12 May 2011

Explain about the various advantages and disadvantages of solar energy.

Solar Energy Advantages:



1. Saves you money
  • After the initial investment has been recovered, the energy from the sun is practically FREE.
  • The recovery/ payback period for this investment can be very short depending on how much electricity your household uses.
  • Financial incentives are available from the government that will reduce your cost.
  • If your system produce more energy than you use, your utility company can buy it from you, building up a credit on your account! This is called net metering.
  • It will save you money on your electricity bill if you have one at all.
  • Solar energy does not require any fuel.
  • It's not affected by the supply and demand of fuel and is therefore not subjected to the ever-increasing price of gasoline.
  • The savings are immediate and for many years to come.
  • The use of solar energy indirectly reduces health costs.
2. Environmentally friendly
  • Solar Energy is clean, renewable (unlike gas, oil and coal) and sustainable, helping to protect our environment.
  • It does not pollute our air by releasing carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide or mercury into the atmosphere like many traditional forms of electrical generations does.
  • Therefore Solar Energy does not contribute to global warming, acid rain or smog.
  • It actively contributes to the decrease of harmful green house gas emissions.
  • It's generated where it is needed.
  • By not using any fuel, Solar Energy does not contribute to the cost and problems of the recovery and transportation of fuel or the storage of radioactive waste.
3. Independent/ semi-independent
  • Solar Energy can be utilized to offset utility-supplied energy consumption. It does not only reduce your electricity bill, but will also continue to supply your home/ business with electricity in the event of a power outage.
  • A Solar Energy system can operate entirely independent, not requiring a connection to a power or gas grid at all. Systems can therefore be installed in remote locations (like holiday log cabins), making it more practical and cost-effective than the supply of utility electricity to a new site.
  • The use of Solar Energy reduces our dependence on foreign and/or centralized sources of energy, influenced by natural disasters or international events and so contributes to a sustainable future.
  • Solar Energy supports local job and wealth creation, fuelling local economies.

4. Low/ no maintenance
  • Solar Energy systems are virtually maintenance free and will last for decades.
  • Once installed, there are no recurring costs.
  • They operate silently, have no moving parts, do not release offensive smells and do not require you to add any fuel.
  • More solar panels can easily be added in the future when your family's needs grow.
Solar Energy Disadvantages:
  • The initial cost is the main disadvantage of installing a solar energy system, largely because of the high cost of the semi-conducting materials used in building one.
  • The cost of solar energy is also high compared to non-renewable utility-supplied electricity. As energy shortages are becoming more common, solar energy is becoming more price-competitive.
  • Solar panels require quite a large area for installation to achieve a good level of efficiency.
  • The efficiency of the system also relies on the location of the sun, although this problem can be overcome with the installation of certain components.
  • The production of solar energy is influenced by the presence of clouds or pollution in the air.
  • Similarly, no solar energy will be produced during nighttime although a battery backup system and/or net metering will solve this problem.
As far as solar powered cars go - their slower speed might not appeal to everyone caught up in today's rat race.