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Advantages And Disadvantages of Solar Energy

Solar energy advantages than disadvantages

Solar power is considered today one of the cleanest sources of energy available on the planet that will replace the dirty fossil fuels in a not very far future. Let’s see what are the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy.

Solar Energy Definition

Solar energy is produced using the sunlight and a photovoltaic (PV) solar cell that can convert the Sun’s radiation into clean electricity.

The Sun will provide us with heat and light for another 4 to 5 billion years, which means that the Sun is a continuous source of clean power (renewable energy source) here on the planet.

The Sun produces a huge volume of clean energy every second (due to the presence of the nuclear fusion reaction of the hydrogen), and the amount of energy sent by the Sun to our planet during an hour is more than enough to cover all the energy demand on the planet for a period of one year.

However, because the installed capacity for solar energy is still very limited on the planet, we can harness only about 0.001% of the energy sent by the Sun, and this is one of the reasons why fossil fuels are still present in the energy mix of many countries.

Advantages Of Solar Energy

Solar energy has today more advantages than disadvantages because is a clean source of electricity for the future of the mankind.

1. Is A Renewable Energy Source

The Sun is considered a continuous source of heat and light on planet Earth (an endless energy source compared to time spend by our civilization on the planet), which means that we can count on this renewable energy source as a future source of clean electricity that will replace the dirty fossil fuels.

2. Can Reduce Energy Bills

If you have a solar panel you can produce a small part of the energy that you consume during the day.

If you install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on your rooftop, you can produce much more energy that can cover your consumption of electricity for several hours or even during the entire day, which means that the you will pay smaller energy bills at the end of the month.

If you have a larger solar PV system installed on your rooftop, you can cover all the energy consumption of your house from renewable energy (solar power) and you can also provide clean energy to your neighbors using the grid.

3. Can Be Used in Many Ways

The energy sent by the Sun to our planet can be used in two different ways (is very versatile): active solar and passive solar.

Active Solar

Active solar uses the sunlight to produce clean electricity with the help of a solar cell. The sunlight is turned into clean electricity through the “photovoltaic effect”.

We can also use the energy of the Sun to directly heat an agent that will heat a water in a tank or we can concentrate the Sun’s energy using large mirrors towards a point on the top of the central tower where molten salt or another agent is used to produce steam and spin a turbine to generate clean electricity.

Passive Solar

Passive solar is a concept used in building design, and refers to the position of the house relative to the Sun.

Windows, walls, and floors will be positioned in such a way to collect, store, and distribute solar energy under the form of heat and light during the winter and stop solar heat during the summer.

4. Has Low Maintenance Costs

Once installed, a solar panel system will require small maintenance because all you need to do is to clean the panels a couple of times per year.

If you don’t want to do it by yourself, you can hire a company specialized in cleaning services that will do the job for about $30 to 50$.

By keeping the solar panels clean all the time you will ensure that the system works at full capacity because you don’t want to use free energy (and eventually pay more on energy bills) just because you don’t know that from time to time you need to clean the panels of dust, snow, leaves and other debris.

5. Is A Reliable Energy Source

The Sun will be here to provide us with heat and light for another 4 to 5 billion years, which means that we can count on this clean energy source for a very period of time in the future.

Even the solar PV systems purchased these years are providing a long service because they have a warranty provided by the manufacturer of 20 to 25 years (some of them even 30 years).

Only the inverter needs to be replaced sooner (every 5 to 10 years).

6. Increases The Value Of Your Home On The Market

A solar PV systems means new and green technology that improves the value of your house on the real estate market.

There are many buyers on the market that are looking specifically for homes with a solar PV system already installed because they are aware of the fact that such a renewable energy system can provide them free energy that will lower the future energy bills of the building.

7. Is A Clean Energy Source Under Constant Development

A solar cell today has an efficiency between 15 and 22%, which means that only the fifth part of the energy sent by the Sun to the Earth is harvested and turned into clean electricity by the solar panels.

