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Last updated: 27 July 2018

5 Advantages and 5 Disadvantages of Solar Power

How good is solar power? As everything else, solar power has its good and its not-so good sides. Humanity hasn’t yet discovered the perfect energy source. However, I have found it interesting to show the 5 most popular disadvantages of solar power and counter each of them with its positive argument, or advantage. This guide will be useful if you are planning to go a bit greener and invest in solar energy. In this case I also suggest you to visit GreenMatch.co.uk to get a lot more information about solar power, and everything else you need to know to make a well informed purchase decision. Otherwise, you can simply read the guide to grasp a different view about solar power. So, here it goes!

ONE

Expensive to install.Installing solar panels requires a huge initial investment, usually around £7,000 and £10,000, depending on the size of the panel and the roof space. This is the main reason that discourages people to install solar panels at home.

However...

Solar energy is FREE. Once installed, panels pay for themselves and solar energy is totally free. Moreover, as years go by, technology gets better, and so do solar panels. As it happened with computers and other tech items, that used to be luxury items, solar panels’ prices have lowered a lot, and will still decrease as they get more popular.

TWO

Solar power is not available at night.Unfortunately, sun doesn’t shine 24 hours, and solar power relies on it. Since solar electricity storage is not yet fully developed, you will need to use an alternative energy source to cover the hours of darkness.

However...

Humans are more active during the day, which is when electricity is most expensive. This makes electricity produced from solar panels more valuable, since you can have free electricity during the day, when demand for electricity is at its highest. Moreover, although some find the solar battery storage system cost too high, it still remains a perfect choice to maximise the usage of solar energy.

THREE

Solar Inefficiency. It is generally argued that solar energy production is relatively inefficient. Usually, a solar panel can convert 22% of the energy it gets from the sun into electrical energy, meaning you need a big surface area to produce the desired amount of electricity.

However…

Technological developments have led to a considerable improvement of solar efficiency, and this will intensify as years go by. Moreover, an attractive benefit of solar energy is the possibility of saving on utility bills. The UK government scheme, the so-called “feed-in” tariff, enables you to receive monetary payments from the government and electricity suppliers, when your surplus energy is exported back to the national grid. Therefore, although still not 100% efficient, using solar energy will for sure save you some money!

Read more: How Efficient are Solar Panels?

FOUR

Pollution.Most of the photovoltaic panels are made up of silicon and other toxic metals like mercury, lead and cadmium. Pollution in the environment can also degrade the quality and efficiency of photovoltaic cells.

However…

The sun is a renewable energy resource. Solar energy is a silent and green energy source, which pollutes less than almost every other source of energy, and will help you reduce your household’s carbon footprint. Solar power doesn’t produce greenhouse gasses and it doesn’t pollute water or any other part of nature. It is almost self sufficient, and only requires a little water to work.

Read more: How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With Solar Power.

FIVE

Location. Although there is potential for solar energy everywhere, there are some parts of the UK, which are better suited to solar panels. For example, a solar powered house in Cornwall is more lucrative than a solar powered house in the Scottish Highlands, due to the amount of sunlight and daylight received.

However…

Solar power works everywhere, with more or less intensity, even when the days are cloudy. Moreover, underutilized land can be used for solar power, generating value to vast pieces of land which would otherwise be unused.

Read more: How Long Will a Solar Panel Take To Pay For itself in the North of UK?

So yes! As we can see there are some downsides about solar energy, but if you analyse them from a wider perspective, they are not too bad in the end. Solar energy is a good option to switch to a greener lifestyle and save some money at the same time.