Solar energy pros and cons can give us a better understanding of this great energy source. We will be able to know what a home user can expect, and whether it is suitable for industrial applications.
Pros of Solar Energy
Generate Electricity Anywhere
The equipment needed for generating electricity through solar power is minimal, compared to tapping other energy sources. A solar panel and a battery is the minimum requirement, and this equipment can be set up anywhere, even in very remote locations.
Clean and Sustainable Energy Source
Conventional methods of generating electricity require burning of fossil fuels or using nuclear materials. Burning of fossil fuels pollutes the environment, and these fuels are being depleted at an alarming rate due to increasing power requirements. Nuclear materials can prove to be extremely dangerous, when some natural disaster occurs at the generating site. Solar energy therefore is comparatively extremely clean, even though conventional power is used for manufacturing solar cells and other solar equipment at present. Secondly, solar power is renewed every day with the rising of the sun, and hence it can never be over-consumed.
Reduce Power Bills
Installing solar panels can bring down power bills largely, especially in places where there is abundant sunlight throughout the day. Now, governments of different countries also have schemes where people can feed any excess power generated from their solar equipment, back into the grid and get credits. This can reduce power bills even further and in some cases fully eliminate power expenses.
Improving Technology and Low Maintenance
The technology used in solar cells is constantly being improved upon, and the electrical output keeps increasing, with every innovation. Solar panels require simple cleaning once or twice in a year, and most solar equipment comes with a warranty for 20 years.
Cons of Solar Energy
Intermittent Energy Source
Sunlight access is limited to certain hours of the day, and there are many days in a year, when the sky is overcast. Therefore, solar power is still not being used for the main energy demands and is best regarded as an additional source of electricity. However, compared to wind power, accessing solar energy is less intermittent.
Whatever electricity is produced with solar power, it has to be saved so that there is no disparity between power requirements and production. Such storage requires investment in batteries, which are quite expensive. Secondly, these batteries usually have a life of about five years, which means there are repeated expenses.
The correct amount of solar cells has to be installed for a specific amount of power generation. The power density is calculated in terms of watts per square meter of the panel. This means there should be more space available to install panels for increased power demands. In an independent house, it is possible to install many panels, but it becomes increasingly difficult in apartments, and for generating power for industrial needs.
Considering solar energy pros and cons, it is quite evident that even though it is ideal for homeowners in reducing power costs, it is still not a base power source. At best, it can be a additional source of generating power for industrial needs.