Introduction to Solar Energy
Nowadays, solar energy is becoming progressively more popular as the world is facing the increasing carbon emission problems that come from burning fossil fuels. Solar Energy is the energy that is derived from the sun’s radiation. It is used on earth in various ways and it is an essential source of renewable energy. In this era, solar energy is expected to become increasingly attractive as a renewable energy source because of its inexhaustible supply and its non-polluting character.
Solar cell panels are applied to transform this energy into electricity. The electricity costs are increasing day by day so many people are looking for alternative ways to generate electricity therefore, solar energy is a prime example.
But it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of this energy which are discussed as follows:
Advantages of Solar Energy
- Solar energy is one of the renewable sources. The renewable sources of energy are environmentally safe and clean to the environment because these types of energy can be restored without human involvement but need human innovation for these energies to be utilized correctly.
- It is pollution-free and cannot generate greenhouse gases after installation. It is produced by converting energy from sunlight into electricity in two ways directly or indirectly i.e. directly by using photovoltaic (P.V.) and indirectly by using concentrated solar power. Unlike fossil fuel-based technologies, solar power does not lead to any toxic emissions during operation, but the production of the panels produce some amount of pollution.
- It reduces dependence on foreign oils and fossil fuels. As stated earlier that it is produced from sun radiations so there is no involvement of any foreign oil and fossil fuels. One of the biggest benefits of solar energy is the ability to avoid politics and price volatility that is increasingly describing the fossil fuel markets.
The energy produced from the sun is an endless commodity that can be sourced from anywhere in the world, meaning solar is less vulnerable to the price manipulations and politics that have doubled the price of many fossil fuels in the past decade.
4. It reduces electricity bills and helpful in saving money. We will be meeting some of our energy needs with the electricity generated by the solar system, which results in a drop in electricity bills. How much you save on depends on the size of the solar system and your electricity or heat usage. Furthermore, not just you will be saving on the electricity bill, but there is also a potentiality to receive payments for the surplus energy that you export back to the grid.
5. It requires low maintenance cost. The maintenance costs, cleaning, and such are provided by each manufacturer with detailed instructions on the care of their particular units and wiring. Some of the installation firms also offer service agreements. Most utmost manufacturers provide a 25-year warranty for their panels, and installers offer insurance on their job.
6. One of the most important advantages is it can be adopted by everyone directly. It offers to individuals affordable access through either the installation of home solar units or through a contract with a commercial solar power provider. Solar energy provides several significant benefits over the other alternative energy sources in that individuals can invest in their power generation.
7. It also fulfils our social responsibility in reducing carbon emissions from the atmosphere. Even though some people prefer not to see it, most people around the world understand climate change and the need to cut our carbon emissions. People know the oceans are warming and rising. We all know that the sea ice, north, and south, is fading. It’s not really about policies or regulations. Individuals want to make a difference, and even the major power production houses have begun to adopt greener living. Every year, more Individuals and industries want to perform their responsibility and meet the challenges. The goals aren’t so very difficult, and there is a lot that ordinary people can do.
8. It also enhances the flexibility and reliability of the power supply cut. The advantage of this energy is that when heavy snows and winds bring down power lines or a lightning strike takes out power poles and transformers, but the solar owners will still be generating their power. The solar panels on your roof provide flexibility against the elements. One interesting point of solar energy advantages is that solar power owners can rely on their solar panels and storage systems to see them through when their neighbours have gone dark.
Disadvantages of Solar Energy
- The initial cost of purchasing and installation charges are high. It includes paying for solar panels, inverter, batteries, wiring, and installation charges. Nevertheless, solar technologies are constantly developing, so one has to assume that prices will go down in the future.
2. One of the most important disadvantages of solar energy is dependent on weather, in cloudy or rainy days there is an effect on the energy system. Although it can still be collected during cloudy and rainy days, the efficiency of the solar system falls. Solar panels are mainly depending on sunlight to effectively gather solar energy.
Therefore, in cloudy and rainy days there is a visible effect on the energy system. We should also take into consideration that solar energy cannot be collected during the night. Therefore, if we use a water heating solution to work at night or during wintertime, thermodynamic panels are an alternative to consider.
3. It requires a lot of space for installation. Space is depending on our need for electricity production i.e. if we want to produce more electricity than we need more solar panels to collect as much sunlight as possible. Solar PV panels require a lot of space and some roofs are not big enough to fit the number of solar panels that we would like to have. An alternative is to install some of the panels in another place but that place needs to have access to sunlight. If we don’t have space for all the panels that we want then we can opt for installing fewer to still satisfy some of our energy needs.
4. It requires engineering expertise in designing and installing the system. Even though solar panels can be installed in almost every region but they cannot be installed on every type of roof so expert advice should be taken for its better result. They require a certain type of platform for the panels to be able to work properly.
5. It needs large batteries to use at night when there is no sunlight to produce power. These batteries are used in off-the-grid solar systems, which can be charged during the day so that the energy can be used at night. This is the only solution for using solar energy all day long but it is also quite expensive. In many cases, it is more intelligent to just use solar energy during the day and take energy from the grid during the night. As our energy demand is usually higher during the day time so we can meet most of it with solar energy.
Solar energy has opened a virtuous cycle of dropping costs, expanding deployment, and stimulated technological advancement. Solar PV module prices have fallen by around 80% since the end of 2009 as per IRENA.
The public debate around renewable energy, however, remains to suffer from an antiquated study that renewable energy is not contentious, forming a notable and unnecessary obstacle to its deployment.
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