Solar Energy Advantages Disadvantages



solar energy advantages disadvantages: This page is a review of the advantages and limitation of solar energy. The technology is relatively new and solar power generation is still more expensive than conventional power generators. The advantages get a lot of publicity, to balance the picture I found it necessary to highlight the disadvantages and limitations, even though I advocate the transition to renewable energy sources.

Advantages of Solar Energy

In this section I will discuss the solar energy advantages, disadvantages will be discussed in the next paragraph. The advantages are:

  • Residential solar power generators are silent.
  • Photovoltaic generating systems have no moving part therefore they require a very low maintenance effort, they are reliable and the life expectancy of solar generators can exceed 20 years.
  • Domestic solar electricity generation systems do not emit polluting gases and do not produce carbon dioxide. It is expected (we already see the initiatives in Europe) that taxes will be imposed on carbon dioxide emissions. You can preempt these future carbon dioxide taxes by installing a residential solar power system and a domestic solar powered hot water heater.
  • Once the initial investment is covered, electricity supply from the solar generator is effectively free of charge. Based on the last decade trend and with the political turmoil in the Middle East, it is expected that utility electricity will be more and more expensive in the future to reflect the higher prices of fuel; therefore securing a free of charge electricity during the expected future escalation of energy prices is really a benefit
  • Small size and medium size solar power generators mounted on residential roofs and on small business buildings bring the generators closer to the end consumers and eliminate the need of more very high voltage power lines
  • For countries in the third world that do not have the necessary infrastructure (power plants and power line) small solar power generators can be an immediate and cheap solution

Disadvantages and Limitations

The disadvantages, or better call them limitations are:

  • Present time price of solar generation equipment and especially of solar electric panels is still high. There is a clear trend of price reduction though and the available tax credits and grants can mitigate the high cost impact

  • It is a prerequisite that solar panels are installed on a south side (or south east side) on an unshaded roof (or an unshaded area of the backyard). Not every location can satisfy these conditions.

  • Solar panels produce electricity only during daylight. A grid connected system doesn’t need batteries back up because the utility can supply the night time needs. Off grid solar systems (for homes not connected to the grid) however do need to have storage deep cycle batteries backup. Batteries need more care and they present shorter life span between 5 to 10 years

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