As solar energy becomes more popular, it is estimated to make up a third of the world’s energy production by 2022. If you are considering switching to solar power, it’s essential to understand both the benefits and drawbacks of using solar energy. This blog post will discuss the positive and negative aspects of using solar energy in your home or business. By understanding both the pros and cons of this renewable resource, you can make an informed decision about whether or not switching to solar is the right choice for you.
The Top 7 Advantages of Solar Energy
Solar energy has several advantages. It can reduce your carbon footprint, save money, and is more durable than other energy production systems. Additionally, you can generate electricity in any climate, and there are even tax credits for solar investment. Therefore, solar power is a viable option whether you live in an area with a lot of sunlight or in a colder climate where winters can be chilly.
1) Reduces Your Carbon Footprint
One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to switch to solar energy for your home. Using solar panels on your rooftop increases the value of your home, lowers your electricity bills, and reduces your carbon footprint. And as you’re probably already aware, solar energy is very cost-effective.
Solar energy, wind energy, and nuclear power have low carbon footprints, and nuclear power has a much smaller footprint than the other two. Solar and wind plants emit only six to four grams of CO2 per kWh. In comparison, coal, gas, and hydro all have relatively high emissions.
Solar energy can drastically reduce your household’s carbon footprint. Your carbon footprint is the number of greenhouse gases your household creates annually. A solar panel system can provide your home’s electricity needs and reduce your carbon footprint by up to 1.5 tonnes. This is equivalent to planting around 150 trees.
Although solar energy is one of the cleanest forms of energy, manufacturing dramatically impacts the environment. New solar panel technology can be more efficient, reducing your carbon footprint. It’s also more efficient than coal. It has a carbon footprint four times lower than coal with CCS and four times less than wind power. Solar electricity has the lowest carbon footprint of all renewable energy sources.
2) Save Money
Using solar energy to power your home can save you thousands of dollars annually and even increase your home’s value. The upfront costs are relatively low, and you may even be able to pay off your panels in a few years. Besides saving you money every month, solar power can also help decrease our nation’s coal consumption and carbon footprint.
3) Solar Investment Tax Credits are Available
Solar Investment Tax Credits are available to homeowners for installing and using solar energy systems. They are equal to 30% of the cost of solar electricity and cover all products directly related to the solar power system. The credits also cover labor, assembly, and inspection costs. They can even cover sales tax.
The Solar Investment Tax Credits are a long-term incentive. They can create hundreds of thousands of jobs and contribute to the next era of American leadership in the energy sector. However, it is important to remember that the federal government does not send you a check for your solar investment but will instead deduct 26% of your solar investment from your taxes.
4) Can Generate Electricity in Any Climate
Solar panels are a great way to harness the sun’s power, even in frigid climates. The panels are made with dark reflective glass so that sunlight can reach them even when it is covered with snow. This light enables them to melt the snow more quickly and produce electricity. Additionally, the panels can last up to 25 years without losing efficiency. And, because solar panels are made from recycled materials, their environmental impact is minimal.
There are many ways to harness solar energy; photovoltaic arrays are one of the most common. These are composed of dozens or hundreds of solar cells. Each cell contains a semiconductor – usually silicon – which absorbs light from the sun. As the sun hits the material, semiconductors’ electrons are knocked loose, producing a small electric current. This electricity is then sent to an external object – a computer or power station.
Large cities and industrial facilities can be supplied with solar energy. It can also provide electricity for small communities. There are about 1.3 billion people who do not have access to electrical distribution networks. Solar panels can be used for lighting, irrigation, and groundwater pumping. It can also be used for telecommunication systems and electrical appliances.
6) Lessens the Strain on the Electric Grid
EVs and other electric vehicles are a great way to help ease the strain on the electric grid. As a result, California is leading the nation in EV adoption. Currently, EV charging only accounts for about one percent of the grid’s peak-demand hours, but that number is expected to double by 2030. In addition, the increasing number of electric vehicles is helping the grid to become more resilient.
As the United States’ power grid ages, it is facing increasing strain. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, 70 percent of transmission lines in the U.S. are in the latter half of their lifespans. As a result, utilities are ramping up spending on upgrades and maintenance. As a result, by 2029, utilities will be facing a $200 billion funding gap. Added to that, the changing climate is also putting additional stress on the electric grid. For example, the lines could get damaged if the sun is out for long periods.
7) Get Paid by Selling Excess Solar Energy to Grid
You can get paid by selling excess energy to the grid if you have a solar panel on your roof. This is a great way to reduce energy bills and carbon emissions. However, you must know the terms and conditions of selling solar energy to the grid.
