Solar Energy: What are the advantages and disadvantages?
The advantages of solar energy are great. Traditional methods of producing electricity have many disadvantages.
Most large suppliers of electricity require a large amount of fuel to produce their electricity.
Coal is the most common fuel. Fossil fuels, as we all know, are a finite resource as well as a pollutant when burned.
Solar Energy Advantages
Solar has many advantages over typical electric generation. The sun's energy is available to consumers without the need for, or cost of, any finite fuel. Instead, the energy is naturally produced. The challenge is to find cost effective ways to harness it.
Another advantage is that it encourages independence. This independence is not just limited to individual homeowners, but also worldwide. As demand for electricity continues to rise, there is a rising demand for more and more fuel.
If the world can reduce its reliance on these fuels, we can reduce our reliance on foreign investment and resources. Many governments have recognized this and have done something about it. In the U.S., the Energy Policy Act of 2005 gives homeowners a tax credit toward the cost of various types of solar installations. Some U.S. states have additional incentive programs that also encourage the use of solar electric systems.
Solar Energy Disadvantages
As with all technologies, there are some disadvantages to solar technology. The biggest disadvantage right now is the added cost over traditional technologies. This problem is quickly disappearing as innovations in the field reduce the cost of new systems as well as increase their efficiency. You can learn more about the cost of solar power
Another disadvantage to solar technology is its inherent reliance on the sun. Different parts of the world have different amounts of sunshine. This makes solar systems more produce in some areas, as well as less productive in others. Battery technology is helping on this front.
By developing more efficient, long-lasting batteries, solar systems are able to deliver better results over the long run. Any disadvantages will eventually be solved by continued investment in developing new technologies to harvest the sun's energy.