What are pros and cons of solar energy? Solar energy is becoming an increasingly popular way for homeowners to generate “green” electricity. Solar powered gadgets are all around us: solar powered lights provide illumination in the garden at night and many homes now have solar panels on south facing roofs, soaking up the sunlight on bright days and generating lots of free electricity.
Will solar energy ever be able to generate enough power to replace more traditional forms of fuel such as oil, gas, and coal? It is hard to say really, but governments are increasingly looking towards sustainable energy sources like solar and wind energy, so it is possible that one day huge solar installations in hot climates may help to generate power for countries in the northern hemisphere. So what are the pros and cons of solar energy and are solar panels a good investment for the future?
What are the pros of solar energy?
1. Solar energy is green energy because it is pollution free.
2. Once the installation costs of solar panels have been paid for, the electricity they generate is free, so after a few years your solar panels will pay for themselves, again and again.
3. Solar panels can be installed anywhere and do not require a hook-up to the electricity grid, which makes them perfect for properties in remote locations.
4. Unlike wind turbines, solar panels generate energy quietly and do not create a blot on the landscape.
5. Modern solar panels will generate electricity even on overcast days, so they can be used in a large number of places around the globe.
6. With the aid of a solar panel or two, it is easy to become self sufficient and generate enough electricity for your everyday energy requirements.
7. Solar power is an unlimited source of energy—as long as the sun is shining, you have power, which is more than can be said for fossil fuels.
What are the cons of solar energy?
1. The initial cost of installing solar panels is prohibitively high, which is off-putting for many people, and even though you will eventually recoup your initial investment, you may not have the available cash to spend on the installation.
2. A present, there is no way of storing excess energy generated from solar panels, so any spare electricity either goes to waste, or is channelled back into the grid. However, governments will often pay homeowners for any extra electricity generated, so solar panels can earn you money.
3. Solar panels tend to generate most energy during the summer months, whereas the vast majority of homes use more energy during the winter months, which means you will always need another source of power available.
4. Weather can affect solar panels—on dull, overcast days less energy is generated.
5. Pollution levels can also affect the amount of solar energy generated.
6. There are some parts of the world where solar energy is never going to be a viable source of power. For example, countries in the far northern hemisphere have long winters where the days are short and the nights are endless, so solar energy could not possibly be the only source of power.