Solar Energy-The Advantages And Disadvantag


Perhaps the greatest argument that could be leveled about having to use fossil and nuclear fuel is our dependence on it. Global warming, though a real serious threat, maybe something that we could only be very worried about. Singly nothing much could be done about it as it will take serious political will if it is to be addressed effectively and for now, other countries are not cooperating. But the choice between traditional and alternative sources of energy, that is something most of us can choose to do.

First the advantages:

Solar energy is abundant and is free. We can count the sun to rise tomorrow and the day after that. Oil and natural gases on the other hand are non renewable, once the source taps out, it is gone forever. Sure there are other areas that could still be tapped but sooner that could run out of oil as well.

Solar energy does not pollute the air. If ever, the heat coming from the sun cleans the environment and maintains the earth’s eco balance. Not so with oil. Oil, its derivatives and its byproducts are great pollutants. In fact, 22,000 pounds of carbon monoxide will need to be produced first for the oil to be processed and supply a home with electrical energy for a year.

Solar energy harnessing panels are silent operators. Except maybe for the mechanical contraptions that are built into the panels so it could track the sun, from the collection of the suns rays to its photovoltaic conversion, they give neither a peep nor a squeak. It is a world of difference from the cacophony of giant drills and pumps that are used to extract oil form the ground.

Maintenance for the solar panels is very minimal. Except for the mechanical parts that are optional, almost no maintenance is needed. Once it is installed nothing much will be the cause for worry. The energy that is derived is free. With oil there is no telling what the next pump price would be and when. Oil, being a commodity, heavily depend its prices on market forces. Often with the right strategies, even market forces could be manipulated that could cause volatility in pricing.

The Disadvantages of Solar Energy

The cost. While solar energy is free, the cost of installation setbacks many household from installing it. Brand new solar energy generating systems are expensive. Although it tends to pay off overtime, initial cash out could range into several thousands of dollars depending on the quality and volume of generated power a household or an establishment would require. While solar energy technology has been around since the 1950’s it is only in recent years that its development was spurred. While costs of installation could also be subjective depending on the purchasing capacity of a customer, the benefits that could be derived out of it is enormous although mostly in unquantifiable terms.

For mass consumption, distribution lines are needed and this remains to be a big issue. Old antiquated distribution lines used to transfer electricity and other modes of fuel into the homes are clogged in many regions that to deliver solar energy power into the houses of consumers will require a different approach.

Be that as it may, the benefits from solar power far outweigh its disadvantages. It is an ideal source of energy that it may soon be the norm in power generation.

The Benefits Of Solar Energy System


Utilizing solar energy or the power coming from the sun’s rays has many benefits. Let us take a closer look on each of them.

•Solar energy saves money.

In 2006, we saw the highest jump on residential electric rate. In some areas of the country, as much as 60% increase was seen. Many experts agree that the trend will likely to continue in the years to come. This means that you have to pay larger sum of cash to sustain your monthly electric consumption. But if you produce your own power, you can prevent paying the high cost of energy – especially now when energy prices are very unstable.

On a larger scale, if American households switch to other types of alternative energy including solar energy, the nation’s spending on imported oil will greatly decrease.

•Solar energy is environment-friendly.

The issue of global warming will not go away. So if you want to do your part to save this planet, drawing your power requirement from the sun will make a great difference.

Solar energy is sustainable and renewable unlike gas, coal and oil that most utility companies use. It does not produce sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury or carbon dioxide as byproducts so it doesn’t pollute the air. Since it doesn’t emit greenhouse gases, it doesn’t contribute to global warming.

Using solar energy reduces demand for fossil fuel and reduces the nation’s dependence on foreign energy sources.

•Government gives incentives to those who use alternative form of energy.

Many are discouraged to install solar electric systems because of the initial cost of the project. But, some states like California offers federal tax credits as much as $2000 and up front rebate that covers 20% to 30% of the total system cost. These offers are relatively good considering the substantial increase of energy cost in recent years.

Note: Due to the increasing number of households who want to switch into alternative forms of energy, the incentive levels decline. Check with your state government the rates it offer if you are going to make a switch.

•Solar power systems are dependable and require little or no maintenance.

Photovoltaic (PV) cells that are used in solar power systems are capable of providing electricity for a very long time. Originally developed for space use, PV cells require little or no maintenance. The proof is, most satellites orbiting earth use PV cells that are in harsh environment, not maintained but are still working properly. The manufacturers of solar panels can give as much as 25-years warranty. Talk about quality and dependability.

•Solar energy helps improve the quality of life.

Saving the planet one watt at a time if done collectively will help reduce the effects of global warming. It will also reduce demand on coal, oil or gas power plants that emit harmful gases. In turn, using solar power helps clean the air and improves the quality of life of every individual.

•Solar energy can reduce demands for other non-biodegradable materials.

For utility companies to distribute power to every home, they need materials necessary in building these systems of power lines like electric cable and steel. These require energy to produce and contribute to greenhouse gases emissions. If we can cut the demand for power plant and switch into alternative energy, we can also reduce the demand for these materials and help the environment.