As the effects of climate change become more prominent and the world becomes more aware of their impact, people are looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption and become more independent from fossil fuels. Renewable energy sources such as solar energy are gaining popularity as a way to achieve this as they are seen as a better, more sustainable option. However, although solar energy is a very attractive option, it is not always the most practical. In fact, it is quite the opposite as generating solar power requires a lot of technical know-how and equipment such as solar batteries and inverters which you may not always have the resources to acquire.
This is why we have compiled this guide to help you understand what makes solar energy a good energy source and whether or not you should bother purchasing any equipment to generate it.
Is Solar Power Always The Best Option?
The first question one must ask themselves is whether or not solar energy is the best option in terms of generating power. In most cases, the answer is no as you will likely end up spending more money on equipment than what you would need to run your home for an entire year. This is especially true if you decide to purchase a solar panel system which consists of several panels that connect in parallel to produce a lot of power. The reason why solar power is not always the best option is because it depends on many factors such as your roof top space, how much power you need, and your financial ability to purchase the necessary equipment.
How Much Do You Need?
A second question one must ask themselves is how much power do they need? This is important because if you have a lot of space and can afford a lot of solar panels, you might be tempted to buy more electricity than you actually need just to generate a small amount of power (this is what most people do when they get a system for free or at a reduced price). The answer to this question is simple; you need to multiply your roof space by two to calculate how much power you need (this is because each panel provides half of the generated power).
Do You Have The Resources To Purchase The Necessary Equipment?
A third question one must ask themselves is do you have the resources to purchase the necessary equipment? This is important because if you do not have the necessary equipment to generate solar power, it is not a good option regardless of how much space you have because you will not be able to convert the energy you generate into usable form (most solar panels do not come fully equipped just to generate electricity so you will need additional equipment such as solar batteries and inverters to store the generated power).
Is Solar Power A Good Choice For The Environment?
A fourth question one must ask themselves is whether or not solar power is a good choice for the environment? Although solar panels do not pose a greater threat to the environment as compared to traditional power generation methods (such as coal, gas, and nuclear power), they are still seen as a better choice because they reduce the need to mine and process fossil fuels which are harmful to the environment. In most cases, the answer to this question is yes because solar panels do not create any harmful emissions which contribute to global warming. They also do not need as much fuel to generate the same amount of power as compared to traditional energy sources.
The Pros And Cons Of Solar Energy
Before deciding whether or not to purchase solar energy, it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of this energy source. The following are some of the major pros and cons of solar energy:
- – Virtually pollution-free: Solar energy does not emit any harmful chemicals into the environment during its production which makes it a much better option for the environment compared to most other forms of energy such as coal, oil, and natural gas.
- – Affordable: The cost of purchasing the necessary equipment to generate solar power (i.e. solar panels, solar batteries, and inverters) is much less than the cost of purchasing similar equipment for traditional power generation methods (e.g. coal, gas, or nuclear power). Furthermore, the cost of installing solar panels is often covered entirely or partially by the Federal government through various subsidy programs which further reduces the financial burden for homeowners and small businesses.
- – No need to maintain a permanent power source: With solar energy, you do not need to worry about whether or not you will have power once your sun starts going down because you can store the energy that you generate in either a battery bank or an inverter (and some even provide power when the sun is not even visible).
- – Can generate power at any location: Since solar energy does not require much in terms of financial ability or technical know-how to generate power, it is possible to generate electricity anywhere (although this will vary depending on the type of equipment you have).
- – Disadvantages:
- – No way to gauge energy output: Since solar energy does not emit any types of pollution, it is not always the best option for people who are trying to limit their carbon footprint. This is because there is no way of knowing how much energy you are generating without carefully monitoring (and taking note of) your electrical consumption. A solution to this problem is to purchase a Power Monitor which can track and indicate your energy production so you can easily keep track of how much you are using and how much power you are generating. Furthermore, if you want to generate electricity at a certain time of day (e.g. during the day when the sun is at its peak), you will need to start generating power earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon so that the energy will be stored until you need it (e.g. during the night or early morning hours when there is no light and the air is still).
- – Cannot operate at night: Since solar energy cannot operate at night, it is not the best option if you want to operate certain appliances at certain times (e.g. if you have a lot of electronic appliances such as laptops and tablets which you need to charge during the day). Furthermore, if you want to generate electricity during the day, you will need to purchase special equipment to do so (e.g. solar batteries which are more efficient at storing and converting electrical energy when the sun is at its peak).
As you can see, there are many advantages to solar energy but there are also a few disadvantages to consider. Some of these disadvantages are: