America is continually searching for alternative sources of energy to substitute for fossil fuels. One of the major considerations is solar power. Solar energy is considered a viable alternative energy source for several great reasons. There are many advantages seen with solar power that are pointed out for those touting this particular power to replace fossil fuel sources. However, there are a number of disadvantages that should be discussed when working with solar power as an alternative energy source.
Solar power is concentrated and stored by harnessing sunlight. Using solar panels to gain this power source present several disadvantages for a number of settings. Locations or settings that offer the most sunlight are perfect for solar technology. Though, the perfect or ideal setting is hard to come by in most circumstances.
The issues surrounding settings for solar panels are with the amount of space the panels take up in any site. They must be displayed where they can get the most sunlight and away from surrounding structures, such as trees and other landscape obstacles. Solar panels are bulky, large and awkward. This means that adequate space to work with solar technology is an extremely large setting.
The more power you need the more space you need to work with solar energy. There are some settings where the power is needed, but panels cannot be set up because of the landscape or surroundings of the area. For an example, urban cities are far from the ideal setting for solar panels.
Solar powered energy is extremely expensive to work with making cost a disadvantage working with solar-powered energy. Building panels and modules that must go along with the technology are costly. One panel can cost upwards of $1000. Typically, to produce enough practical energy hundreds of panels are needed.
Some things that affect the cost of solar technology include;
- Panels must be large in order to absorb enough sunlight to make them feasible.
- Solar prices are going downwards as new technologies emerge.
- The government has provided tax incentives and subsidy programs to promote alternative energy.
- offering mass production and rebates results in the cost being extremely prohibitive for solar-powered energy.
Cost is an important factor when discussing all energy alternative resources. This disadvantage is one that cannot be ignored for a lot of companies and people who don’t have a lot of financial resources at their disposal for energy financing. Cost is a major disadvantage working with solar-powered energy.
This is generally the first disadvantage considered when imagining solar-powered energy as a substitute source for fossil fuels. Sunlight is the basis for this energy and without it the technology doesn’t exist.
Solar panels built in any area of the country without a lot of sunlight will not have enough energy generated or stored to make it of much use. Areas that have a lot of humidity or dampness in the air, which is also most of the locales with an abundance of sunlight, will deteriorate solar panels and other parts of the power system more quickly.
Weather is unpredictable. For an example, the sun is not guaranteed to shine everyday anyplace in the country. Of course, the more sunshine the better, but there is no guarantee the weather will always coöperate. Days which have cloudy or rainy weather without sunshine will negatively impact how much power is produced or stored with solar energy.
Not a consistent form of energy
Rain or nightfall would result in no energy being harnessed when working with solar-powered energy sources. Since weather cannot be controlled this makes solar energy unreliable and inconsistent.
Across our nation there are some areas that have harsh winter months where sunlight may only be possible a maximum of five hours in a day. Of those five hours, enough sun is needed to generate an adequate amount of energy to make it worth the trouble and cost to use solar technology for fuel.
Maintenance is a disadvantage for solar power
Maintenance of the equipment used for solar energy is vital to having energy available when and where you need it. Maintenance is needed for the solar panels along with other equipment tied to production of solar power.
Solar powered technology is produced using several various apparatuses. Batteries are a key part of the equipment for solar energy and last ordinarily around 5 years. Proper maintenance is important because they are comprised of substances such as lead and sulphuric acid. Improper maintenance of the batteries can result in hazardous waste in our landfills and contamination of soil and water which defeats the point of finding clean technology or alternative fuel sources which are greener, such as solar.
Panels last up to 20 years on average, but maintenance is important to make sure full advantage of solar technology is used. Improper maintenance can result in exposure to harmful UV or UVB rays from the sun. Inadequate maintenance can also mean exposure to solar radiation.
Maintenance of solar equipment tied to solar energy is high compared to other forms of alternative energies.
These are several disadvantages identified when using solar power as energy alternate to our current sources.