Solar Energy Industries Association reported, “The U.S. installed 6,201 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV) in 2014 and 767 MW of concentrating solar power to reach 20 gigawatts (GW) of total installed capacity, enough to power 4 million American homes. 32 percent of new electric generating capacity came from solar in 2014, and the industry now employs nearly 175,000 workers, more than tech giants Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter combined.” Despite the popularity of environmental consciousness, is a solar panel for your home or business right for you? Here’s a list of pros and cons to help you decide.
Clean Energy Source
Unlike standard energy, solar panels do nothing to ruin the atmosphere. It is only the moving and set up of the panel that causes pollution.
Renewable & Available
Fossil fuels will expire in another few decades. Solar energy will last as long as the sun does, which according to NASA is in about another 6.5 billion years.
It meets present needs without compromising the needs of future generations.
Power Remote Areas
Solar energy is capable of harnessing power in remote areas without being connected to a national electric matrix. Solar paneling is usually much more financially beneficial than laying high voltage wires down.
Can be Installed on Rooftops
This eliminates the need to look for a new and larger space for a solar panel arrangement.
Reduce Electricity Bills
You do not have to limit your use of solar energy like you have to do with fossil fuels. Homeowners can also sell their extra solar powered electricity to utility companies to lower the monthly electric bill.
Besides for cleaning the solar panels a few times a year, you only have to move parts every 20-25 years.
Unlike other energy sources, solar panels are silent, making it pleasant for everyone.
Solar panels promote energy independence.
Solar panels use local energy (the sun) and do not rely on imported energy.
The initial cost of high quality solar cells may run above $1000 and some homes require multiple cells.
Produce Power During Day
Because the sun powers solar panels, electricity is only generated during the daytime.
Solar Cells Effectiveness
Pollution might influence the effectiveness of solar cells. This is a significant disadvantage to companies looking to introduce solar panels into areas with high levels of air pollution.
Large Area for Setup
Occasionally solar panels do not fit on the roof, meaning you have to find a large enough area of land so that the right amount of power can be produced.
In order to have power during the evening hours, batteries are charged by solar power. These batteries are cumbersome and it might be a challenge finding a place to store them. Replacing them also makes having solar panels more costly.
Climate and weather change influence the effectiveness of solar panels.
Most solar panels only absorb 40% of the sun which means that 60% of the sun’s energy is wasted. Fortunately, emerging technology is increasing the efficiency of solar panels from 40% to 80%.
Solar powered panels have many benefits because they are great for the environment, long lasting, and can be used anywhere. The downsides are that they are expensive, only power during the day, and are not 100% efficient. Do the positive benefits outweigh the negatives? Is a clean environment worth the potential financial burden? If this is something you are interested in, look for a trusted contractor.
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