17 Pros And Cons Of Solar That Will Change Your Mind
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17 PROS and CONS of Solar that will change your mind about Solar Energy

The fact is that the solar industry is growing faster than any other time than in the past decade, so the question is, does going to Solar help you reduce your electricity bills and help in climate change. Read more to understand the pros and cons of Solar because that will enable you to understand whether solar is a good option or not for you.

Pros & Cons of Solar Energy
Pros or Cons of Solar Energy: You decide

After working in the Solar industry for almost ten-plus years, there is one thing I hear over and over again from homeowners who have installed solar, and there is no going back. It is just exciting to see your meter running backward, and your electricity prices are almost close to zero. The other common factor among Residential Solar owners is that they would love to add an energy storage system to your house to be entirely off-grid.

Check out the PROS of solar energy systems as well as the Cons of Solar power systems and see for yourself if solar panels works for you.

PROS of Solar Energy

1. Solar Reduces your electricity bill or eliminates your bill

One of the major solar energy benefits of Installing solar panels for your electricity needs, is that you either reduce your electricity bills or eliminates it. This reduction is good for your bottom line and your carbon footprint as well. Solar Power is becoming the cheapest form of energy globally, and its prices continue to drop as years go by, thereby having more access.

Net Metering is another way to reduce the cost of your electricity bills. Net metering systems enable customers to sell their excess electricity produced back to the utility grid during the daytime. As a result, this will ensure bill credits for homeowners and thereby reduce the cost of your electricity or energy needs, which helps save money.

2. Solar increases the value of your house.

Home-Value-Increase
Solar Panel Installation increases the value of homes and sells faster than non-solar homes.

It’s not a well-known fact, but the reality is that using solar as a source of electricity increases the house’s value. Solar Energy systems Installs on a home are viewed as an improvement upgrade, just like a finished basement or upgraded kitchen with the latest and greatest appliance. The Berkeley Lab [1] has reviewed this and assessed the homes. On average new homeowners were willing to pay a premium of $15000 for a home for an average-sized system (3 kW); see How to install Solar. Additionally, there is evidence homes with solar panels sell faster than those without those upgrades.

3. Solar Energy is Clean Energy

Solar Power Systems are clean, and it’s is a well-known fact, just because it uses energy from the Sun to convert electricity using Solar Panels and Inverters. By converting electricity from Sunlight, we can eliminate greenhouse gas emissions like Carbon Dioxide C02 and other air pollutants generated by burning fossils fuels and reduce carbon footprint. Also, Solar is a renewable energy because its inexhaustible and will never run out. The other aspect is that there is little or close to zero land or water pollution as with the extraction of fossil fuels from the ground.

4. Solar Energy is used in places where conventional electricity is hard to reach.

Solar-in-Hard-to-see-places-1
Solar Energy is used in hard-to-reach places.

Almost the entire United States receives Solar Energy compared to conventional energy sources from natural gas and Coal.  So, practically, Solar Energy can generate electricity in areas where traditional electricity like the poles and wires approach is hard to reach or makes zero economic sense to pull wires to a specific location.

5. Solar Energy has a low maintenance cost.

Unlike other renewable energy, solar energy has no moving parts, like onshore and offshore wind, hydro, and other conventional electricity sources like transformers and substations. Therefore, the central feature that would require some maintenance would be to replace an inverter once every 15 years.

6. Solar Energy has Long Life Span

Solar Energy uses Solar Panels as the primary energy generating device, and these panels have a typical life span of close to 20-25 years from the date of install. The inverters, which are the other device, convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) with a life span of close to 15 years, and even some of the latest inverters have close to 25 years. Hence the primary two devices that convert Sunlight to solar energy have long life spans.

7. Solar Energy is becoming cheaper every day.

Solar-Price-decline
Solar Price decline curves in Residential, Commercial and Utility-Scale PV

The cost for installing solar panels has dropped enormously; the cost of solar has fallen by 99% since the 1970s. In 1977, a solar PV cell’s price was $77 and generated just one watt of power. Today’s solar cells are far more efficient than and the cost to generate just one watt is around $0.13 per watt or about 600 times less. Currently, China is the leading manufacturer and exporter of solar panels worldwide, which helps the world to have cheap.

8. Solar Energy is versatile

Solar Energy is used to generate power for a home, a community, or a city and is called one of the most versatile forms of energy available to use. 

Rooftop Solar Systems are solar panels installed on the roof of your home or business to generate power used up in that location only.

Community Solar is a way for local-area residents to purchase solar energy without installing rooftop solar panels on their property. The local community or entities authorized to sell power to the local-area residents in that area manages the community solar farm.

Utility Solar is a solar facility that generates power and feeds it into the grid, like how Coal-fired or natural gas generator supplies the utility companies with energy. 

