Uncovering the Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy

ByAnne Nicole Brooke

A lot of people these days are becoming much more conscious about the environment and the present economic condition. At this point of both environmental and economic crisis, switching to solar energy is a crucial move that will bring us to a brighter future. But what do you really know about solar energy? Understanding its advantages and disadvantages is a good way to appreciate solar energy as a whole.


Eco-friendly. The primary advantage of solar energy is that it makes our environment clean and green. For example, you make use of a 2.5kw solar panel array with 5 hours of sun exposure per day. It can supply about 380 kilowatts per month. If your household consumes about 700 kilowatts of electricity per month, you save 320 kilowatts using the direct energy from the sun. In raw terms, you are saving about 300 barrels of oil per year, or the equivalent mileage of 270,000 driven miles. Needless to say, that cuts down acid rain emissions and greenhouse gases as well. In addition, making use of solar energy for over 25 years is equivalent to planting 5,000 trees. That's a lot of trees equivalent to a simple device installed from the roof of your house!

Financial Benefits. As soon as the panel is put up, it provides the household with the energy needed to power up electric household appliances at literally no cost. While the initial or the installation cost may be high, it can definitely help you save a lot of money in the long run. Generous government subsidies and rebates also help make the initial installation cost more attainable for an average family.


Installation Cost. The main disadvantage of using solar energy is the hefty cost of initial installation. The initial investment is high because the semiconductor materials used in the manufacture of panels are quite expensive. But with continuous research and massive production, the rates are expected to decline in each passing year. In fact, the installation cost of PV panels has already dropped from more than $2 per unit in 2009 to about $1.50 in 2011. In 2013, prices are even expected to drop close to the $1 mark. In 2005, the price was averaged about $3-4 per watt of installed power.

Space and Placement. It is important that panels absorbing energy from the sun should be properly placed in order to get the optimum amount of sunlight needed to power up your systems. And this can be a problem for a lot of people who don't have available enough space for the solar panels. If your house is nestled between two giant structures, then your panel is unlikely to get the maximum amount of energy from the sun. In this manner, you cannot reach the optimal output needed to operate your household devices.

There are various inventions that have been created to specifically take advantage of the natural energy produced by the sun. If only we could harness the solar energy correctly, we can generate more power to meet all of our energy needs for a long period of time.

Article Source: