Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Power

Every day, households around the world use the planet’s energy resources. Conventional energy sources will be depleted quickly, unless more renewable sources are utilized.  One source of clean and renewable energy is solar power.

Advantages of Solar Power

Since solar energy comes directly from the sun, it is not only renewable, but also accessible in any part of the world.  As long as the proper equipment is utilized, unlimited amounts of solar power can be collected and put to good use.

Solar power is also one of the cleanest forms of energy, since it creates no pollution, and produces no greenhouse gases or waste products.

For residential uses, the use of solar power minimizes negative impacts on the surrounding environment, making it a safer alternative to wind or hydro power.

Not only is solar energy non-pollutant, in terms of gases, but it also causes zero noise pollution – since there are no moving parts in any of the devices which are used to capture the sunlight.

Because no moving parts are used, maintenance costs are low as well – only occasional cleaning and periodic battery replacements are needed.  Most manufacturers of solar panels provide twenty-year warranties for their equipment, guaranteeing long-life operation.

Solar panels placed on rooftops also double as a heat absorbers, slightly cooling the top area of the house, directly below the roof.

Disadvantages of Solar Power

The most obvious drawback of solar energy is its sole dependence on the sun.  Once the weather becomes cloudy, or nighttime strikes, energy collection comes to a halt.  However, recent advancements of technology now allow the generated power to be stored in special batteries which provide roughly enough electricity to last a night.  This is why solar-powered devices, including flashlights, are gaining in popularity and are proving to be efficient energy savers.

Solar panels can also be expensive, because of the materials that are used to create them.  And even when these materials are taken out of the equation, the entire process, considering the other devices involved, can be a bit costly.  This includes portable devices that utilize solar energy.  But most of the cost involved is in the initial purchase and installation of a solar power system – not running costs.

Fortunately, there are some people who sell damaged solar cells, which are much cheaper.  These damaged solar cells can be used to build fully functional solar panels, using the application of simple do-it-yourself techniques.

Although in every part of the world, there is at least some point in time when the sun shines, it is also true that direct sunlight is needed in order to make the most of the sun’s energy – and to generate the highest amounts of power.  This significantly restricts the placement of solar panels.  And some areas in the world may receive little benefit, due to lesser sunlight.

What’s the Bottom Line?

More research and development continues to be invested into this growing technology, and that’s a good sign for the future of our households – as solar power may one day be used more frequently than other energy sources.  Of course, solar energy isn’t perfect, but it makes a great complimentary addition to other energy forms.

To learn more about solar power, please visit Solar Power Information.

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18 Responses to “Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Power”

  1. John@Solar inverter June 20, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

    Here’s another advantage: politics. By using solar, the west will become independent from less-than-noble states in the middle east. I believe in fact that this is one of the factors driving political support for solar power.

  2. bethany July 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm #

    So how will solar power work in a totally rainy city like Seattle? At least it can be stored in generator batteries to make those kind of situations manageable.

    • Anna July 30, 2009 at 4:24 pm #

      @bethany – Well, though Seattle may have its challanges, the sun does shine there as well. It just also happens to rain a lot 🙂 Like you said, backup batteries are very useful for this situation.

  3. Brian@garage door repair July 20, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

    I wouldn’t view solar power’s disadvantages to be a factor that will stiffle the innovation and uptake of solar power. Many people are realizing that we should harness and use other forms of energy. Over the long term solar is a very attractive investment in our world’s future.

    • Anna July 30, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

      @Brian – I agree with you completely 🙂

  4. David@Make Solar Power July 28, 2009 at 10:03 am #

    I agree that one of the main disadvantages is reliance on the sun which would make the source unreliabey. However this will change much as newer methods are adopted as standard power production methods.

    • Anna July 30, 2009 at 4:26 pm #

      @David – This is correct. Look how far solar energy technology has come in the last couple of decades. I suspect this may be just a beginning.

  5. joe August 22, 2009 at 8:18 am #

    I think the main disadvantage is the costs, especially in this down economy.

    Would love to see this become mainstream someday…

  6. diy solar panels September 14, 2009 at 8:11 am #

    Solar panels in the not so far past were not nearly efficient enough for use by the bulk of average citizens in any country, but advances in the technology of photovoltaic has given the large energy companies the technology required to be able to mass produce solar electric power panels that can be afforded by the people like you and I.

  7. Wedding Website Template September 22, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    we’ve been talking about solar power for years, but its still too expensive

  8. Dennis @Solar Panels For The Home November 2, 2009 at 4:07 pm #

    Yes I think you a correct in everything you say about solar panels. But let’s consider for a moment the advances in technology that have been made in past few years. You now have what is called solar array’s which are more efficient and smaller than the old big solar panel. So as technology advances the cost of implementing solar power system into your home will only come down, making it more affordable for the average home owner.

  9. Stan@Build Your Own Electric Solar Panel November 17, 2009 at 11:05 pm #

    I think every solar power needs a feature in which you can store the power to be used when there is no sun.
    .-= Stan@Build Your Own Electric Solar Panel´s last blog ..Build Your Own Electric Solar Panel – Few Tips On Choosing =-.

  10. Daniel January 18, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    I just wish people would be more enthusiastic about alternative energy and the long-term benefits it offers. I live in a country with over 300 sunny days per year and it would be foolish not to harness that sun power, even if it`s for water heating only. Just start from somewhere.

  11. Eido@Hostgator Coupon July 9, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    I just wish people would be more enthusiastic about alternative energy and the long-term benefits it offers. I live in a country with over 300 sunny days per year and it would be foolish not to harness that sun power, even if it`s for water heating only. Just start from somewhere.

  12. Idaho roofers July 17, 2010 at 4:59 am #

    Solar power is good for many things. But not for high power purposes.

  13. Josh December 13, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Solar Power has greatly helped the environment from rampant destruction. It is good to know that people are learning to make use the best form of energy present on earth.

  14. Pater March 28, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    Solar cell become more efficient right now. The new generation low-cost of solar cell called thin-film solar cell reach about 12% nearly equal with Polycrystalline cell. We are still waiting the new improvement of solar cell efficiency..

  15. sandeep August 21, 2012 at 3:31 am #

    how it work on rainy time. what is the disadvantages of solar plates from rain or cold condition

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