The advantages and disadvantages of solar power are many and cover a wide scope. When we talk about the advantages and disadvantages of solar power in this article, these are the topics we will address:
- What Are The Pros and Cons Of Solar Energy?
- Why Is Solar Power Better Than Other Forms Of Energy?
- What Are The Benefits Of Using Solar Power?
- How Can Solar Power Benefit The Environment?
Solar Power is crucial to life on this planet as it is ultimately powered by the light and heat from our sun. The supply of solar power is limitless. It has been here for billions of years and will continue for a few billion more.
Over the past 50 years, we have become accustomed to cheap energy based fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. However, the cost of these is rising and will continue to rise at an alarming rate as the resources diminish and demand increases. Plus the current issue on many people’s mind and in the news is that the CO2 emissions these fossil fuels release is slowly destroying our planet.
Advantages Of Solar Energy
The sun is a constant free source of renewable energy and one of the major attractions is that the price is not affected by the supply and demand as it is available the world over. Once it is harnessed, the only costs of running it are the maintenance costs.
Solar energy is harnessed using solar panels which can be either photovoltaic (PV) systems or solar thermal systems. The photovoltaic solar power system utilizes solar cells to convert sun light into electricity. The photovoltaic modules are made of semi-conducting materials that attract sunlight while freeing electrons from atoms. As the electrons flow through the panel, electricity is produced which is measured in KW per hours. Typically, several solar panels are combined to generate electricity for a single home. It is clean, efficient and one of the best incentives for using it is that if you feed electricity back to the grid, you can get paid for it by your local electricity supplier.
Benefits Of Using Solar Power
You can use solar energy to produce hot water for a bath or shower, heat your home or the water in your swimming pool. It produces electricity which can be used for products both indoors and outdoors of residential homes and businesses. The electricity it generates can run all your household appliances, electric heaters, TV’s, washing machine, music systems and lights. You can have solar powered lighting for your house, garden, patio and security lighting. If you have a large plot of land you can use it to pump water for irrigation. Furthermore, if you have products like a hybrid or an all electric car – you can use it charge the battery.
Industry uses it for road signs, RV vehicles, marine equipment even satellites.
The technology available now allows you to buy kits which are portable and very safe to use. A complete solar package or kit will contain all the components you need; the solar collector, controllers, inverters, pumps, cable, chargers and a guide which covers all you need to know about how to install a system. However, it may not include a deep cycle battery. You can buy kits to fix solar panels to the roof of your home or you can have the collectors located in remote areas.
The only disadvantages of solar energy is that it can only be captured during daylight hours, and you are limited to the amount of electricity which can be stored using batteries. Should a battery fail then you can use a generator for backup or tap into the national grid. Generators are very noisy and require fossil fuels to run them, so for most people connecting to the grid network is the preferred option.
Solar Power – Better Than Other Forms of Energy
Solar power is better than fossil fuels because you do not have the problems of transporting coal, oil and gas across vast distances which not only is the transportation system polluting the environment, but you are constantly running the risk of environmental disasters like oil spillages or exploding pipelines. You do not have to have large storage facilities and there are no dangerous or expensive environmental waste disposal problems. Furthermore, it is renewable!
It is a highly developed market compared to wind turbines and have lots of products available for residential homes with many more in the design phase. If you want to build your own solar panels, there are kits you can buy which make it easy for the DIY’er. The kit will specify the output (watt), include a DC to AC inverter and provide tips and advice.
Solar Power – Benefits to The Environment
Solar power is green and benefits the environment a number of ways, some we have already mentioned like it is renewable and eco friendly. Obviously, the two main advantages over fossil fuels are that it doesn’t produce green house gases like CO2 and there are no potential disasters that will harm the environment which tends to come from either mining, drilling or digging – or transporting from one place to another.