Anyone who knows anything about solar energy will tell you that it’s a fantastic resource for humankind. Not only does it mean we don’t need to rely on fossil fuels for energy, but it also generates green, renewable energy which is good for the environment.
However, just because something is good doesn’t mean it’s without its downsides. As with any other new or emerging technology, there are both advantages and disadvantages to solar energy. In this article, we’ll run down the most important ones so that you can decide for yourself whether or not this renewable energy source is right for you.
One of the major advantages of solar energy is the fact you can get it almost anywhere. All you need is some sun and a little bit of ingenuity. Because it’s so widely available, there’s no really good reason not to start using it today. Especially now that we have renewable energy initiatives in place to help drive down the cost of solar energy.
On the downside, though, we can’t ignore the fact that solar energy is still relatively expensive. The cost of installing solar panels and getting connected to the grid can be quite high. Especially if you consider that not everyone can afford it or even knows how to go about doing it themselves.
Like any other new or emerging technology, there are many ways in which solar energy can be put to better use than just powering your home. Depending on where you draw the line, you can reduce your carbon footprint and combat climate change by using solar energy to heat and cool buildings and vehicles. Most notably, solar power can be used to generate electricity which can then be fed into the power grid. From there, it can be redistributed to wherever it’s needed.
On the downside, we must address the environmental impact caused by the manufacturing and disposal of solar panels and other related hardware. While solar energy does generate small amounts of toxic fumes when turned on, these fumes are usually either harmless or easy to treat. They also don’t pose a severe threat to the environment. In terms of climate change, though, the effect is potentially huge. The manufacture and disposal of solar panels and other hardware related to it use a lot of energy and can greatly contribute to global warming. If we want to combat climate change and reduce our carbon footprint, we need to focus on reducing our energy consumption, not just turning off the lights when we leave the room.
One of the major advantages of solar energy is that it’s a clean source of energy that doesn’t pose a great risk to your health. It doesn’t contain any poisonous substances or put out any harmful fumes, which is great for those with asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Additionally, there’s no real reason to suspect that solar energy is a cause of cancer. While it can certainly cause genetic changes which can lead to cancers, these are usually either benign or reversible. There’s no evidence to suggest that chronic exposure to solar energy increases the risk of cancer.
On the downside, though, it’s important to consider the health risks associated with working in close proximity to the sun. Those who work in the solar industry are typically required to wear protective eyewear, to protect their eyes from the intense UV rays emitted by the sun. This can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, and other vision problems. There’s also a risk of skin cancer if you’re not careful when working in direct sunlight. This is why the industry requires workers to use protective gear such as sun shades and UV blocking glasses.
Everyone has to make a living, and while we’re not suggesting you go out and become an oil rig worker or coal miner, there are certainly worse ways to make a living than selling your energy to others. If you’re going to be working with your hands, you might as well do something useful with them, and selling solar energy is unquestionably useful. It allows those who use it to save money and cut down on their energy bills. Additionally, the ability to generate your own renewable energy means you have some control over how your electricity is generated. Instead of having your power company dictate the terms of your contract, you can be the boss and decide what energy sources to use and when. If you believe in the principals behind generating your own energy, you’ll have no problem with selling your surplus to another business or household. At least, not if they’re willing to pay you what you’re worth.
On the downside, selling your own energy is quite a bit more complicated than just turning on the sun and getting electricity. For one thing, you’ll need to ensure you have a constant source of energy to sell to others. To do this, you’ll need to invest in expensive solar equipment, such as solar panels and a system to store energy when the sun isn’t shining. Even then, you’ll need to get connected to the grid and register with your local power company. This is where the majority of the hassle comes in. You’ll have to follow all the regulations and procedures put forward by your electricity provider, or else you could find yourself in legal hot water.
Going green and doing your bit for the environment aren’t just fashionable these days, they’re necessary. We need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and the only way to do this is by adopting new, more sustainable energy sources. Thankfully, solar energy is a viable option that’s both beneficial and sustainable, so we at least have that to look forward to.