Solar energy is becoming the new energy source for our modern lifestyles. While it comes with great technological progress, it is still not embraced by all people. And this is understandable to a certain degree because the technology comes with both benefits and drawbacks. Let’s see the most popular arguments on both sides of the debate.
Pros of solar energy
Solar energy is surely one of the most environmentally-friendly types of energy and it can produce electricity which is safer for the planet. But there are other benefits to solar energy which include:
Renewable energy is similar to recycling which means it the solar panels can produce more electricity without any other components or other materials. They can produce the energy all the time during the day and renew it every day. This makes the technology highly attractive. At large scale, this means major companies can start saving significant amounts of money with the cost of producing electricity.
Sustainability plays an important role in solar energy. It doesn’t impact the environment and it means that it can be a good choice for the future as long as there is direct light from the sun. Unlike people who think that traditional electricity is endless, fans of solar energy know that traditional methods are always finite. Take the car industry for example. The fuel needed to power cars are not endless and this is why so many manufacturers are starting to look for viable alternatives.
One of the most interesting aspects of producing electricity from solar energy comes with the ability to diminish or eliminate noise and sound pollution. Traditional methods are usually very loud as they are based on classic technologies. New methods of producing electricity from solar energy are totally silent. The technology uses solar panels to capture the light from the sun, thus, they don’t produce any sounds.
Works for remote areas
Since there is no need to connect the classic electricity system, solar energy can produce electricity on the spot. This means that communities which until now did not have access to electricity can now enjoy its full benefits. Interestingly, many of these communities have never had any access to electricity and they can now enjoy its full benefits. Of course, the most benefits and changes will come in developing nations where entire communities are connected to electricity for the first time.
At the moment, solar energy is strongly backed by many governments. This means that many companies and even individuals can benefit from switching towards solar energy. Interestingly, this creates the catalyst needed towards the future of the industry and the way we will produce electricity in the years to come. Many countries are now offering serious financial help for companies who want to produce electricity from solar energy. Even more, many homes are now financially benefiting from governments to go fully or partially towards solar energy.
It is true that solar energy has many applications. As long as the devices it’s trying to power are outdoors, they can benefit directly and independently from the energy. But this doesn’t mean that indoor devices cannot benefit from solar energy. There are plenty of solar panels which can capture the light from the sun transform into energy and can then send it indoors.
Cons of solar energy
There are some drawbacks to solar energy as well. As many people find out, solar energy is limited to capturing during daytime. Here are the main drawbacks of the technology:
Intermittent electricity production
Solar energy can only be captured during the day. This means that it will only work in intermittent stages. Unlike traditional electricity which can be produced even during night time, solar energy is prohibited to a nearly 50% less production capacity.
This leads to another considerable problem. Unlike the alternatives, the limitation and intermittent production of electricity with solar energy means that electricity has to be stored in larger quantities. This creates a whole number of problems which are usually tied to the increased financial burden for storage purposes.
The materials needed to produce the energy are not manufacturer all over the globe. Not every country is capable of producing high-quality solar panels and this can create some problems in certain areas. Usually, you can connect any area to solar energy and its electricity. But you do need to move and build entire production facilities or extend the coverage area from the closest solar energy source.
Geothermal Energy as a Energy Resource
Geothermal energy definitely has some downsides – mostly related to first cost! However, long term, geothermal power for heating, cooling, electricity generation and even domestic hot water is a sustainable and reliable source of energy for our growing energy needs.
This seems to be the biggest problem in most situations. The upfront cost of this energy seems to be too much for some companies or individuals. If they can get help from governments, that can help. But they need to consider that the cost associated with the needed equipment will be considerably higher. Even more, powering a small community will come with very high upfront costs. On the other hand, most individuals and communities can benefit from reduced monthly bills after the initial setup. The maintenance cost of the systems will be the only cost associated with solar energy.
As you can see, there are many benefits and drawbacks to solar energy. Many people are still debating on whether it is a good step towards the future or just an expensive attempt to proven traditional methods. It is not yet clear how the specialists will address some of the concerns which come with solar energy, especially with storage and costs.
On the other hand, the benefits seem to outweigh the limitations of the technology. Interestingly, this can be a good opportunity for many companies and researchers to push for innovation in an area where everything is still quite new. The advances in the industry are remarkable, however. When you see entire communities in developing countries are just now using electricity for the first time due to solar energy, it is clear that the technology is here to stay even as it stands at the moment.