The Cons of Solar Panels
Solar energy has become an increasingly popular renewable energy source in modern times, offering households and businesses alike an independent and steady energy source. Though the installation of solar energy is often exhibited as a cost-effective and conscious choice, there are many drawbacks to consider when looking into the installation of solar energy panels.
High Cost of Solar Panels
One of the most blatant cons of installing solar panels is the initial cost of installation. Solar power is undeniably expensive and generally requires the installation of costly photovoltaic panels and costs associated with getting the necessary equipment. Furthermore, sometimes panels don’t always last as long as the warranties say that they will, and continuous maintenance can quickly negate any potential cost savings.
With solar energy so reliant on the power of the sun, where you live can make a difference in how reliable and cost-effective your solar panels are. Sunlight frequencies change seasonally and vary geographically. It is known that the most sunlight frequency is recorded in the southwest states such as Texas, Nevada, California, and Arizona. Depending on the location and seasons, under certain circumstances solar energy can be insufficient to meet user needs.
Installation Can Be Difficult
Though installation is ostensibly easier for experienced professionals, the installation of solar energy panels can be difficult for novice users. The successful installation of solar energy requires certain technical expertise and the necessary equipment for assembly. Furthermore, certain geographical factors can affect the installation process. Location in relation to the equator, nearby tall objects, potential shade from trees and buildings, and more can affect the efficiency of solar panels.
The size of solar panels also determines how many of them you can fit into the given space. The space usually available to use is usually limited at home, especially when considering aesthetic and economic factors. Thus, the number of panels required for good efficiency needs to be weighed against the space available. Additionally, the modern sparse design of roofs makes it difficult to maximize the deployment of technologies like solar panels.
Solar Energy Storage Is Expensive
One of the biggest challenges to overcome in solar energy is how to store energy. Though it may seem counterintuitive, solar energy cannot be stored like carbon energy can. As such, energy must be converted into electricity, preferably with a battery system, and potentially used for backup during times of insufficient sunlight. Though the initial cost might be worth it for those who are able to utilize the stored energy through usage or sales, the cost of a fully equipped and reliable battery system can be quite high, making it cost-prohibitive for most households.
Environmental Impact of Manufacturing
Solar panel manufacturing and production have a major environmental impact that must be considered. The production of solar panels requires a multitude of materials, including copper, lead, glass, and others that must be mined, made, and then assembled. As the demand for solar panels is expected to increase in the coming years, so too is the environmental impact of production.
Difficulty With Relocation
Solar energy panels are not designed to be easily moved or relocated. Due to the amount of involved installation, solar power systems are generally affixed and connected to a single location. As such, it can be difficult to relocate solar power systems, and they generally need certified technicians to do so. This means that if you decide to move, you would need to disconnect, transport and reconnect your solar energy panels, all of which can add to the financial burden.
Scarcity of Materials
Though solar energy is ramping up, there is still a scarcity of materials that can be used for high-efficiency solar panels. Many of the high-efficiency solar cell materials such as copper and silicon, as well as other materials required for the production of solar panels, are in somewhat limited supply, translating to higher costs and lower availability.
Though there are a variety of benefits to solar energy, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before you dive into the purchase and installation of expensive pieces of equipment. The cons of solar energy include high costs of initial installation, regional sunlight dependent, technical installation difficulties, space constraints for panel deployment, expensive solar energy storage batteries, environmental impact of production, difficulty with relocation, and scarcity of quality materials. All of these cons should be taken into consideration when pursuing the installation of solar energy.