A lot of people say that we are currently living in the age of convenience, and they are correct in a lot of different ways. We can light up a room, turn on a fan, and have access to both warm and cold meals along with leftovers to spare, all within our homes. We can access information from anywhere around the world via our smart devices and we can stay connected, check work emails, order clothes, and other items within the comfort of our own homes via the internet.
Of course, a lot of these current inventions would not have been possible without electricity. We are heavily dependent on electricity to give us the power we need to maintain our current lifestyle of ease. Of course, given how dependent we are on electricity, we usually do end up paying a hefty sum of money for the electric bills. The bill tends to increase depending on the number of appliances that are being powered, and it can get really expensive over time, and it can get exhausting having to budget and plan according to the bills that you have to way.
You need not lose hope in this situation because there might be something good around the corner soon, and this is the prospect of solar energy running your homes. Research has found that solar energy can be the perfect solution to meet our current needs and it is expected to replace fossil fuels as our renewable source of energy now. While there are other renewable energy sources like hydropower and using windmills etc. solar energy is currently at the forefront of the movement.
Of course, everything comes with its share of advantages and disadvantages, so if you are interested in learning more about solar energy, you can keep on reading the pros and cons we list down below to get a deeper understanding of what you can get out of solar energy.
No Force Required
The one thing that makes solar energy stand out from its other contemporaries like wind and hydro energy is the fact that it does not need an excessive external force to work. Solar energy is gathered from the radiation and light of the sun.
Hydropower, on the other hand, requires a strong current of water that has enough force to turn the turbines in the power plant and generate electricity. Similarly, windmills cannot be placed anywhere and have to present in an open area where there are strong winds or else the mill won’t turn and it will be useless.
With the solar energy you just have to make sure that your solar panel is present outside in a location where there is sunlight, and once sunlight falls on the panels, it will get absorbed, and this absorbed solar energy can be converted into electricity and the excess can be stored for later use. So solar panels do not need a lot of conditions, force, or anything extra to work properly.
One major win that you will get out of going solar is just how eco-friendly it is. Non-renewable energy, like the name suggests, is not going to run out, so you do not have to worry about not having enough resources to keep things running because the sun is always here and is not going anywhere.
There is also the fact that by opting for solar energy, you are not producing any greenhouse gases. The entire process of absorbing solar energy via the solar panels and then that energy is converted to heat or electrical energy happens without any harmful emissions happening in the atmosphere.
Solar, hydro, wind, and biomass are all good, clean, alternative sources of energy that won’t harm the environment and will allow you to live a more sensible, eco-friendly lifestyle, and this is something that we need to prioritize because we have seen the devastating effects of global warming and we want to act fast before it is too late.
There is a lot of potential and opportunities in solar energy. The most obvious opportunity that arises out of solar energy being more widely accepted is job opportunities. If there is a growing demand for solar panels and solar-powered equipment and services, there will be an increased need for experts, tech, and other people to fill in the new jobs that will be created because of solar energy. The solar panel market is worth billions and it is only expected to become bigger in the next decade. Given the number of people that are expected to enter the workforce in the next five years, increasing investment and interest in solar technology can prove to be fruitful.
No Extra Taxes
Another great news to come out of all of this is the fact that by going solar, you will have to pay fewer taxes. This is because the sun itself is a free power source. Of course, the process is not that simple and you will have to familiarize yourself with the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC). So solar renewable energy credits are very different since this is energy derived from cosmic energy, so by being the owner of a Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC), you are excluded from extra taxes according to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). So fewer taxes and certain tax exemptions are another reason to look forward to and be grateful for solar energy.
The sun is a hot fiery mass that produces enough energy at a time to power every house on the planet and for there to still be energy leftover. The sun does not lose energy in the process of giving it, and it is expected to constantly continue producing energy and this power will continue flowing in the sun, and to us.
The sun is the source of all life and we would not survive as a planet if the rays of the sun did not make it across the Milky Way to reach us. Solar energy gives us a peek into a future with limitless energy and no worries about ever running out.
