In the last year or so, the price of solar energy has fallen dramatically, which has opened the market to everyday people. Installers are now able to offer cheaper solar power options, and the technology continues to improve, meaning more people can have access to the power of the sun.
However, while the cost of solar power has come down, the jobs it creates have increased. According to a report by the Solar Foundation, 193,000 new jobs were supported by the solar industry between 2016 and 2018.
This is largely due to the increased demand for solar panels as the industry expands. More people are gaining jobs, and in turn, more people are benefiting from the decreased electricity bills that solar power brings.
But does all this mean that we should all be jumping on the solar power bandwagon and putting up panels on our roofs? Or are we better off investing in other, more energy-efficient options?
Here, we will explore the pros and cons of solar power and whether or not it’s the right choice for you.
Pros Of Going Green With Solar Power
There are many benefits to going green with solar power, and a few of them are:
- Decreased carbon footprint
- Reduced reliance on traditional energy sources
- Flexibility in generating your own electricity supply
- Improved air quality
- Reduced energy bills
- Shorter commute times
- Increased job security
- Increased privacy
- Saving money for other things
- Saving money
Each time you turn on your oven, air conditioner, or heater you are using traditional energy sources, and when they break down you are often left without heat or power for several days. With solar power, this is never an issue as the sun will provide light and heat for your home indefinitely.
The energy required to run these appliances comes from traditional sources such as coal, oil, and gas, which contribute to air pollution and climate change. However, with solar power, there is no need to look beyond your roof for energy, and it will be there when you need it without any impact to the environment.
The decreased carbon footprint is another major plus of going green. You will not contribute to climate change by producing your own energy with solar power, and instead, you will be reducing the impact that our current energy sources have on the environment.
Cons Of Going Green With Solar Power
There are a few cons to going green with solar power. One of the main ones is related to job creation. According to the Solar Foundation report, 64% of the new jobs supported by the industry between 2016 and 2018 were in construction, and a lot of this work is physically demanding and requires a lot of effort. It is not, therefore, a suitable option for everyone.
The number of houses with solar power systems has increased rapidly in the last few years, and a lot of this work is still being done manually which, while not dangerous, is very demanding. It is not, therefore, a free option for everyone in terms of who can do it and who cannot. If you are looking for a secure, long-term career, going green with solar power could be a bridge too far. In addition, the price of solar energy has dropped significantly in the last few years, and while there are still financial incentives available for homeowners and businesses, it is no longer a profitable option for everyone.
An alternative energy source that has been gaining popularity in recent years is wind power. While it has many advantages, the lack of consistency in both the wind and the weather means that it is not always possible to rely on it for electricity generation. If you live in an area where the wind rarely blows, you will not be able to generate your own electricity with it.
When Is It Suitable To Go Green?
It is widely accepted that going green can be a highly beneficial option for everyone. The key is to look at your own personal circumstances and whether or not you can benefit from going green. The above points should outline clearly the pluses of going green, but if you still cannot see the benefit then it may be best to look at other options.
If you are blessed with abundant sunshine and you can put up a solar panel system on your roof that will generate enough electricity for your needs, you should go for it. However, if you have a very short commute or you are looking for an environmentally responsible and sustainable option and there are no solar panels available you will have to look elsewhere.
If you can afford to put up a system that generates renewable energy and you have the room, you should certainly do it. At least, it will cut down on your reliance on costly electricity bills and air pollution. In addition, if you generate your own electricity you have complete control over what happens with it. You can use it for whatever you want, which in turn, means you can use it more efficiently.
How Many KW Do You Need?
This is a question that you should be asking yourself, and it depends on how much electricity you need. To generate any meaningful amount of electricity you will need at least a few hundred kilowatts. This is a large amount and it is not something that most people have on their rooftop. In addition, a lot of the DIY systems that are available do not generate enough electricity to cover your basic needs. If you are looking to generate more than enough electricity for your personal use, you will have to hire an installer or buy a pre-built system from a reputable company.
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of solar energy will vary depending on a number of factors, including the size of the system that you have and how much you want to pay for electricity generated. A rough guide for solar energy costs is $15-$25 per watt, and this does not include installation. As the cost of solar energy continues to drop, more and more people will be able to afford it.
There are also tax incentives available for those who invest in solar power. If you are an individual and you purchase a system that generates between 2 and 10 kilowatts you will receive a 30% tax credit.
Is It Worth It?
Once you have decided that going green with solar power is a viable option for you, the next step is to figure out whether or not it is worth it. This largely depends on your own personal circumstances and whether or not you can afford it. If you can put up a solar panel system on your roof that will generate enough electricity for your needs and you can afford the cost, it will be well worth it.
If, however, you cannot put up a system that generates enough electricity and you cannot afford the cost, you should look at other options. There are a number of sustainable energy sources that you can look into, including wind power and water power. You can also consider investing in a small generator which uses less energy.
If you have decided that going green with solar power is the right option for you, the next step is to decide which system to go for. There are a number of different brands that produce solar cells which can be used in your DIY system. This can be quite a difficult decision, and after careful consideration, you should choose one that suits your needs and allows you to reap the benefits of clean energy.