As sustainable living becomes more popular, an increasing number of people are investigating alternative sources of energy. By switching to renewable energy, you can reduce your household’s carbon emissions and minimize your impact on the environment. Solar energy is one of the most popular forms of renewable energy and you may have considered having solar panels installed on your roof.
However, before doing so it is important to understand the solar energy pros and cons. By doing so, you can determine whether it is the right time to make the switch away from fossil fuels. The more that you know about this subject, the better equipped you will be to make the right choice.
One of the major advantages of using solar power is that it relies upon an energy source that is effectively infinite. While the Sun will not be around forever, its remaining lifespan can be measured in billions of years. Every day, enough solar energy reaches the Earth to provide more than a year’s worth of power. By tapping into this abundance of energy, humanity can eliminate the need for fossil fuels and other energy sources.
Solar power also is one of the cleanest forms of energy. It produces no carbon emissions or other pollutants. Once the solar panels have been manufactured and installed, its impact on the environment is essentially nonexistent. While it takes some energy and raw materials to make solar panels, these requirements pale in comparison to the demands of coal plants or nuclear reactors.
Solar energy is also one of the most scalable forms of energy. It can be used on a small scale to power a single household, or on a massive scale to power a whole city. Because of this, it is easy for individuals to make the switch to using solar on their own. No one can have a backyard nuclear reactor or coal plant, but you can easily put solar panels on your roof.
There are both solar energy advantages and disadvantages, however. One of the main drawbacks to solar power is that it relies upon sunlight. While parts of the country that have many sunny days are well-suited for solar power, other areas may not get enough regular sunlight to produce a reliable supply of energy. In these regions, solar panels may have to be supplemented with other energy sources.
Solar cells are also still not as efficient as other forms of energy. While their efficiency is steadily increasing, even the best solar cells are only about 20 percent efficient. This means that much of the energy that strikes them goes to waste. However, as the technology improves the efficiency of solar panels will increase.
Understanding the most common solar energy pros and cons is crucial if you want to make an informed decision. As solar technology continues to improve, the benefits will come to outweigh the problems. In the next few decades, more and more of the world’s demand will be supplied by the energy of the Sun.