Solar Energy Advantages Disadvantages
What are solar energy advantages disadvantages?
Green technology has advanced to a point where solar energy can be used captured in private homes and buildings to generate electricity, as well as heat up water and space.
Solar powered vehicles have been built since the 1980s, with the World Solar Challenge – an annual solar-powered vehicles race – taking place in Australia since 1987.
There are many other applications of solar energy and there are many solar energy advantages disadvantages, but as time goes by and technology progresses, new applications of solar energy will be found and the advantages will grow to outweigh the disadvantages.
Use of solar energy since early days
Many people think that the use of solar energy is something relatively recent, born out of an age where green, non-polluting energies are being promoted as an alternative to the traditional non-renewable types of energies. What these people do not realize is that solar energy has always been used in the history of mankind.
Solar energy has been an important source of energy to mankind since the beginning of our time. This point is important when discussing solar energy advantages disadvantages. Since the hunters-gatherers’ time, solar energy is needed for plants to grow, so that mankind could have food to eat. In other words, this means that man, or any other forms of life on earth, can’t do without solar energy.
When man learnt how to grow crops in agriculture and horticulture, farmers and gardeners have always sought to maximize solar input to their crops and plants, such as through garden layouts and the use of green houses to trap the sun’s heat. Man has also made use of the Sun’s energy to start fire, etc. Read more about the history of solar energy.
Solar energy advantages disadvantages in the modern world
What are the solar energy advantages disadvantages in today’s world?
Today, the way we tap on solar energy goes beyond what our forefathers did. Other than making use of solar energy to grow our crops and vegetables, we are now looking into ways to tap on solar energy to drive our industries, our economies and our society.
Let’s first look at some the advantages in solar energy advantages disadvantages.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of using solar energy is that it is a clean and green energy. Solar energy doesn’t pollute nor produce any green house gas; in today’s world where global warming is an increasing menace, these factors matter significantly. In fact, solar energy is an important alternative to fossil fuels, which use release harmful green house gasses into the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.
Another big advantage of using solar energy is that solar power is a completely renewable energy. As long as there is sunlight, there will be solar energy. This situation is unlike the use of fossil fuels, which will eventually be depleted with use.
The use of solar energy also decreases our dependence on oil, which is becoming a big political and economical issue, as oil is becoming more scarce and expensive.
The energy is free. Once the appropriate solar power equipment is installed, you are free to tap on the sun’s energy, whoever you are, wherever you are. Moreover, solar energy and solar panels are also completely silent and don’t require much maintenance.
But in this list of solar energy advantages disadvantages, there are also the disadvantages.
There are two major disadvantages regarding the use of solar energy. The first is that the initial investment for installing your own solar panels is usually big. Solar energy might be free but the equipment necessary to harness the energy is usually expensive. Given the current efficiency of the solar panels, several large solar panels might be required to generate the energy needed for an entire home or building. So this means that users with budget constraints or space constraints may find difficulties in harnessing on solar energy.
Fortunately, with advances in technology, the efficiency of solar panels has been improving. Users of solar panels also reveal that the investments they set aside initially to install the panels are often offset by savings in energy bills after a few years, especially with the rising energy cost.
Another big issue surrounding solar energy use is the dependency on the weather or climate conditions. The solar panels only work in the daytime (when the sun is out), so energy output from the solar system is only limited to the day. Moreover, solar energy can only be harvested on sunny days; harvesting the energy on cloudy days might be a problem. This also means that it may be easier for certain regions, such as the tropical countries, to harness solar energy as compared to the other less sunny regions. Certain atmospheric conditions such as air pollution caused by the haze or smog could also affect the efficiency of solar panels.
A comparison of the solar energy advantages disadvantages suggests that the advantages could very well easily outweigh the disadvantages very soon. With technological advancements that significantly improve the efficiency of solar panels, coupled with the increasing prices of fossil fuels as they become depleted, solar energy equipment could become more economically viable in the near future. And let’s not forget the fact that solar energy (in displacing fossil fuels) could also be our solution to global warming. Every investment in solar energy today – whether financially, or in terms of research, matters.
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