Energy

Produce Your Own Electricity: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy

With rising electricity prices, rolling blackouts, and decreasing supplies of fossil fuels, many people are turning to solar technology. This informative article is here to help you figure out if moving to solar power is a good choice in your case. It will do so by giving a good account of both the advantages and disadvantages of solar power, paying special attention to functionality, price, environmental impact, and energy independence.

Functionality

The most apparent disadvantage of solar energy regarding functionality is the fact that the sun only shines for half of each day. It can also be partly blocked by clouds. This means that during the night, when we need to turn on the lights, our solar panels can’t create any electricity. Needless to say, you can easily overcome this problem simply by adding a battery bank that gets charged up in the daytime and drawn down during the night.

The key advantage of solar power, when it comes to usability, is that it utilizes a power supply, the sun, that is never going to be depleted. Fossil fuels, eventually, are going to go dry. Nobody disputes that basic fact. The sun, on the other hand, well, if the sun goes out we are in big trouble.

Price

The rising cost of fossil fuels is what pushes most people to solar energy. We have to be truthful, though. While it’s a fact that the sun’s energy is completely free, there are expenses associated with getting it and turning it into electrical power that can be used to power our households. The big drawback of solar technology, with regards to price, is the up front expenditure for solar panel systems and their installation. A top-notch, professional solar installment can cost as much as $20,000, a serious disadvantage indeed. Can anything be done about these costs?

Yes, you can reduce the costs of a solar setup in a couple of ways. One, should you be a handy DIY kind of person, you can construct top quality solar panels on your own, which will lower your costs dramatically. Second, you can apply for state and federal grants that subsidize the cost of a professional installation. The value of such grants is very high, depending on which state you live in.

The major advantage of solar energy, when it comes to expense, is that after your solar panels are set up, you will never have to pay for power again, and, over time, this will more than make up for the upfront price tag of your solar panel installation.

Environmental Impact

Consumers typically think that there are no harmful environmental effects connected to solar power. There exists one problem with solar energy in this regard, however–batteries. We have to use batteries to store our energy, and these batteries don’t last forever. And when these batteries are not appropriately disposed of, their harsh chemicals can harm the planet.

The generation of electrical energy with solar technology results in zero harm to the environment. There is no smoke, no toxic waste material, no carbon output–nothing. Making electricity with power from the sun is clean and green, and that is, perhaps, the greatest overall advantage of solar energy.

Energy Independence

Having energy independence is one more thing that individuals believe is without disadvantages. What about if you suffer from a power failure, though? What happens if poor weather knocks out your solar power system? Can you fix it on your own? If not, you will definitely have to find another person who can, which is not always easy. Compare that to being on the grid–power providers always keep teams of full-time, qualified professionals to make certain you get uninterrupted power.

Needless to say, when on the grid, you are at the mercy of the power provider, which is not always pleasant. They can, and do, raise and lower prices and shut down power entirely whenever there are power shortages. Being energy independent ensures that you are just like the name suggests–independent. You manage your own personal circumstances regarding energy usage, and that can be a very liberating feeling.

Is solar energy right for you? Well, that most likely depends on whether or not you can conquer the biggest drawback of solar power–the initial expenditure of a solar set up. If you’re able to do it yourself, or if you happen to have a home in a state that has significant incentives, solar technology is probably right for you.

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