What are the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy?

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Advantages:
  • Solar power gives you a return on your investment, while paying your utility for electricity gives you 0% return.
  • Solar energy is renewable unlike the conventional resources (coal, oil) which will inevitably run out.
  • Non-polluting, no carbon dioxide like fossil fuels
  • Free except for capital expenses.
  • Longevity - solar panels can last over forty years and are often warranteed for 25.
  • Low maintenance - solar panels require very little upkeep
  • Independence - an off-grid system allows you to break free from the electrical grid
  • Environmentally friendly because the conversion of energy doesn't produce any carbon dioxide.
  • It comes from the sun, which, unless you are in The South or North pole, comes out almost everyday
  • Solar power is better for the environment, compared to burning fossil fuels and other electrical power.
  • sun is renewable
  • You get clean energy without harming the environment [in term of carbon emissions] ,
  • in certain countries, excessive power generated can be sold back to local electricity provider
  • reduces pollution
  • helps create jobs - shores up economy - to build -> you hire - innovate-maintain - basically economic activities
  • reduced dependence on fossil fuels
  • Once installed, the power is free
  • It is environmentally friendly and no pollution is associated with solar power
  • You can sell your excess power back to the power companies
  • It can be installed anywhere
  • You can use batteries to store power for use at night
  • Energy from the sun is renewable, that is, it keeps on coming
  • It is free
  • It does no damage to the earth or its atmosphere
  • It produces no carbon dioxide
  • It doesn't have to be dug up from the ground like coal, oil, natural gas, or uranium
  • It doesn't have to be cut down, like wood from forests.
  • It produces clean, green power in the form of electricity and can be used to power just about everything we need.
  • There is more solar energy landing on the earth every day than it would take to supply the world for a year.
  • Solar energy can heat swimming pools, power calculators, and power cars.
  • You can even cook food with solar energy.
  • We are using a renewable energy source like the sun, instead of non-renewable energy sources such as Gas, oil, fossil fuels etc...
  • We can save power of electricity.
  • We can prepare food with more taste.
  • We need not bother about electricity board.
  • solar power panels are small enough to fit on every rooftop in a city
  • Solar cells last a long time, typically guaranteed for 20 or 25 years.
Disadvantages:
  • Takes up a lot of space,
  • Only works when Sun is shining.
  • It doesn't produce much electricity for one single panel.
  • If you were to build it on the ground, the cost will be higher [for massive area of land]
  • Only areas of the world with lots of sunlight and very low heat are suitable for solar power generation
  • You need a lot of money to the installation of the solar energy.
  • Least power energy at night time is another disadvantage of solar energy.
  • When there is no solar energy to be collected you'll have to have adequate battery backup to get you through the nights and rainy days.
  • If people invest money in them they can have a tendency to use energy more freely rather than continuing to try and be economical with resources as they feel they have "done their bit"
  • High Initial Outlay => Either Vc or Government support/subsidy government support => impact on budget => ratification through the Congress/senate/parliament etc ->
  • some people complain of eyesores -> * fine beautiful, great - but not in my backyard -" - well so said the folks in Maine..
  • It takes a considerable amount of solar panels depending on your location to produce the same amount of electricity
  • Solar cells are not efficient yet
  • Solar energy is not available 24 hours a day. It can only be harnessed well when it is the strongest, that is, excluding morning, evening and night.
  • Current devices which utilize solar energy are expensive.
  • There is no guarantee of sunlight in stormy climate or during rain.
  • The initial cost is the main disadvantage of installing a solar energy system, largely because of the high cost of the semi-conducting materials used in building one.
  • The cost of solar energy is also high compared to non-renewable utility-supplied electricity. As energy shortages are becoming more common, solar energy is becoming more price-competitive.
  • Solar panels require quite a large area for installation to achieve a good level of efficiency.
  • The efficiency of the system also relies on the location of the sun
  • The production of solar energy is influenced by the presence of clouds or pollution in the air.
  • Similarly, no solar energy will be produced during nighttime although a battery backup system and/or net metering will solve this problem.
  • As far as solar powered cars go - their slower speed might not appeal to everyone caught up in today's rat race.
  • The major disadvantage with solar power is the cost....it's quite expensive and can only be used where there is very little obstruction to sunlight striking the modules...
  • If there is no sun, there will be no solar power because solar power is from the sun.
  • Solar photovoltaic panels are not being mass-produced quickly enough to make them cheap
  • solar power doesn't work so well on cloudy days, so they aren't suitable for every country
  • solar power doesn't work at night, so scientists are working on ways to store extra daytime energy (a recent idea is to split ammonia into hydrogen and nitrogen, and then using the hydrogen as a fuel at night)
  • solar power stations are best placed in hot deserts which are sometimes far away from the main electricity grid. Heat degrades the system faster and they perform poorly over 85 degrees.
  • Only useful during the day (unless you have a solar battery that will "charge" during the day, these add pollution to the environment)
  • Procurement and Installation is expensive, but this can be helped by Federal grants that are now available
  • It takes a considerable amount of solar panels depending on your location to produce the same amount of electricity
  • Solar cells are not completely efficient yet
  • only available for limited portion of the day (Wisconsin for example gets an average of two hours of full sunlight each day)
  • limited by environmental factors (like latitude and weather)
  • not particularly efficient (current technology can only extract a small portion of the energy available in sunlight).
  • Solar panels do not work well in warm temperatures
  • Payback is often measured in multiple decades while life span in often less then 25 years.
  • Solar panels degrade with time.
  • Solar Panels can not produce their full rated power. A 100 watt panel can not provide more then 80 watts in full sunlight and cold weather.
  • A single hail storm once every twenty years destroys the return on investment.
  • Many areas have no possible return on investment or the return is over the lifespan of the panel.
  • Cost

