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Pros & Cons of Solar Energy

Below is an in depth list of the pros and cons of solar energy.
These pros and cons will cover areas such as solar energy for the home, and the industrial use of solar power.

Solar Energy Pros:

  • Solar panels give off no pollution, the only pollution produced as a result of solar panels is the manufacturing of these devices in factories, transportation of the goods, and installation.
  • The production of energy from the use of fossil and some renewable fuels (e.g. wind turbines) can be noisy, yet solar energy produces electricity very quietly.
  • One of the great pros of solar energy is the ability to harness electricity in remote locations that are not linked to a national grid. A prime example of this is in space, where satellites are powered by high efficiency solar cells.
  • The installation of solar panels in remote locations is usually much more cost effective than laying the required high voltage wires.
  • Solar energy can be very efficient in a large area of the globe, and new technologies allow for a more efficient energy production on overcast/dull days.
  • Solar panels can be installed on top of many rooftops, which eliminates the problem of finding the required space for solar panel placement.
  • Another great pro of solar energy is the cost. Although the initial investment of solar cells may be high, once installed, they provide a free source of electricity, which will pay off over the coming years.
  • The use of solar energy to produce electricity allows the user to become less dependent on the worlds fossil fuel supplies.

Solar Energy Cons:

  • The major con of solar energy is the initial cost of solar cells. Currently, prices of highly efficient solar cells can be above $1000, and some households may need more than one. This makes the initial installation of solar panels very costly.
  • Solar energy is only able to generate electricity during daylight hours. This means for around half of each day, solar panels are not producing energy for your home.
  • The weather can affect the efficiency of solar cells.
  • Pollution can be a con of solar energy, as pollution levels can affect a solar cells efficiency, this would be a major con for businesses or industry wishing to install solar panels in heavily polluted areas, such as cities.
  • Overview
Above is a list of many solar energy pros and cons, and although not definitive, you can see how the number of pros relating to solar energy, greatly outweighs the cons of solar energy.

The main reason we are not seeing a large amount of solar energy technology installations is due to cost, and unfortunately, as the price of fossil fuels remains lower than the initial investment towards the currently available solar panels, we will not see a mass shift towards solar electricity production.