Why People Don’t Like Solar Panels
Solar energy is increasingly seen as an attractive form of renewable energy, but despite the many benefits associated with solar energy, there are several reasons why people don’t like solar panels. This article will examine some of the most common causes of resistance to solar energy, including manufacturing pollution and cost.
Negative Aspects of Solar Panels
Pollution caused by the manufacturing process: Solar panel manufacturing produces a substantial amount of pollution, from the extraction of raw materials through to the disposal of manufactured products. For instance, the process of mining and smelting the raw rare material used to make solar cells generates sulfur dioxide, particulates and other pollutants. This can impact local air, soil and water quality and result in damage to local ecosystems.
Use of rare materials: Solar cells are usually made with rare and finite resources such as cadmium telluride (CdTe). The use of these materials, which are often mined far away, can contribute to resource scarcity and environmental damage if their extraction and transportation processes are not appropriately controlled.
Shipping and associated emissions: Solar cells are usually imported from overseas, often from China. This process involves shipping the cells by sea or air, which produces an additional source of emissions and carbon pollution.
Other Reasons People Don’t Like Solar Panels
Cost: Solar energy is an expensive energy source, with high initial costs that prevent many households and businesses from installing solar panels. Recent improvements in technology and manufacturing processes have reduced the cost, but solar energy is still more expensive than other forms of energy.
Maintenance and Cleaning: Solar panels require regular maintenance and cleaning, which can be costly and time consuming. For instance, photovoltaic solar panels are prone to dust, rain and snow, which can reduce their performance. Cleaning these panels can be a difficult and time consuming task.
Loss of Property Value: Studies have found that houses with solar panels can have a lower market value than houses without, based on a perception that these panels are unattractive and devalue the property.
Solar energy has significant potential, but there are several reasons why people don’t like solar panels. One of the most significant factors is the pollution associated with manufacturing and shipping solar components, particularly if the process is not closely monitored. There is also the cost to consider, which despite recent decrease in price, is still usually higher than other forms of energy. Maintenance and cleaning, as well as potential losses in property value, are also factors that can dissuade people from using solar panels.
It is clear that solar energy needs to become cheaper, and more efficient, before it can be widely embraced by ordinary citizens. The industry has also started to address the environmental concerns with more efficient technologies and improved pollution controls. Solar energy has the potential to significantly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and become an important source of carbon free energy. However, the current issues with solar energy are something that must be discussed and resolved for it to fully realise its potential.
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 Kenny, Jeff. 2020. How Solar Power is Shipping its way to Mass Adoption. Sun Exchange. https://blog.thesunexchange.com/how-solar-power-is-shipping-its-way-to-mass-adoption
 Rohrer, Finley. 2019. Forget the Hype: 4 Reasons Why Solar Power Is More Expensive Than Fossil Fuels. Medium. https://medium.com/s/story/forget-the-hype-4-reasons-why-solar-power-is-still-more-expensive-than-fossil-fuels-3d989008a1b9
 Purcell, S. 2020. Solar Panel Maintenance and Cleaning. Renewable Energy World. https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/solar-energy/solar-panels/solar-panel-maintenance-and-cleaning.html
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