Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy

3268270728_42b062c007_mDuring the last few decades solar energy has become a promising field in energy production that can cover our needs in electricity while ensuring environmental sustainability. Taking into consideration that the Earth receives at least 174 petawats of solar radiation per year, solar energy can be an excellent way to produce the electricity we need while we reduce greenhouse emissions.

One of the main benefits of solar energy is that it does not pollute the environment. As mentioned above, solar energy does not produce greenhouse emissions that could add to the greenhouse effect. In this time of increasing climate change with unpredictable consequences to civilizations and communities around the globe, using solar energy can be an effective way to ensure ecological sustainability without compromising the comfort of our daily lives. Careful planning of the photovoltaic installations can further improve their efficiency and bring more environmental benefits.

Furthermore, photovoltaic panels in houses can be a great way to produce energy for domestic purposes at a low cost. By installing photovoltaic panels on roofs of buildings lots of energy is saved because the distance between the production and the consumption unit is minimized. This can be translated into less money spent on electric bills. At the same time, this can make each house able to produce, store and use the amount of energy they want at the time they want to. As technology progresses and photovoltaic panels are produced at a more massive scale, more and more houses and businesses will afford to use solar energy for heating, cooling and electricity production.

In spite of the many advantages, solar energy has some disadvantages as well. One of its main limitations is that it is a source of energy that is not constant because it depends on the location, time of day, time of year and the weather conditions. Fluctuations in the amount of sunlight reaching the earth can have an impact on the amount of energy produced. This is why a lot of thermal / solar power plants use complementary sources of energy (such as gas or fossil fuel) or batteries when needed.

Last but not least, photovoltaic panels usually take up vast areas of land in order to produce energy at an effective rate because not so much solar energy can be concentrated on one single space at one single time. This can have a negative impact on the environment and can make it difficult to find suitable areas to install the photovoltaic panels. Careful selection of the locations and consideration of the multiple environmental factors can be a good way to mitigate the possible adverse environmental effects of solar energy installations.

In spite of the few disadvantages, solar energy is a solution that can help cover our energy needs and achieve environmental balance. All that it takes is to give a chance to this form of energy to prove its potential and leave behind practices that have damaged our planet to an unprecedented degree.

Photo by flickr.com / Sweet Tea

What is your opinion on solar energy and its advantages and disadvantages? Please share in the comments below.

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6 thoughts on “Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy

  1. Like Paula, although I love the idea, my location falls into one of the Disadvantages your write about. We live in a valley that periodically has an inversion that traps unhealthy air in the valley, blocking out any sun. We are in the second week of gray, unhealthy air.

    • Cathy hi! Thank you so much for your comment! Living in Athens I totally understand what you mean. Athens is situated as well in a valley surrounded by mountains and hills. During the summer when the temperatures rise to 35-40 degrees celsius most people feel like they live in an intoxicated oven because there is also a lot of pollution…Not to mention that the rising temperatures of the last few years make things even worse. Fortunately, I live one hour from the city center near the sea which makes things a bit better but still…Thank you for your comment Cathy!

  2. I’ve always thought it would be nice to add a couple solar panels to the flat roof, but sadly my yard is too shady – and the trees help keep the house cooler in summer. My cousin has a passive solar house and has saved a ton of money on energy costs over the years.

    • Thanks for your comment Paula! Using the natural shadow of trees to keep the house cool in the summer is another way to save energy so I believe this is quite ecological as well. I would really like to live in a specially designed house that would be really sustainable and environmentally friendly (made of wood, taking advantage of the natural sunlight, having recycling facilities etc) like your cousin’s but unfortunately most houses in Greece were built during the 70’s and 80’s with not much environmental consideration…Thank you again for your comment! 🙂

  3. Thanks for this… I’d like to see something on the wind generator out of Germany I think that is bladeless… safer for birds… know anything about it?

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