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Advantages & Disadvantages of Solar Energy

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Are you the type of homeowner who questions if the advantages of solar power are truly worth the installation costs? Or do you think that there are even more economical or practical ways to spend your hard earned cash?

In this section of the site I show you that the solar energy advantages disadvantages debate is a real no-brainer.

There are many benefits of solar power. Solar energy has many advantages of traditional forms of power and can help in building our independence and security. Solar energy is an extremely economical way to meet your energy needs.

The advantages of solar energy are numerous and compelling. In fact, there really isn’t a debate. As prices for solar panels fall, it is becoming easier and easier for the ‘normal’ family to afford this technology.

Here are the solar energy advantages….

1. Saves you money

  • Well in the long run it does. After the initial investment of the solar panels has been recovered, the energy from the sun is FREE. The recovery/payback period for this investment can be very short depending on how much electricity or water your household uses.
  • If you have PV solar panels and you produce more electricity than you use, your utility company can buy it from you, building up a credit on your account! How good is that?
  • It will save you money on your electricity bill if you have one at all. Also, if you have a solar water heating system then you will save money there as well.
  • Solar panels do not need any fuel. Just the sun.
  • They are not affected in the same way the supply and demand of fuel is, and isn’t affected by price hikes.
  • Once your solar panels are installed, thats it! Its just savings. They are instant and will last a lifetime. And you don’t need to pay for the steep installation costs. If you are competant at DIY you can fit your own solar panels.

2. Environmentally friendly – solar energy benefits the environment

  • Solar energy is clean, renewable (unlike gas, oil and coal) and sustainable, helping to protect our us and our environment.
  • Pollution is reduced dramatically by using solar panels. Solar energy doesn’t pollute our air by releasing CO2/carbon dioxide, N2O/nitrogen oxide, SO2/sulphur dioxide, Hg/mercury or other dangerous gases into the atmosphere like many standard forms of generating electricity.
  • Solar Energy does not increase global warming.
  • By not using any fuel, solar power does not add to the cost and problems of storage of radioactive waste or the recovery and transportation of fuel.

3. Low/no maintenance

  • Solar panels are virtually maintenance free. Once installed, there are no recurring costs unless for example, on a water system a tube might break. This is unlikely though.
  • Operating in silence, they have no mechanical parts that need to move, do not give off horrid smells as well as not needing to be topped up with fuel.
  • Additional solar panels can be added when your energy/family needs grow.

4. Independent/semi-independent

  • Solar energy can be offset against utility-supplied energy consumption. It reduces your energy bills, but also provides your home and business with electricity or water in the event of a power cut.
  • A Solar energy system can work entirely on it’s own, not needing to be connected to the power or gas grid. This means remote areas in the middle of nowhere can take advantage of solar energy. This is of course a lot more useful, and effective money-wise than using a new install of utility electricity.
  • The use of solar energy reduces our dependence on foreign or centralized sources of energy, influenced by natural disasters or international events like wars, and so contributes to a sustainable future.

So the advantages of solar energy are clear for all to see.

Disadvantages of solar energy

The main disadvantage of solar energy used to be that solar panels cost too much. But with costs plummeting all the time as technology becomes better this really doesn’t hold up anymore.

But bear in mind that once you have made up your mind and you have made the investment on installing solar panels, then after that, solar power becomes free.

And the payback period for this type of investment can be considerably short, usually based on the quantity of electricity that has been utilized according to one’s household.

Solar power technology is improving consistently over time, as people begin to understand all of the solar energy advantages offered by this incredible technology. As our fossil fuel reserves decline, it is important for us to turn to alternative sources for energy. So the advantages of solar energy far outweigh the disadvantages.

Feed In Tariff

The Feed-In Tariff guarantees a minimum payment for all electricity generated by the solar energy system, as well as an additional payment for the unused electricity produced that can be fed back into the grid.

It is a government backed scheme which guarantees a fixed, premium rate for renewable electricity fed into the national grid. The power companies are obliged by the government legislation to buy the renewable electricity, the additional costs of which are passed onto the customers.

So you can actually make money from solar energy by selling excess electricity back to the grid. And some companies are giving away free solar panels but keeping the feed in tariff money which is a win/win situation for both.

The amount of money you receive depends on the type and size of the solar energy system you use to generate the power.

Other solar energy options

A great way of benefitting from solar energy but not spending a fortune would be to install solar powered outdoor lighting for your back yard or garden.

Or if you have the know-how, maybe you could build your own DIY solar panels.

Not only that, the benefits of solar power can also be applied to some of the most common domestic appliances. And some of these examples are: television sets, washing machines, electronic heaters, your domestic lighting and sounds systems.

You can actually employ some very useful and convenient solar powered lighting for your gardens, lawns, patios, yards, houses or if you want to apply the benefits of solar power for your security lighting, then go ahead.

What it means for you

Anyone who installs their own solar energy system, whether on a domestic property, commerical building or as a residential landlord, will benefit from making some of the electric power you need yourself. This means whatever you’re buying from your current electricity supplier will diminish. The net effect being the amount you spend on buying electricity will go down.

Solar power benefits you in many ways meaning that not only will your energy be more affordable but you can also take pleasure in the fact that your own carbon footprint is greatly reduced. This is good for you and good for all of us.

So really, it’s difficult to find any disadvantages other than if for some insane reason you like paying more and more for your fuel, with no control or influence on price, lurching from one energy price rise to another. You can minimise the impact of this effect and offset your costs and reduce your bills. You will be independent!

So we hope this has put a lid on the solar energy advantages & disadvantages debate.

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