As a renewable and clean energy source, solar power already offers distinct advantages over other energy types. However, it is not entirely without its disadvantages.
Here we will consider some of the positive and negative aspects of using solar power in your home, so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s the right choice for you.
Versatile power source
The sun provides the earth with 20,000 times more energy than it would take to power the entire world. As a truly renewable energy source, it can be used by anyone anywhere.
Solar panels can be quickly sourced and installed, and they are easily tailored to match the demands of the site they are powering. Solar energy can then be used to generate both electricity and to provide heat.
In addition to this, constant developments are being made in this area, meaning that the range and effectiveness of these panels are improving all the time.
Reduced electricity bills
Depending on the system installed and electricity usage amounts, solar panels can result in significant savings to your energy bills.
More than that, the use of solar panels allows for more stable and predictable bills as your dependence on foreign oil, and fossil fuels are reduced. This provides welcome insurance against inevitable rising prices.
Furthermore, with the introduction of net metering and feed-in tariff (FIT) schemes, it’s even possible to sell excess electricity or receive bill credits when you are producing more energy than you are consuming.
Low maintenance costs
Unlike other forms of renewable energy, solar panels do not require much in the way of regular maintenance. As they don’t have moving parts, there is very little wear and tear. They simply need cleaning a couple of times a year.
After about five to ten years, depending on individual usage, you may need to change the inverter. This is the part that actually converts the output of the photovoltaic solar panel to usable power, and it is continuously working.
In addition to this, the cables may need some upkeep to ensure that the system is running at maximum efficiency. However, this all still equates to a lot less time and money than would be spent on maintaining other types of energy generating systems.
Initial costs can be quite high (not always!)
At the moment, the startup costs for converting your home for the use of solar power can be considerable. This includes paying for the solar panels, inverter, batteries, wiring – plus having it all installed.
Certain solar panels may also need specific materials that are less common and so more expensive. This is especially true of thin-film solar cells that are based on either cadmium telluride (CdTe) or copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS).
Generally, solar energy can be a bit of an intermittent power source. As well as not being able to generate power at night, the overall effectiveness of solar panels depends on the intensity of the sun that they are exposed to. Any cloud cover can have an impact on the amount of energy being produced.
There are batteries available that allow solar energy to be collected and stored, but, at present, this is still a somewhat expensive option.
Uses a lot of space
When thinking about having solar panels installed, it’s essential to consider how much power they will produce, and how much space will be needed for them.
Some roofs are not big enough to hold the number of panels required to power the property, so additional space would need to be set aside for this purpose. This may not always be an option in urban environments, for example.
Are you looking into a solar energy system for your home or business?
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