To get paid for excess solar power, you must have an electricity plan with your power provider. In addition, this plan must offer net metering and solar buyback. Once you have one, you will have a particular account with them that includes this feature. The process is simple and takes no more than a few minutes.
When you sell energy to the grid, you receive credits from the utility. These credits are not the same as SRECs, but they are still helpful. During the day, your solar PV system generates most of its power. You can sell this power at a high rate and get extra money. You can also buy power from the grid at lower rates at night.
The amount you can earn by selling excess solar energy to the grid depends on your power consumption and the incentives offered by your utility. You can earn $50 to over $700 a month, depending on your state.
5 Disadvantages of Solar Energy
Solar energy is a renewable energy source that relies on sunlight for its energy production. However, several factors affect the solar energy you can use. These include the climate, incidence, and environmental conditions. As a result, solar energy is not always the best choice for homes.
1) Expensive Installation
The upfront cost of installing solar energy systems can be pretty high. Solar installation costs vary greatly based on location, wattage, and other factors. These costs include the price of equipment, installation permits, labor costs, and monitoring. In addition, solar tax credits will not apply if you install your system outside a certified solar facility. Solar panels can sometimes be as old as 25 years old and still produce energy, although they may not be as efficient as they once were.
The average cost for solar installation varies widely by state, although the cost per watt depends mainly on the cost of electricity in your area. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar installation cost has decreased by more than 70% in the last decade. The number of panels needed for a residential installation depends on the sunlight a home receives throughout the day. In addition, the amount of equipment and experience required to install solar panels also plays a role in the final cost.
To find out whether the solar installation suits you, Modernize recommends consulting with a trusted contractor. Bring your electric bills to the consultation so you can accurately estimate how much energy your home uses daily. Divide the monthly kilowatt usage by thirty, and you will have a rough estimate for the cost of solar panels and installation.
2) Doesn’t Work at Night
Solar and wind energy do not work at night. The availability of renewable energy during the nighttime renders many modern appliances useless. As a result, electric lights and other modern appliances only operate during the daytime.
Although solar panels don’t produce power at night, they continue to generate power by converting sunlight into electricity through a chemical reaction. This power is then sent through a system called an inverter. This inverter transforms that electricity into alternating current (AC), which the electric grid uses. Home solar systems can also store this excess energy in batteries.
While rooftop solar panels produce some electricity at night, the production is minimal. At night, only a tiny amount of sunlight reflects off the moon and enters the solar panels. As a result, nighttime solar energy is derived primarily from battery backup systems or net metering credits. Despite these limitations, researchers are working on new solar cells that heat up and draw energy from the night sky. As for now, you should keep an eye on your meter – green lights indicate the solar panel is functioning well. If it’s red, it means the solar panels aren’t working correctly.
3) High Price
Solar energy is still expensive compared to other energy sources, but prices are decreasing. Even those without a lot of sunlight can now get solar panels for less than $30 per watt. Even Tesla electric cars can be charged with solar panels. The Powerwall battery uses artificial intelligence to monitor weather forecasts and maximize the amount of energy it can generate.
4) Inefficient In Bad Weather
One downside to solar panels is that they need sunlight to work correctly. This makes them useless in places where there is little to no sunlight. They are also ineffective in bad weather. These panels are similar to conventional solar panels but are designed to be easily transportable. They also need to be charged with sunlight to use in areas that do not get enough sunlight.
5) Difficult To Move Once Installed
One of the biggest problems is that solar panels are tough to move once installed. This is because solar panels need to be installed in a sunny location to work effectively. If you move to a new house or apartment, you may not have a sunny spot to install your solar panels. As a result, you would need to hire a professional to uninstall and then reinstall your solar panels in your new location. This can be time-consuming and expensive. Therefore, it is important to consider if you are likely to move in the near future before investing in a solar energy system.
Is Solar Energy Worth the Investment?
A solar panel system is an investment that will pay off in the long run. Solar panels will save money, power your home, and contribute to the environment. They also increase the value of your home. Whether they’re worth it, the investment depends on how much energy you use.
Before buying solar, consider your current finances, including income and savings. Tax credits and other benefits usually cover the initial cost of solar installation. Alternatively, you can take out a loan to cover the cost of the panels. It’s important to know the cost of electricity in your area. A solar panel system will lower your monthly electricity bill by as much as 30 percent. The cost of electricity will also depend on how much electricity you use.
Solar energy is one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly forms of renewable energy available, but it’s not without its drawbacks. In 2022, you’ll need to consider both the pros and cons of solar energy before deciding to switch to this power. With some research, you can make an informed decision that’s best for your home or business.