The Monetary Cost
Yes, the sun itself is freely available to us, however the technology that is needed to harvest the energy of the sun and convert it into electricity or heat is not. Solar panels are required to make everything happen, and solar panels do not come cheap. Good solar panels that operate at a good efficiency are not cheap, so you will have to spend a decent amount of money up front to make sure that you are producing enough solar energy to power your home. Similarly, if you plan on storing the extra solar energy, then you will also have to spend money on getting a good storage battery. This is then followed by consultation, labor, and installation costs, all of which can combine to become a lot of money upfront. So it would be a lie to say that solar energy is cheap because it is expensive upfront, however once everything is set up and running, you will be able to enjoy free electricity for the next 20-25+ years.
There are a lot of advancements being made in the world of solar technology and if you want to make sure that you stay ahead of everyone, you will have to pay extra for the more advanced type of solar panels, but at the end of the day, these advanced solar panels are created because people demand more efficiency and the best possible product, and given how new solar technology is, there is still room for improvement. So expensive costs are something that you will have to bear. Solar panels are ultimately an investment that will pay off in the long run.
Solar panels are ultimately dependent on the weather of the area around them. Yes, solar panels rely on light waves and frequency and can operate on cloudy and snowy days as well, but they still need more of the sun’s energy to perform at their best. So your solar panel’s efficiency and overall output will drop a bit during bad weather days and this is because your solar panel might not be getting enough sun rays. So if you have a couple of bad days with only rain, snow and very little sunlight, your solar panel alone might not have enough electricity to power your home entirely and you will have to rely on your main electrical grid in that situation.
Requires More Space
It does not matter if you install your solar panels on your roof, your courtyard, or anywhere else because regardless of your location, you will need plenty of space to accommodate your solar panels.
Our current electricity needs are pretty high, and if you have a big family or house with lots of appliances, you need more electricity and just one solar panel would not be enough to power your home, so you will need plenty of solar panels, and for that, you will be needing more space. Of course, if you live in a small space, or are working from a building then finding enough space to accommodate the right number of solar panels to meet your needs can get pretty expensive and difficult. Similarly, you also have to make sure that the solar panels are placed in spots where sunlight or energy is not obstructed, so you will have to sacrifice a lot of extra space to accommodate them entirely.
Slow Payback/Return on Investment
Solar panels and the overall setup is pretty expensive if we talk about the upfront costs, but it is expected to pay off in the long run. It can take anywhere between 7-9 years for the payback period, and if you move before you get the payback, then you will end up having wasted money. So if you want to fully take advantage of your solar panel setup, you have to make sure that you have no plans of moving or going anywhere else for the next couple of years. Your solar panels cannot move with you, so you want to make sure that you get your money’s worth out of the solar panel before moving and having to start over again. Of course, this is not an ideal scenario since the solar panels restrict your ability to move around, but once you have it, you better stick through with it or else you’re wasting a lot of money.
Solar panels were once a very niche market and there were very few manufacturers, however, it has now become a global market and there are hundreds of brands that are now manufacturing solar panels.
The quality of your solar panels tend to come with their own set of conditions, and this includes how much money you choose to invest in the solar panels with low being bad quality compared to the more expensive variant. The weather of your area can also affect the quality and performance of your solar panel, and the amount of space available to you will also factor into your solar panel since they also require a buffer to be present between different panels and so on. You want to make sure that you are ultimately investing in good quality panels or else you are going to end up losing a lot of money.
Solar energy, like everything else, comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, however, this does not mean we can shut them down. Solar energy is our future and if you want to be a responsible citizen of the planet, you will eventually have to switch to solar energy because it is currently the only way we can continue life on earth without letting global warming get the best of us. The faster we switch to solar power the better because we are already seeing the effects of global warming and the longer we delay things the worse it will get for us, and the last thing we want to be right now is too late.