Despite the fact that solar energy has been utilised for many years, it is still regarded as a relatively new technology. As a result of individuals focusing too much on the benefits, the downsides of solar energy are often disregarded, and many people end up in trouble, having to spend a lot of money on a solar array that may or may not operate correctly for various reasons.
If you’re serious about using solar energy to power your house, you’ll need to know everything about the drawbacks. That way, if you conduct thorough study and carefully consider all factors, you will be able to make the best selections and reap the benefits of solar power’s multiple advantages.
Solar vs. Other Green Energy Sources: What’s the Difference?
Solar power has been utilised as an energy source for more than 50 years with great success. Those who are even somewhat interested in the development of alternative power sources are aware of its benefits; yet, when compared to other “green” power generation methods, solar power is not considered to be first in terms of efficiency or consistency.
Geothermal energy, wind power, and hydroelectricity are its major competitors. Wind turbines are just now becoming more popular, and new designs are always being created, so they may be regarded a feasible future alternative. When compared to solar energy, wind power is usually thought to be comparable. It is more expensive; but, it has one benefit over solar energy, in that solar energy, for example, does not function at night. Wind power, on the other hand, can only be harvested in specified regions with favourable weather conditions.
When comparing solar electricity to the other two energy sources, the same issue arises. Despite the fact that it does not create direct waste, hydroelectricity is less environmentally friendly. On the other hand, geothermal power is exceptionally environmentally friendly, equivalent to solar energy in this regard; nevertheless, solar electricity is less efficient.
Nonetheless, geothermal energy is still being explored due to a number of issues, including the fact that the technology is not yet evolved enough to allow ordinary people to directly profit from it by constructing their own power sources. Solar panels shine in this area because, despite their high cost, they are significantly easier to manufacture and have few maintenance difficulties.
Costs of Manufacturing and Purchasing
Solar panels have a number of drawbacks, one of which is their high cost. The price of both making and purchasing them ready-made might be fairly high. Of course, the investment is largely determined by the size of the home and the type of solar energy source chosen.
A one-kilowatt-hour solar system might cost anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000. When we consider that a family of three needs a system that can supply 1 to 3 kw, the cost of a feasible and generally steady solar panel system can easily treble, if not triple.
Solar hot water systems, on the other hand, are generally significantly more affordable, costing between $2000 and $4000. This is good news for individuals who like to diversify their energy sources and, in certain cases, employ numerous systems to maximise efficiency.
Even better, the cost of solar panel arrays has dropped dramatically during the last two decades. Prior to then, the expenses were more than 5 times higher, and the quality was subpar for such a large investment. As a consequence of this advancement, many scientists believe that solar energy’s price and efficiency rating will soon be excellent enough to allow it to replace the traditional power system and give people with a useful, clean, and powerful alternative to many of the current energy sources.
You may also buy only the pieces and build your own solar-powered system if you’re up for it. Depending on your demands, you may make it far more cost-effective, at a fraction of the cost of a standard solar panel. While this might be challenging, it is possible with a little time and effort.
Difficulties in DIY
Of course, if you decide to build your own solar panel arrays, you will almost certainly encounter several challenges, especially if you are not used to creating things from the ground up. Additionally, in order to save money, you may have to utilise lower-quality materials that may not last as long.
Manufacturers frequently stress the difference in quality and dependability between their solar panels and those assembled by an untrained person. This is, of course, a marketing tactic, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to construct a good, practical solar panel.
Although the effort may be too much for some, if you enjoy performing good old-fashioned work, your chances are high.
Problems with the Location
Another issue, independent of the solar array’s quality, is the disparity between different places. The biggest disadvantage in this regard is that it cannot be used in areas where sunshine is not accessible on a constant basis.
In regions closer to the poles, for example, the sun seldom shines for more than a few hours throughout the winter season. This can make using solar panels for constant energy generation very challenging.
In addition, solar panels do supply some energy in locations when the weather is very gloomy, wet, or foggy, but their efficiency is greatly diminished, and you may need more than the anticipated quantity to properly provide electricity for your complete family.
Of course, if you live in a location where it doesn’t rain often and there’s plenty of sunshine virtually every day, a solar panel array could be the ideal solution for you. You may be able to obtain fantastic results in this scenario depending on other aspects such as the amount of space you have available and the size of the panels themselves.
Long-Term Inconsistency and Pollution
Solar energy may appear to be pure on the surface, but it is nevertheless sensitive to pollution, which can reduce the efficiency of a solar panel. While most contemporary designs are unaffected by this, older ones might be readily harmed since technology was not as sophisticated and the materials used were substantially less trustworthy in the past.
While solar panels themselves may not be harmful to the environment, if you’re utilising an off-grid system, you’ll almost certainly need to utilise lead-acid batteries.
Their lifespan is significantly less than that of a solar panel (roughly 5 years for the battery, in contrast with 20 to 30 for the panels).
As a result, not only will you have to pay more on a regular basis, but the lead and sulfuric acid in the batteries may also be harmful to the environment. When used incorrectly, they can cause a slew of issues.
Of course, there are alternatives, since more than 90% of the materials in lead batteries may be recovered during the recycling process. As a result, you must guarantee that the batteries’ lifespan is extended as much as possible, after which you must dispose of them at a recycling centre.
In general, there are several drawbacks to adopting solar energy as a reliable power source for your house. However, as we’ve seen, all of these disadvantages are contingent on people’s capacity to define precisely what they require and compare the findings to their capabilities. You might be able to come up with a suitable solution if you make an accurate appraisal of the problem.
There is no reason why you should not profit from the beneficial characteristics of this energy source; nevertheless, it should be emphasised that the technology is still in its early stages, and obtaining a decent cost/quality ratio will need extensive study and awareness of all potential concerns.
Solar energy, on the other hand, is expected to become considerably cheaper, more accessible, and more efficient over the next several years, according to experts. If you are a solar energy fan, keep an eye out for technology breakthroughs since you never know when a good chance will “light” upon you in precisely the perfect way.