There are so many benefits in favor of the sun when we look at the advantages and disadvantage of solar power that it is hard to understand why we are not all converting to this renewable energy. The two most obvious advantages to utilizing solar power are the reduced utility costs along with enormous benefits to the environment. But clearly the disadvantages remain a problem, the main hurdle being one of initial cost. Though federal and state governments are offering tax credits and rebates, the initial installation of solar systems continue to be an expensive alternative compared to our current fossil fuel technology. It is going to require consumer pressure and demand if we are going to see these costs come down to realistic and affordable prices.
Let us first consider the disadvantages of solar power. Understanding these will empower you to know if choosing solar energy is right for you as well as provide you with the knowledge needed to make realistic demands and explore creative options if need be.
• The initial installation of solar systems is costly. Do your research on which solar systems will best suit your needs, and see if the tax credits and rebates can sufficiently offset some of these costs.
• Backup energy sources may still be needed since solar power cannot be harnessed when the sun is not shining.
• Solar systems require big solar gain. Harnessing the sun’s energy may not be realistic if you do not live in a location with ample sunshine.
• Some solar systems require a large area for installation so this can be a disadvantage if space is limited. Also the roof of your home needs to properly oriented for solar gain without obstructions as well as be structurally sound to bear the weight of solar installations. Flat roofs will require free standing solar panels so extra space is needed.
• Community ordinances or even local building codes can in some cases result in restrictions.
There you have the worst of it. As you will see below, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
• The power from the sun is FREE and produces no pollution.
• A reduction in carbon footprints and the dependence on fossil fuels benefits the environment.
• Solar systems are low maintenance with no moving parts that will wear out, have long life expectancy and make no noise. Many systems have a 30 year lifespan and warranty.
• Solar installations are easy to install. Many people are making their own solar panels and installing them as well.
• You will be saving a great deal of money in the long run, and benefit from tax credits and rebates.
• Solar power technology is constantly improving so more options will be available to suit diverse needs.
• Solar power extends beyond the home to other property buildings, swimming pools and outdoor lighting.
• Over 35 states offer net metering agreements where your solar system can be connected to the utility company. Unused electrical energy on the grid will run your meter backwards to reduce or even eliminate your electric bill.
• Lenders are offering Energy Efficient and Improvement Mortgage programs to help you build solar or refinance to go solar.
• Solar power systems are versatile, and can be used for both small and large scale solutions.
• Solar power can be used for hot water heating.
• Solar power is quiet, and a refreshing change from noisy furnaces, fans and blowers.
• Solar power homes have less dust and allergens.
• Solar power creates enough energy to completely eliminate its own production footprints.
• Solar power installation increases the value of your home while saving you money.
• Choosing solar energy makes you feel good about yourself.
I can tell you from experience from having lived in a solar home just how wonderful it is. I had solar hot water as well as radiant floor heat. I was so toasty all winter, barely needed to light a fire on the coldest nights and hardly ever wore socks or my fuzzy warm slippers. Instead I enjoyed the warm tile floor on my bare feet!
Renewable energy is our future so there isn’t much point in delaying the inevitable. I promise you this: once you go solar, you will never go back. You will wonder how you tolerated living without it for so long.