There is much to be improved in the field, and scientists are trying today to produce solar cells that are two to three times more efficient than conventional solar cells by using the breakthroughs in nanotechnology and quantum physics.

Disadvantages Of Solar Power

It’s hard to believe, but there are also a few disadvantages related to solar energy today.

1. High Upfront Costs

Installing a solar PV system on your rooftop can be a very expensive experience.

Solar energy is still a new energy source on the market and is also renewable, which means that even if the prices have dropped in the last years, the amount paid to install a PV system that can lower your energy bills and helps you produce your own and clean energy is still high.

2. Storage Systems for Solar Energy Are Still Expensive

By installing a solar PV system on your rooftop you will be able to produce your own and clean energy during the sunny days.

Because the weather changes and there are also cloudy days or even during the night you may want to use the energy produced during the sunny days, but to do so, you will need a storage system (a solar battery) to save the solar energy produced in excess.

These solar batteries are large, very heavy and quite expensive, and they represent a payment in addition to the solar PV system and the inverter.

3. Solar Is A Weather Dependent Energy Source

A solar cell has an efficiency among 15% to 22%, which means that if the day is not sunny, the efficiency will drop to a lower value, and less energy will be produced.

Not to mention that a solar PV system produces energy only during the day, and maybe a tiny amount of energy during the nights with full moon.

Being so dependent on the weather conditions, it is more than necessary to have a storage system (solar battery) to store the energy produced during the sunny days for the night and the rainy days.

4. Requires A Lot of Space

A regular 250W solar panel is quite large, which means that to produce only 4 KW of energy (one of the smallest PV systems for households) we need to cover some space on our rooftop (required to install a number of 16 solar panels of that size).

To produce enough energy that can power a large city we need to cover a huge area with large solar panels that will produce a large shadow on the land located under the panels.

Longyangxia Dam Solar Park is today the largest solar farm in the world (built in China) and occupies an area of 27 square kilometers (10.42 square miles) for an output of 850 MW, which is enough to power about 200,000 households.

5. Is Often Associated with Pollution

The manufacturing process of solar panels uses some toxic materials and hazardous substances that can harm the environment if the factory decides to release them in nature.

Air pollution is often related to the transportation and installation process of the solar panels.

Waste solar panels are also dangerous for the environment due to the chemical substances reaching the landfill soil.

Final conclusion

Even if solar energy has a few disadvantages today, this renewable and clean energy source is part of the green future that will follow where fossil fuels and other polluting sources of power will be long gone and forgotten.

Article written by:

I am a writer and reporter for the clean energy sector, I cover climate change issues, new clean technologies, sustainability and green cars. Danny Ovy


  1. Ajay Verma

    Hey, Thank you for sharing this amazing article.
    All the given details regarding solar energy are so true that I totally agree with the advantages of solar energy and solar panels if we are using them to generate clean electricity. As you talk about the disadvantages too for that according to me disadvantages are minor compared to the advantages provided by this clean technology and we can manage those cons so there is no major risk involved when choosing to go solar.

  2. Sun Dmk

    Hey dear, thanks for your great article.
    I think among all the advantages of solar power, the most important thing is that solar energy is a truly renewable energy source among many other forms of energy.
    It can be harnessed in all areas of the world and is available every day.
    We cannot run out of solar energy, unlike some of the other sources of energy.
    Solar power will be available as long the Sun exists, therefore sunlight will be available for us at least 5 billion years from now on.

  3. Joy Butler

    I didn’t know that solar powered energy has lower maintenance costs and lower costs in general. I would love to save some cash. I will have to look into some of my options.

  4. Eric Roberts

    Hi This is one of the better posts talking about the solar panel and battery storage scene. I have a system on my roof that is supported by a AGM battery storage unit and cant wait until February when the sun starts to shine on my roof again and saving me money that will pay back my original investment and much more? thanks eric roberts

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