Advantages of Solar Energy

Advantages of Solar Energy

The major advantage of the use of solar energy (among other non-renewable energy sources) is that it effectively eliminates reliance on the finite supply of fossil fuels.

Imagine if the United States had no demand for foreign oils, we would reduce our trade deficits and perhaps tension in the Middle East would lessen. There would perhaps be new employment opportunities in the country for designing, manufacturing, and installing home and business solar energy systems.

Another great advantage of solar energy is that the sun is a renewable energy source that is expected to be burning for several billions of years.  An efficiently installed and operated solar energy system can greatly reduce the cost of energy for a home or a business.

Solar energy systems do not emit any pollutants or greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere while being operated.  Solar energy systems have the advantage of greatly reducing the carbon footprint of solar energy users.

Solar energy systems could also be used as backup power systems during times of large scale electrical grid failure.

Disadvantages of Solar Energy

The biggest disadvantage of solar energy is that it requires consistent access to the sun to operate efficiently.  The changing of seasons, weather patterns, trees, clouds, and other obstacles can be a major nuisance to operating a solar energy system efficiently.  Because of this, homes and businesses that use solar energy as a primary source of electricity will often require some form of backup electricity in case the solar system does not receive enough sunlight to operate.

Energy costs are usually the highest during the colder winter months of the year, which is also the time that parts of the earth are exposed to the lowest amount of daily sunshine.  This disadvantage of solar energy is another reason that most solar power systems require a back up generator.

The manufacturing and transportation of solar panel and solar energy systems releases pollutants and green house gasses into the atmosphere.  It is quite a paradox that in order to create clean energy systems, other forms of less clean energy are often used.

Solar energy systems are also very expensive, another disadvantage.

So, to take full advantage of the cost of a solar energy system, it must be used efficiently for a long period of time before you can receive payback from the original cost of investment.