9. Solar Energy is Quiet

Solar Panels generates power without any noise or smell, unlike a diesel-powered or a natural gas generator. That’s because the photons in the Sunlight strike electrons in a silicon panel mixed with phosphorus and or related chemical, and that sub-atomic level movement forms an electrical current. Whereas in natural gas or coal-powered generators, burning coal or natural gas emits noise and smells associated with that generation.

10. Solar Energy creates jobs.

With the increased number of solar energy deployments within a given region, more related jobs are associated with that region in welders, installers, electrical inspectors, and utility inspectors. Hence, there are more employment opportunities in the solar energy sector, ultimately stimulating the local economy.

11. Solar Energy technology is constantly improving. ‘

Early solar cells had an efficiency of just 1% [2]. Today’s solar panels are hitting the 25% mark [3] and above in the highest efficiency solar panels available today. Today, larger, powerful, and more efficient solar panels globally, including bifacial technology and building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). In addition to this, there are floating solar farms—what some call “floatovoltaics” to concepts such as solar skins, solar fabric, and even solar roads; there’s no shortage of ideas and new products.

12. Solar Energy has Tax Benefits.

Today when you install Solar panels, be it a residential or commercial system, an Investment Tax Credit (ITC), known as the federal solar tax credit, applies to the system. This Credit allows you to deduct 26% of the entire cost of installing a Solar Energy system from your overall federal taxes. This ITC is applicable for all kinds of Residential and Commercial systems, and the best part of it all is that.

How much Solar I need to run my entire house
Solar Investment Tax Credit Schedule

There is no CAP in the amount of its install.  One of the direct advantages of this ITC implementation is that the residential and commercial solar space has grown by more than 10,000% percent since its implementation in 2006.

Currently, the ITC is set at 26 percent, following which The ITC then steps down according to the following schedule:

  • 26 percent of all solar power projects planned to begin construction in 2021 and 2022 receive the ITC.
  • 22 percent of all projects planned to begin construction in 2023 receive the ITC.
  • After 2023, the residential Credit drops to zero while the commercial Credit drops to a permanent 10 percent.

13. Solar Energy Systems installed size expanded as prices keep dropping.

One of the most remarkable factors is that as solar panels prices keep dropping, you can add more solar panels to your existing configuration, thereby increasing the system’s generating power associated with the system’s overall size. The result enables us to either use the energy generated for our needs or sell it back to the grid to make extra cash. One thing to note is that with a central / string inverter, you have to make sure your inverters can handle the extra power generated by the solar panels. With Microinverters, on the other hand, those inverters attached to the back of the solar panels, you’re able to increase the size of their system, yet, you should be ready to purchase an additional inverter alongside the solar panels.

CONS of Solar Energy

1. High Cost

One of the main cons of solar power is the cost of going solar and is still described by many as a major disadvantage of a solar panel system and we find this surprising. Aside from the 30% federal tax credit and local incentives in many places, companies have lowered the cost further by slashing, known as soft costs [4]. Soft costs are any costs that are not the product costs of solar panels.

2. Intermittency / Expensive Storage

Although Solar panels only produce energy during the day, the main disadvantage of solar panels system is that they can’t produce electricity in the night. Therefore, you would have to use some other energy source at night, most likely the traditional utility grid, to cover your nighttime usage. That means you’re still dependent on generating electricity. To use solar energy at night, you must have a way to store the solar panels’ power overproduce in the day. However, energy storage is still an expensive option because the battery used for solar is not your typical battery [5]. Adding batteries to an existing project can be as much as 50% cost of the original project. Though expensive batteries may be actual for now, low-cost energy storage is on the horizon. Many companies are working on this, including companies such as Tesla and others. Industry trends show that batteries would be cost-affordable within five years.

3. Land Usage

Energy Informative, a website for going solar for the homeowner, states that power density (watt per square meter) is vital when looking at the amount of power derived from an area. Solar’s average solar power density is 170 watts per square meter, much less than oil, gas, or nuclear power. Of course, if you live in the south, the desert, or both, your area will get more Sunlight. Though this may be a concern for large-scale solar farms, this is not a concern for residential Solar. Most homes have at least enough roof space to put up some solar panels. If more solar panels are needed, there’s always the option of putting ground-mounted systems in the backyard.

4. Pollution

Energy Informative points out nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) as a pollutant when manufacturing solar cells. There needs to be a clarification here. First, an LCD  uses NF3 (LCDs), which are in higher volume than solar cells without any benefits to the environment from the actual products. Secondly, the NF3 is produced with silicon-based thin-film solar cells. Thin-film solar cells have not reached the efficiency and cost level required to be used for residential rooftops.

The critical takeaway associated with reading this article is that there are many advantages over disadvantages to going solar. Although the pros and cons of solar help us understand solar energy, it is up to you if you think going solar is worth its shot. Then read our guides on how much solar electricity you would need to power an entire house.

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