Solar Power: The Good and The Bad
The recent global advancements, although generally helpful, are not without their drawbacks. As the world suffers the exploitation and exhaustion of its natural resources, more and more movements advocate for truly sustainable developments, giving rise to the use of alternative “green” energy from all over the world, including the United States.
The issue of sustainable development has risen to the forefront of political and social agendas. As a result, initiatives without a long-term energy strategy are more likely to be turned down for funding or help. Regardless of how necessary, balancing the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy adoption is still vital to consider before making the switch.
The world has a long way to go before resolving carbon and climate issues. However, without taking the necessary steps now, or any step at all, healing may be a lost cause even before it begins. With NextLight, the gloomy path towards sustainable development will be shed with light — yes, one that is solar.
Solar Power: The Good
In terms of total renewable energy sources, solar energy has been at the forefront. Solar energy has many benefits. Its rising affordability and accessibility to most homeowners, as well as millions of people who do not own their own homes, are just two examples.
The cost of purchasing and installing solar energy sources is continuously declining. Companies now provide contracts that offer lease-to-buy options while still providing electricity at lower rates than traditional utilities. The times are changing, and solar power is playing a role in that shift.
Renewable Energy Source
The most prominent advantage that people can get out of solar panels is that solar energy is a fully sustainable energy source. Solar energy is available in any part of the world every day. Moreover, unlike certain other forms of energy, solar energy cannot deplete.
Solar energy will be around as long as the sun exists. Thus, according to scientists, the world will have access to it for at least 5 billion years after the sun dies — a period long enough to benefit hundreds of lifetimes.
Reduces Electricity Bills
One of the most direct benefits of opting for solar energy is it reduces electricity bills. Your energy costs will decrease because you will meet some of your energy needs with the electricity provided by your solar panel system. Moreover, the amount you save on your bill gets determined by the scale of your solar panel and the amount of energy or heat you use.
You can put solar energy to various uses: photovoltaics for electricity production or solar thermal for heat production. Moreover, solar energy can generate electricity in places with no access to the grid, distill water in areas where clean water is scarce, and power space satellites.
Furthermore, you can also incorporate solar energy into the materials used for buildings. An established brand recently introduced transparent solar energy windows.
Low Maintenance Costs
In addition to lower electricity bills, you also do not have to think about maintenance costs. Solar energy systems, in general, do not necessitate a lot of upkeep. You just need to keep them clean regularly; thus, cleaning them a couple of times a year would suffice.
You can simply sit back and relax once the installation is complete and the machine gets turned on. Cleaning dirt and grime off your panels or snow accumulates on them is nothing compared to the wealth of other benefits that solar panels offer.
The Financial Return Is Front Loaded
Of course, many would still find the purchase and installment of solar energy panels expensive despite its exponential drop. However, with cost-cutting measures like tax credits, grants, and accelerated depreciation, you can recover a substantial portion of the installation cost in just the first year.
Furthermore, In 2020, the 26 percent federal tax credit helps one to get back 26 percent of the system’s expense on their unpaid federal taxes in year one. This offer will decrease to 22% in 2021, which still offers significant savings.
Businesses and farms may also take advantage of 100 percent accelerated depreciation and grants, such as the USDA REAP Program, to rapidly recover a substantial portion of the installation cost.
You can use both of these benefits in the first year to return a considerable sum of money to one’s company, which you can use to pay off the solar panel system or reinvest elsewhere.
Sustainable and Clean
A recent study suggests that 81% of customers believe that companies should help and heed the call to environmental change, and 66% of global consumers are willing to spend slightly more money to support sustainable brands. Furthermore, saving money on electric bills can enable you to reinvest in the future of your company, farm, or home.
When generating electricity, solar panels do not use fossil fuels or emit any carbon. Moreover, solar panel systems can generate clean, emissions-free energy as long as the sun shines.
Solar Power: The Bad
While solar power offers a multitude of advantages and benefits, it is not without its drawbacks. Some of the most prominent disadvantages are dependent on cost, space, and weather. For the sake of fairness, here are the disadvantages of opting for solar energy sources.
The cost of purchasing a solar system is relatively high at first. Solar panels, inverters, batteries, wiring, and installation are all included in this cost. Nonetheless, since solar technology is continually improving, it is fair to say that prices will exponentially fall in the future.
While you can obtain solar energy on cloudy and rainy days, weather conditions may reduce the solar system’s efficiency. Solar panels must be exposed to sunlight to collect solar energy. As a result, a couple of gloomy, rainy days can significantly impact the energy system. It is also important to note that you cannot store solar energy at night.
On the other hand, thermodynamic panels are an option to consider if you need your water heating solution to operate at night or during the winter.
Uses a lot of Space
The more electricity you want to produce, the more solar panels you will need, as you want to collect as much sunlight as possible. In many instances, solar panels can be installed on your roof, utilizing unused space. Solar PV panels take up a lot of space, and some roofs are just not large enough to accommodate the number of panels you want. A ground-mount may be the better choice in such cases, but it may get mounted in an area used for other purposes.
Whether the panels get mounted on the roof or the ground, they can take up significant space. Thus, if you do not have enough room to mount all of the panels you want, you may well consider installing less to meet some of your energy needs.
Can Reduce Curb Appeal
Solar panel systems can stand out and be unattractive depending on the placement, type of panels used, and quality of installation. However, there are a few things you can do to take advantage of solar energy’s cost savings without compromising the appearance and aesthetics of your company, farm, or home. When it comes down to it, solar panels can increase the value of one’s home.
Solar Energy Storage is Expensive
Solar energy may either be used immediately or stored in large batteries. These solar batteries used in off-grid solar systems can be charged during the day and used at night. This option is a decent way to use solar energy around the clock; however, it can be very costly.
In most situations, it is more cost-effective to use solar energy during the day and draw power from the grid at night, only when the system gets connected to the grid. Fortunately, the energy demand is normally higher during the day, so solar energy can already meet most of it.
Associated with Pollution
Even though emissions from solar energy systems are much lower than pollution from other energy sources, solar energy may still be associated with pollution. Specifically, the transportation and construction of solar systems have had links to greenhouse gas emissions.
Furthermore, During the production of solar photovoltaic systems, certain harmful materials and dangerous goods are used, which can indirectly impact the environment.
Nonetheless, solar energy pollutes far less than other alternative energy sources, overriding the risks with its wealth of benefits.
Although there are many advantages to solar panels, it is still necessary to recognize and consider the drawbacks. Note that one cannot use the electricity they generate without the grid is up and running if one does not have a battery backup device. They also necessitate an initial investment, as well as sunlight and space.
NextLight believes that solar energy is not a magic pill for all our climate issues, but they constitute a considerable step towards sustainable development. Using creative and high-performing panels and an efficient dashboard system, NextLight offers cost-effective solutions and makes changes very simple for homeowners, companies, and government agencies.