Top 5 Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy

Solar energy is a renewable energy source. It is a type of energy generated from the Sun and harnessed to create electricity that we can use. Meaning, as long as the sun is present, we cannot run out of solar energy. In this post, we highlight some major advantages and disadvantages of solar energy.

Compared to the non-renewable energy, it is the most abundant and cleanest energy source available in our world. In addition, it has become the largest and fastest-growing renewable energy sector in the world. People harness this energy in different ways like Photovoltaic cells, solar thermal technology, and passive solar heating. The most common form is the use of solar panels to convert light from the sun used for several purposes. For example; solar-powered homes, remote power systems, solar electric systems, etc.

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However, the way we harness solar energy comes with some advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Solar Energy

1. Sustainability

Solar energy is inexhaustible and has the ability to meet our electricity needs without compromising the energy needs of future generations. There is no way we can exhaust this energy source regardless of how large the population is. Even some solar panels can last as long as 40-50 years fully protected and safe. The long-lasting benefits and additional rewards make renewable energy outstanding.

advantages and disadvantages of solar energy

2. Impact on Economy Growth

The solar energy industry is responsible for providing jobs that can grow the economy. Considering the high rate of unemployment, the advent of jobs and professions related to solar energy has contributed to reducing unemployment rates across the world. The job of solar installation is gradually becoming a source of livelihood for people. In addition, renewable energy research is very lucrative and their contribution to the local economy cannot be ignored.

3. Easy Maintenance

Solar energy is associated with low operation cost and as such, there is also little effort involved in its maintenance. The only expensive aspect is getting a solar panel. For residential areas, a solar panel system provides adequate energy and uses the solar battery in storing them for use. Even better, you only need to make the solar panel clean and no maintainer’s tax payment is involved.

4. Eco-Friendly

Solar energy reduces carbon footprint and many harmful chemicals that can adversely affect the environment. It helps to keep the environment healthy and even helps to fight the climate crisis. Consequently, solar energy reduces reliance on oil, coal, and natural gas for electricity production.

5. Multipurpose Functionality

The good thing about solar energy is that it serves several purposes. There are solar-powered recharge stations that power your portable electronics. Some are pocket friendly in the form of power banks for your smartphones. In addition, solar energy can be infused with the materials used for building.

Disadvantages of Solar Energy

1. Solar Panels Are Expensive

Since solar panels harness solar energy, the investment associated with owning it is a little bit on the high side. The cost of purchasing solar panels, inverters, wiring, and installation is high. Except given as an incentive, they are quite unaffordable for some people. In addition, the battery storage system used to store this energy is quite expensive too.  

2. Solar Panels Are Space Consuming

The solar panels you need are dependent on the amount of energy you intend to generate. The more you own, the more space you will need because they come in various sizes. Some houses’ rooftop might not be able to accommodate the number of solar panels you may need. For big companies that need large power, the installation process would demand lots of space.

3. Efficacy and Unpredictability

Not all location gets the same amount of sunlight. Some places are at a solar disadvantage due to their distance to the equator. Besides, to generate more energy you will need direct sunlight constantly. These two factors make solar energy unpredictable. In addition, seasons are a major determinant of solar efficacy.

advantages and disadvantages of solar energy

4. Solar Panels Are Prone to Damage

Solar panels can be damaged or broken by storms. if damaged, they have to be disposed of with the utmost care due to the toxic substances inside. Besides, the costs of replacing them are very pricey too. They can also experience discoloration because of harsh ultra-violet rays since they are kept under the sun.

advantages and disadvantages of solar energy
A damaged solar panel

5. Adverse Environmental Impact

The component used in making solar power possible is hazardous. There are also cases of pollution, land loss during the manufacturing process of solar panels. Even worse is the fact that some manufacturing companies improperly dispose of these hazardous substances.

In conclusion, renewable energy is likely to become the main source of energy for everyone in the future. It has become very popular and available anywhere in the world for daily use. Uniquely, it has so much potential for innovation as well as research and development unlike other energy sources. This makes solar energy widely acceptable.