There are many advantages and disadvantages to solar energy. See the related link below.
good source of renewable energy

expensive
Advantages of solar power * solar power is free (once the initial setup is complete) * solar power is clean and green (no emissions, no carbon dioxide) * solar power is renewable (we can use as much as we can today, and there's still plenty coming again tomorrow) * solar power panels are small enough to fit on every rooftop in a city and so do away with the need for more power stations
Disadvantages of solar power
* solar power is expensive to set up. Solar photovoltaic panels are not being mass-produced quickly enough to make them cheap * solar power doesn't work so well on cloudy days, so they aren't suitable for every country * solar power doesn't work at night, so scientists are working on ways to store extra daytime energy (a recent idea is to split ammonia into hydrogen and nitrogen, and then using the hydrogen as a fuel at night) * solar power stations are best placed in hot deserts which are sometimes far away from the main electricity grid
There are many benefits of solar energy, but it is still an expensive technology to install with limited power:

  • Once installed, it is a cheap (free) source of energy.
  • A few amps over an extended period of time add up. Running a small gas generator might put out 8 amps of power as long as you feed it gasoline. A solar panel will do that every day.... forever... with no gasoline
  • No greenhouse gas production
  • Can be used to augment existing electric, or hot water systems
  • In Vogue
  • After the initial installation, the price won't ever go up
  • No electric bills
  • There are significant transmission losses with grid power. Local production of solar power can eliminate these losses.
  • Fewer power failures than with Utility Power

Unfortunately not everything is "peachy" with solar electricity, leading to slow implementation.
  • The technology is expensive to implement.
  • Vital system components are often hard to find, for example Home Depot doesn't carry a good selection of 12V fuses, breakers, or even 12V Compact Fluorescent Light Bubs.
  • Because of the startup expense, most people encourage extreme conservation. Which means that a solar house might not have the same conveniences that other houses may have
  • Seasonal variations in solar energy. Especially solar heat is least available during the winter when it is most wanted
  • Less solar energy on cloudy or rainy days
  • The size of a solar electric system required just to offset basic connect fees on a "grid attached" system may be huge. But, if one is not attached to the grid, excess power is wasted.
  • Requires storage system for usage at night
  • Requires inverter if one wants to use the standard 110/220V used by most power systems in the world.
  • The system does "wear". Batteries wear out, panels loose power, panels can fail, inverters can fail. etc.
  • It may take 30 years to pay off, at which time it is worn out and/or obsolete.
  • Not necessarily "plug and play"... may require some tinkering, not just flicking a switch

Yet, despite the shortcomings of solar power, it is a huge step forward. Remember, commercial operations may plan repaying their electric grid investments over 30+ years.... so a few years to repay a solar system is not unexpected. And even dams or nuclear power plants require maintenance.

The use of solar energy has many advantages and disadvantages. Advantages for using solar energy include have a personal energy source, a lower electric bill, and renewability. Despite these benefits, solar energy is not availble during times of inclement weather such as storms, because there is no sunlight. A further disadvantage is that many solar panels contain harmful chemicals. In the event of a catastrophe, a broken energy panel may release toxins with harmful health effects.
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