Solar Energy has been one of the top Green Revolutions of all time. The sun’s energy can be harvested using solar panels. While it is only a fraction of the sun’s energy that we can harvest currently, it is a massive step forward in producing renewable power.
If you are considering investing in or installing solar panels, read on to better understand all the factors to consider regarding solar energy and solar panels.
Talking to industry experts, we have compiled all the pros and cons of solar panels and solar energy.
Saves Money, Easy Maintenance
“There are many advantages to solar energy, chiefly, it can save you money and it is far better for the environment than traditional fossil fuel sources. There are also other lesser-known advantages to solar energy, for example, solar panels typically require little maintenance, add value to a property and provide a sense of energy independence. While the upfront cost of solar energy is a deterrent, consumers should treat the purchase like an investment and focus on the payback period and the lifetime savings that a system can bring.”
Michael Henderson is the CEO and founder of Solar Power Calculator; an independent website that provides solar power advice.
Pro: Clean and Green, Con: Dependent on Daylight and Weather
Pros: “Solar energy is a great way to save money and help the environment, but it’s not perfect. We all know the benefits of solar energy. It’s clean, renewable and doesn’t contribute to climate change. But what if I told you that it also has a lot of other advantages? Solar energy is not only significantly cleaner than fossil fuels, but also cheaper and more reliable. Solar panels are also easy to install and maintain– in fact, many people can do it themselves! What’s better yet? The sun delivers free light for us to harness all day long. That means that our electricity never runs out – even at night when we might need it most! So if you’re looking for an eco-friendly way to power your home or business, then solar energy might just be the answer.”
Cons: “While solar energy is a great alternative to fossil fuels, it does have some disadvantages. For example, the sun goes down at night and when there’s bad weather. Another disadvantage of solar energy is that it takes up a lot of space on your roof, which can be difficult if you live in an apartment or don’t have enough room on your property for panels. One more downside is that since sunlight needs direct contact with photovoltaic cells to produce electricity, cloudy days will decrease how much power you get from your solar panels.”
Michail Korovin, Chef at Pearls of Caviar
Pros: Long Lifespan and Add Value to the Home, Con: Can’t Work at Night without a Battery
Pros: “Solar energy is a proven technology. For years people use to claim that it was too expensive and didn’t work well enough, but now due to advancements in the solar cell technology that actually harvests the solar energy, modern panels are more efficient and cost-effective than ever. Solar energy has a number of benefits, for both the planet and the consumer.. In many places around the world you can actually make money from your solar panels. Any surplus energy that you don’t use can be sold back onto the grid, therefore reducing your tariff. They also have an incredibly long lifespan and can add value to your home. Panels can withstand extremely harsh weather conditions due to their durability and are a hugely attractive feature when re-selling a home.”
Cons: “In terms of disadvantages, there aren’t many. Perhaps the big one is the fact that the panels can’t work at night. However, by investing in a battery you can store the energy generated during the daylight hours. Previously, people would have considered the actual panels themselves to be somewhat of an eyesore, but modern panels are slimmer than ever and can fit on any type of roof.”
Martin Desmond Solar Energy Expert Wizer Energy, solar energy contractors.
Pro: Anyone can Harvest it, Con: Requires Batteries to Retain Power
Pros: “The good news about solar energy is that anyone can harvest it. There’s hardly a place in the world where the sun never shines, and a few solar panels on your roof can turn your home into an auxiliary power generator for your home. This can help you reduce your dependence on fossil-fuel based energy by reducing your demand on your local utility grid. The more avenues of solar power are powering your local grid, the less fossil fuels anyone else that gets power from them will be using fossil fuels as well.”
Cons: “Unfortunately, the sun doesn’t shine all the time. Solar power necessitates a storage battery to retain power for off hours; when it’s too overcast to get adequate power, or at night, or any scenario in which you’re using more power than you can generate. These batteries have a limited shelf life and can be expensive, making the ability for everyone to get into solar power prohibitively expensive. ”
Matthias Alleckna, Energy Analyst at EnergyRates.ca, a leading energy rate comparison website
Pro: Pollution Free, Renewable, Con: HIgh Installation Rates
“Benefits: Solar energy is pollution-free and does not emit greenhouse gases after installation. Renewable clean energy available every day of the year; even if it is cloudy, it will generate some electricity. Different return on investment from paying utility bills. Since the solar panel has a life span of more than 30 years, there is almost no maintenance required. It can be installed almost anywhere, in the field or on the building. Use battery to store extra power for night use. Solar energy can be used to heat water, powerhouses and buildings, and even power cars. Safer than traditional current. No need to dig trenches because the solar energy can be close to or at the installation site.
“Disadvantages: The installation cost of solar panels can be very high, leading to a lag of many years for the energy cost savings to match the initial investment. The amount of electricity generated depends entirely on the country exposed to the sun; the country’s climate may limit this. The power output of solar power plants does not match the power output of conventional power plants of a similar scale; their construction costs can also be very high. Solar energy is used to charge batteries to use solar-powered equipment at night. Batteries are usually large and heavy, take up space and need to be replaced from time to time.”
Abby, Head of Marketing-China, WellPCB
Pro: Save on Bills, Con: Adding the Cost when Selling the House
“Solar energy has two advantages that hold true in most cases. If you get the correct deal, solar will save you money on your monthly energy bills. Solar is also great for the environment and helps the fight against climate change. The con of getting solar is, if you sell your home you have to make sure to get that much more to cover the cost of your solar panels or to pay off the system.”
Former Owner of a Solar Energy Company, Khari Washington, Owns and operates a Real Estate and Mortgage Brokerage, and a Real Estate Investment Company; 1st United Realty & Mortgage, Inc.
If you are considering installing solar panels, it appears the pros outweigh the cons here. A system that harvests natural renewable power while also saving your money and fossil fuels is indeed a tempting option. The main downside seems to be the first-time expense of buying and installing the system. However, most consider this an investment leading to savings in the long run.