What are the pros and cons of solar energy? To help you decide whether solar panels and solar power are right for you, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy.
Advantages Of Solar Energy
#1 Renewable Energy Source
Solar energy is truly a renewable energy source. As long as the sun shines, solar energy will be available, unlike non-renewable energy sources like fossil fuels, coal, petroleum and natural gas, which will eventually run out and take a long time to replenish naturally. In contrast, solar energy will be accessible for the next 5 billion years until the sun dies.
#2 Reduces Electricity Bills
One of the major benefits of installing solar panels in your home is that you’ll become less reliant on the power grid and solar power can drastically lower or even eliminate your electricity bills. The extent of your electricity savings will ultimately depend on the size of the solar panels you have installed and how much power your household consumes. If you generate more electricity than you can use, you may even export some back to the grid for a profit. Since solar panels typically come with a 25-35 year lifespan, this means that you can enjoy lower electricity costs for decades to come.
#3 Low Maintenance Costs
Solar energy systems usually don’t need much maintenance. After the initial cost, you can expect to pay very little on maintenance and repair work. Cleaning your solar panels a couple of times per year with warm water and soap will keep them working efficiently.
#4 Increases Your Property’s Value
Solar energy can improve your property’s value, protect you against rising energy costs, and reduce your carbon emissions.
Benefits of Solar Energy To The Environment
Solar energy doesn’t only have the benefit of reducing your electricity bills. It also has many benefits for the environment.
#1 Uses Less Water
Water is one of the most precious natural resources on Earth. From cooling electricity generators to processing and refining fuel and transporting fuel through pipes, conventional electricity production uses thousands of litres of water each year. Solar power consumes much less water. In fact, solar cells don’t require any water to run at all. The only water needed is to clean and maintain the solar panels.
#2 Reduces Air Pollution
Solar energy creates much less air pollution compared to burning fossil fuels. Fossil fuels generate harmful carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide that lowers air quality negatively impacts our health and accelerates the greenhouse effect. If more homes and businesses rely on solar power, less toxic gas will be released into our atmosphere. Air pollution is warming our earth faster than ever before and has even been linked to increased flooding, cyclones, storms, extreme heat and drought.
#3 Reduces A Household’s Carbon Footprint
As one of the cleanest sources of energy, solar energy is a powerful investment to make your home more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Australian energy users can offset anywhere between one half to one tonne of carbon dioxide for every megawatt hour of solar energy.
Disadvantages of Solar Energy
#1 Varying Effectiveness
Solar energy panels may not be a smart investment for every household. For example, it’s not worth purchasing solar panels unless you know that you will live in the house long enough to reap the investment. It’s also important to evaluate what size system is right for your home, what your financial goals are and how much you’re willing to spend to achieve these goals. Reputable solar installers will work with you to understand your electricity usage before providing advice on the most effective solar system to meet your needs and goals.
#2 High Initial Cost
Purchasing and installing a solar power system typically carries a high upfront cost. Recent developments in solar technology mean that this cost has become much more affordable.
#3 Weather Dependent
Ideally, solar panels need consistent exposure to sunlight to maximise the amount of solar energy they generate. However, many people erroneously think that if your roof doesn’t face the optimal direction or there’s shade on your roof, solar isn’t worth it. Solar panel efficiencies have reached the point where these conditions will only cause a 10-15% loss in your energy production, which means that the system may still be well worth the investment.
#4 Uses a Lot of Space
In order to collect as much sunlight as possible and produce electricity, you’ll need plenty of space for the solar panels. Some roofs are not large enough to fit the number of solar panels that you would like, so some people opt to install some extra panels in their yard or install fewer panels to satisfy some, but not all, of their energy needs.
Is Solar Power Worth It?
At just 5 to 6 cents per kilowatt hour to produce, solar panels are one of the most cost-effective and practical ways for a home to generate electricity. If you’re considering installing solar panels, it’s always best to talk to a solar energy professional.
There are also measures you can take to increase the efficacy of your solar power system. Solar battery storage makes it possible to further reduce your electricity bill by maximising consumption of your own power and keeping your home’s electricity resilient. With no noise pollution and affordable installation, solar batteries are definitely worth installing if you’re looking to make the most of your solar power system.
Final Thoughts: Solar Energy Pros and Cons
Solar power offers many advantages, including renewability, lower electricity bills, low maintenance costs and increased property value. However, it’s important to evaluate carefully whether solar panels are the right fit for you. Solar panels can carry a high upfront cost and consistent exposure to sunlight to function effectively. To maximise the effectiveness of your solar system, we recommend investing in solar battery storage.
For all your solar energy needs, get in touch with Peak Voltage on (07) 3272 7325.