Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative energy source for individuals and businesses, because it has the potential to reduce energy costs, increase energy independence, and create a cleaner and healthier environment. Solar energy works by converting sunlight into electricity, which can be used to power a wide variety of systems inside and outside the home.
Solar has many advantages in comparison to other energy sources such as reduced electricity costs and increased energy independence, but what is the biggest downside of solar electricity? In this article we will examine the five main downsides to solar electricity: cost, weather-dependency, solar energy storage being expensive, taking up a lot of space, and associated with pollution.
Disadvantage of Solar Energy Cost
The initial cost of purchasing a solar system can be quite expensive, however there are many financial incentives available to help offset the cost. Depending on the state or country you are in, you may be eligible for tax credits, local grants and subsidies, or even zero-interest loans from the government or from banks. In addition, in some states and countries, you may be able to lease a solar energy system instead of purchasing one, which may reduce your upfront costs. There are also a wide range of solar energy financing options available to make solar more accessible.
Although solar energy can still be collected during cloudy and rainy days, the efficiency of the solar system drops when there is less sunlight available. This drop in efficiency can add up to a significant decrease in energy production over time. Fortunately, there are a few measures that can be taken to mitigate this issue. For example, installing an energy storage system can help capture and store energy produced by your solar system when the sun is out and then use it on cloudy or rainy days. Additionally, installing solar tracking systems can help reduce the effect of seasonal changes in the amount of sunlight available.
Solar Energy Storage Is Expensive
Solar energy storage systems are often necessary to ensure that your solar system runs reliably and to its full potential, particularly if you have an off-grid solar energy system. Solar energy storage systems are designed to store the energy that is produced by your solar panels when the sun is out and then use it when the sun isn’t producing energy. However, solar energy storage systems tend to be fairly expensive and the cost scales up with the size of the energy storage system. In addition, the cost of energy storage generally adds to the overall cost of your solar energy system.
Uses a Lot of Space
Solar energy systems need to be installed on a large area of land or roof to get the most out of the system. If space is limited, you may need to rethink the size of the system and there may be restrictions in the number of solar panels that can be installed. One way to make use of limited space is to use bi-facial solar panels, which are designed to capture light from the front and back of the panel. This means that the solar panel can produce more energy from the same amount of space, which can be beneficial if space is limited.
Associated with Pollution
It may come as a surprise that solar energy can actually be associated with pollution, but manufacturing and installation of solar systems do have some environmental impacts. Common pollutants associated with solar systems are air and water pollution from production processes, and land use impacts from solar system installations. To reduce the impact of these pollutants, solar systems can be designed to use recycled materials and produced in more energy efficient ways. Additionally, there is potential for renewable energy technologies such as solar panels to utilize telemetry, energy efficiency, and renewable energy tracking systems to measure and reduce their environmental and resource use impact.
Overall, solar electricity has a lot of potential to provide clean and renewable energy, but there are many downsides to consider before investing in it. The five main downsides of solar electricity are cost, weather-dependency, solar energy storage being expensive, taking up a lot of space, and associated with pollution. Each of these issues can be mitigated in some way, such as installing solar tracking systems to reduce the effect of weather-dependency or utilizing more energy efficient and sustainable methods of producing and installing solar systems to reduce the environmental impacts.
In conclusion, the biggest downside of solar electricity is the initial cost of purchasing a solar system, however there are many financial incentives available to make this more attainable. For further research on this topic, more study of the environmental impacts of solar systems should be done in order to determine the most effective strategies to reduce these impacts. It is also important to consider the issue of space when planning to install a solar energy system as this can have an impact on the efficiency and output of the system. Finally, it is good to be aware of the financial incentives that are available to make solar more affordable.