Solar Energy Pros and Cons - How much do you Know? - Part II – Suaoki

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Solar Energy Pros and Cons - How much do you Know? - Part II

M G K K

Posted on May 13 2019

In our previous blog, we discussed the many advantages of the solar energy system. Here in this article, let us flip the tables and talk about the negative aspects of solar energy systems.



Solar Panel System Pros and Cons. via blueocean

 

Requires High Initial Cost

This is one of the highly discussed topics related to solar panel systems. The solar panel does not come in one-fit-all capacities, and therefore each house owner has to estimate their own power needs and install a solar panel system accordingly. However, the thing to note here is that the initial cost of installing a PV cells is very high. The solar panels, wiring, installation, inverters, and batteries take up quite a lot of capital upfront although they later start to return on your investment at a pretty high rate.



Solar panel system on a house in the woods. via understandsolar

 

Thanks to the much rapidly advancing technology, solar panels (although still considered pricey) are much more affordable than ever before; over the last 10 years, the price of a 6-kilowatt solar panel system has decreased from $51,000 to around $13,000 in 2019. Furthermore, continuous research and improved technology are assured to lower the price of solar panels even more in the future.

 

Intermittent and Weather Depended

Solar power is not 24/7. Therefore we cannot just flip our grid off and switch to solar panel system entirely. There are a few factors due to which solar power is limited and they are as follows:

  1. The sun doesn't shine 24 hours a day, and thus you can only generate solar energy from the sun rays during the day time.
  2. The intensity of sunshine varies with disturbance in the weather conditions. Even during the day time, the weather is unpredictable. Slight scattering of clouds can drastically reduce the power generation of solar panels; so no power on rainy/cloudy days.
  3. Daily sun hours vary from place to place, and season to season. This introduces another uncertainty into solar power.



Slight clouds can also affect solar panel efficiency. via solarreviews

 

For all of these reasons, solar panel systems are still not 100% trustworthy. For one reason or the other, solar panels can fail to generate power, and this uncertainty is a major obstacle for people to trust and switch to the solar power.

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But, this is changing. Companies are working to make efficient and compact storage batteries, so that you can store excess power during the day time and harvest the saved energy during the nighttime or whenever need be. Scientist as working on futuristic solar panels that can generate power even when it's raining or cloudy; this all is helping towards a more stable and reliable solar panel system in the future.

 

Although Storage Batteries, But they are Expensive

Energy generated from solar panel has to be used right away or else you have to store it somehow, the most common method is storage batteries. Storage batteries help with the supply and demand by storing excess energy and providing power when the sun is not shining.



Solar batteries. via solarbuilder

 

However, batteries have their own problems. Lead-acid batteries are very heavy, requires frequent maintenance and has a short life-span. On the other hand lithium-ion, batteries are great with a longer lifespan of about a couple of years, lightweight and easy portability, but they are expensive (a lot). This is another major factor because of which solar panel systems have not really spiked up in demand.

 

Spacious Area Needed for Installation

Solar panels come in preset sizes. A conventional home solar panel for roof comes in a rectangular shape measuring 65x39 inches (5.4x3.3 feet). An act US home needs about 6-kiloWatts of power which translates to a solar panel system with a total installation space need at 27 feet by 13 feet.



PV panels on a roof top. via pintrest

 

As you can notice that is quite a large space, and not most of the urban houses have this much ample space to spare for solar panel systems. Furthermore, that is the size of the PV cells only, the battery system, wirings, and inverters add more to the total space needed.

 

Solar Panel Manufacturing is Not a Green Process

Although solar panels generate 100% clean and green energy which is highly beneficial for the environment as it gives as an alternative to the conventional pollutant fossil fuel energy, the fact is that the manufacturing process of solar panels is still highly polluting.



Pollution. via inhabitat

 

Fabricating the PV cells require dangerous chemicals like hydrofluoric acid sodium hydroxide. It also uses a great amount of electricity and water during its manufacturing process. Getting all of these raw materials and chemicals emits a lot of greenhouses gases in the first place.

 

Conclusion

Everything has its Pros and Cons, and here we told you some of the major advantages and disadvantages of solar panels. Although solar panels do have some cons, overall it is a much better alternative than fossil fuels. With higher installation costs PV can be a burden on your bank balance initially, but its high RIO ensures timely returns on your investment; added benefits of free energy, reduced electricity bills, and up to 4.1% increase on your property value.

 

So are you ready to go solar? If you still need more reasons to convince yourself, here are the top 5 reasons you should go solar now. Still confused, and have some more questions? No worries, leave a comment down below with your query, and we will help you with it.

 

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