Sun has been a source of energy for the world for centuries. It is a renewable energy and many regions in the world are blessed with solar irradiance that could be used effectively for solar heating and cooling technologies. For this, you need to develop energy management strategies that are directed towards harvesting solar energy. Solar energy refers to the power generation method that would convert energy from the sun into electricity. This is done using the solar panels that will help to capture and concentrate the radiation from the sun’s rays and facilitate a reaction that would convert the radiation into electricity. The reaction actually involves the activation of the electrons in the silicon cells by the photons in the radiation of the sun. Since solar energy is renewable and sustainable, you can think of using it after a thorough analysis of the solar energy pros and cons.
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The Advantages of Solar Energy
Though there are a number of advantages of solar energy, certain points that top the list include
1. Reduced Electricity bill
When you are thinking of installing solar power for residential purposes, or commercial buildings you stand to gain distinct advantages in the form of either drastically reduced electricity bill or you might stand a chance where you do not have to pay for electricity at all. The added advantage is that it would be so for quite a number of years because the solar panels once installed are likely to stay effective for over 25-30 years that could only increase with good care and maintenance. You can, in fact, use the electricity charges you are paying now for calculating the savings you are likely to make in terms of electricity by installing the solar panels by calculating the costs and comparing it with the upfront costs required to install the solar panels.
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2. Increased property value
Recent studies show that property values were more for those that had solar generation panels installed. It shows that you have all the chances to get back the money you spend on installing solar panels when you are selling the property. You can compare the market value of the property with a solar power installed as well as one without it to understand if installing the solar panel is a worthwhile option.
3. You can earn your investment
The government offers incentives for setting up solar panels in the property. This is an additional benefit you stand to gain apart from the reduction in the electricity bill that is likely to happen after the installation is complete. Apart from these benefits you also stand to make money. Here’s how? When you install solar panels in your property you stand to gain returns on investment in states where the system of Solar Renewable energy credits and net metering are in operation. In such a case you would receive compensation even in the form of extra cash for the electricity that is generated by the panels in your property. This means you can get immediate as well as long-term returns which is one of the great advantages of solar power.
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4. Control over costs
The costs have been going down and have recorded a decline in price by over 70% the energy costs seem to be increasing continuously. The trend also seems to be the same in the near future. This scenario makes installation of solar power generation systems imperative to be in control of energy costs considering the number of appliances that you are likely to use in your home as well as being able to adapt to the government’the s increasing goals for reducing greenhouse gas emission. This is one of the greatest advantages of solar panel installation.
5. Reduces carbon emissions
Solar power can benefit the environment greatly. It can help the country reduce the requirement for fossil fuels and establish self-sustenance as far as generating power for residential and commercial purposes are concerned. Solar power is the trend resource to generate power without carbon output and help in controlling global warming.
Disadvantages of Solar Energy
Having discussed the advantages, it is important to consider the disadvantages of solar energy as well to gain a holistic knowledge and take an informed decision.
1. Problems in installation
While a detailed study of the solar power advantages and disadvantages may make you think of installing solar power panels, you must note that certain types of roofs might be a roadblock for the installation of the solar panels. The solar panels are usually installed on a mounting system called racing. The roofing system with slate or cedar tiles is not suitable for mounting the racking system. But, this is indeed only a short-term problem for there is a likelihood for you to opt for ground-mounted solar panels or even buy a share in community solar garden when solar power installation is adopted in large scale.
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2. It is not ideal if you are about to move
The installation of solar power is a costly process considering the upfront installation costs that are quite expensive. The average payback period or the time is taken for you to recover the expenses you have made in the form of savings in electricity cost as well as the incentive scheme would take about 7 years. If you are young homeowner thinking of moving where your career takes you, this might not be a fruitful investment. Though, installation of solar power might increase the property value, whether solar power installation is an advantage or disadvantage depends on how long you stay on the property.
3. Electricity bills are already low
The debate on the advantages and disadvantages of solar panels installation is of no use unless you have a sizable electricity bill, in the first place. If the electricity consumption is low or the electricity rates are lower in your region, you stand to gain very little and installation of the solar panels might not be an attractive option.
4. Financing solar panel costs would be intimidating
Installing solar panels is a huge investment despite incentives offered by the government and a decline in price by over 70% in the last few years. The out-of-pocket costs that you would have to incur if you are not able to get a zero-down solar loan are quite sizable. This is one of the disadvantages that keeps people away from opting for the installation of solar panels.
5. Finding reputed installers
Since aggressive selling process is adopted by the installers of solar panels, there is a likelihood for you to be confused about making your choice of the right company for solar installation especially when it is to be a long-term contract that runs for over 20 years. But you do have an online comparison and shopping platforms that you can use to compare the quality of the panels as well as the quotes to take a decision after comparing the quality, price and the advantages and disadvantages of solar panels of different companies and their efficiency.
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6. The photo voltaic cells
One of the reasons why widespread use of solar panels to harness solar energy is the toxic materials as well as chemicals that are used in making Photo voltaic cells that are used for converting the power from sunlight into electric energy.
On comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy panel installation, you would note that
- It is not possible to install rooftop solar panels in all types of roofs. But, it can be installed in practically any place in the ground.
- The solar panel would offer benefits to those who are in need for energy upgrade at a lower cost or paying hefty electricity bills.
- Investing in the installation of the solar panel is a low-risk investment that might earn major returns in the form of incentives, increased property value and reduced energy costs. But, it is a heavy investment that would not be suitable only for those who are not sure about how long they would stay in a place.
- It is a consumer-friendly solution
- It is an environment-friendly solution free of carbon emissions
- It would reduce the dependence of the country on fossil fuels.
- The solar panels, however, need a lot of space. But, research is on to evolve panels that are made increasingly efficient.
- The production might be lower in the winter. But, you can still harness some power
- There would be a requirement for large battery bank as the solar power would not be generated in the night and power generated in the night has to be stored for the night which again influences the upfront investment.
- You can sell the extra power generated only when there is an incentive scheme in effect. Otherwise, it would be a waste. But, the increase in technology-driven new products might well increase the need for energy.
- Though there are disadvantages, they are not those that cannot be addressed. Except for the fact that the upfront cost might be too high for those who are already enjoying lower energy costs, using solar energy effectively is the in trend and environment-friendly option you can opt for to meet your energy requirements.