Solar Energy Advantages And Disadvantages: Find Them Out

The sun is free for everybody to use. Irrespective of religion and nationality, the sun shines upon all of us in all its glory. Since the very dawn of history, the sun has been showering its light and warmth upon us. Thanks to modern science and technology, man now has the knowledge and know-how of harnessing a part of the tremendous energy contained in the sun and pitting it to various uses.

The most common way of using the energy of the sun is with the help of photovoltaic cells. Even though the initial set up costs can be a little high by most standards, the long -term financial benefits of using solar power are truly unparalleled.

The sun provides us with a unique advantage of generating enough power for ourselves and sell off any surplus to the local utility company or the grid at a profit through what is known as the “Net-metering Scheme”. It requires no raw materials and has no running cost. All one needs to do is connect the system to the local power grid and send back the excess power generated by him to the local company. An example will make things clearer. Say, your monthly electricity consumption is X number of units or A amount of dollars. Now, if you install a solar panel at your home that can produce 6X number of units per month that is equivalent to $5A and you draw 2X number of units from the utility for night time consumption, you are still left with 6X minus 3X or 3X number of units equivalent to $5A minus $A or $4A in your hand. Selling off surplus power seems like the only sensible and smart choice because you cannot store this power for use on rainy days. If left unused, it will go to waste. So why let that happen? The best move is to sell it back and make a neat little profit from it.

One of the most important considerations when you are thinking of setting up your very own solar power system is the return on investment. Be warned that the initial investment can be fairly high by most standards, even though most states will extend financial assistance to you for the cause. This is because solar energy is eco-friendly and a clean renewable form of energy does not pollute the environment. However, you can always find out the break-even point by subtracting the value of the annual sale of electricity from the initial investment made by you. Take a look below for a typical example.

Initial investment $30,000 Annual sale value of solar electricity $ 5,000 Time to reach break-even point 6years From the 7th year onward Zero cost!

The ecological benefits of using solar energy are too strong to deny. In fact, one of the biggest advantages of using solar energy comes from its clean, renewable, non-fossil fuel oriented and sustainable nature. Solar energy production does not cause air pollution because, unlike other conventional modes of energy production, there is no discharge of sulfur dioxide (SO), carbon dioxide (CO), nitrogen oxide (NO) or mercury. And for the same reason, solar energy does not contribute to the contemporary problem of global warming or greenhouse effect. What’s more, with solar energy you never need to worry about smog or acid rain in the area where it is utilized. What could be ‘greener’ than this?

Another big advantage of using solar energy comes from the fact that it is virtually free and requires very little maintenance.

What makes solar power so convenient to use is the fact they are completely self-sustained and are an independent means of energy production. This distinctiveness of operation helps installation of units anywhere under the sun, irrespective of whether other facilities are available or not. Nowadays, owing to the latest developments, it doesn’t take much to set up a fully functional solar power unit near your own house and start generating your own electricity. It is a great feeling to have your very own power plant in the backyard, supplying power to your entire household. Moreover, when it comes to portability, few things come as close as solar power. Powerful Solar energy units mounted on trailers, complete with control panel, converters, battery banks and switches are now in use in such remote areas like the South African Game Reserves where scientists are busy checking the genes of large animals like the rhinoceros or the giraffe. Independent solar energy operated units help light up their camp sites while powering their laptops for research work and other equipment and tools.

Last but definitely not the least, it has already reduced the dependence on Middle Eastern countries whose oil supplies had so far been responsible for fossil fuel generated electric power. In fact, considering the pace at which mankind is adopting solar power in homes and workplaces, the day is not too far away when diesel powered generators would be a matter of the past.

And now, let’s look at the other side of using solar energy. A disturbing factor is the present high cost of installation of a solar panel. Though efforts are underway to improve their affordability (there are many government schemes that extend financial help to those willing to install a solar power unit), the picture is still far from encouraging. We can only hope that these issues will be resolved quickly.

You must be all set to switch to solar power by now. But don’t get started all alone. What you need is a training guide – a manual, that will let you learn how to install a system. You will also need to know a few other things such as what is the best place to set up the system, where to buy the parts, how to get free batteries, safety precautions and also wiring the system. Get informed and you are ready to install solar system in your home. This the best way to ensure a quick, successful installation.

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Originally posted 2009-07-02 05:19:37.



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