to the changing peak sun hours, changing weather, rain, storms, and other seasonal variations. Some regions are mostly cloudy, with low sunlight, which impacts the system output and performance.
Solar panel manufacturing contributes negatively to the environment in the form of raw materials, waste disposal, and more. A report by the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy stated that solar panels also pay in terms of pollution and GHG emissions within 1-4 years of usage. However, these issues are being largely addressed by the Government through solar panel recycling, following hygienic manufacturing practices, etc.
- Difficult to relocate
According to most solar experts, you should always ensure to stay at a particular place for a long time before installing home solar systems. This is a huge disadvantage among all the pros and cons of solar panels. Often uninstalling solar panels is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. Homeowners might not be able to take the panels with them from one house to another for several reasons. They are a long-term investment for the property they are added to.
Is Going Solar Worth the Cost?
Yes, it is. A solar transition is beneficial in terms of saving money, home aesthetics, as well as your contribution to the environment. However, the possibilities depend on a lot of variables that are not lasting. This includes your location, living conditions, property, sunlight availability in the region, the weather, age of the roof, Government taxes, etc.
Consult Solarblocks, the reputed professional solar panel installers in NYC. Meet with our energy advisors who have more than 25 years of experience in this field and know all about the pros and cons of solar energy and solar panels.
Visit https://www.solarblocks.us/ for more.
- What is solar energy?
Solar energy is the power harnessed from the sun in the form of electrical or thermal energy. It is the cleanest form of energy, abundantly available, and is a renewable energy source. Solar power can be generated through solar panels before being distributed to utility-grade power plants or electricity suppliers.
- Is solar panel installation cost-friendly?
Yes, solar panel installation might require a high initial investment. However, the long-term benefits are unending as they nullify the high upfront costs involved in this process. In terms of sustainability, cost savings, environmental benefits, and more, solar panels are a better alternative to grid-sourced electricity. In the long run, solar generated from the sun can help you offset electricity bills by 100%.
- Which factors impact power generation from solar panels?
Solar panel output is determined by different factors like the availability of sunlight, the condition of the roof, the roof orientation, the region and pollution levels, changing weather conditions, etc.
- What is the cost of solar panel installation?
In the US, the average cost of solar panel installation ranges between $17430 and $23870 after taking into account the 30% federal tax credits.
Begin Your Journey From Today
Let your sustainable way of life begin here..
Begin Your Journey From Today
Let your sustainable way of life begin here..