Solar energy is touted by many as being the answer to our energy needs. Solar energy has many advantages since it is clean, renewable, and pretty much free for the taking. So why are we still burning fossil fuels instead of installing solar panels on all our rooftops? Although solar energy has many benefits, there are pros and cons of solar energy. Read more at http://energy.gov/eere/wind/advantages-and-challenges-wind-energy
Some of the pros of solar energy are:
Clean, produces no emissions
Renewable, as long as the sun keeps shining
Free, doesn’t cost you anything once you have the solar collectors
Simple low maintenance equipment
Available most place on Earth
Solar energy cons:
Only works in daylight hours
Less energy available on cloudy days
Cost of solar panels can be high
There are many advantages to solar energy that in many cases outweigh the disadvantages. The biggest factor that holds people back is the high cost of solar panels. It is easier for most just to keep paying the relatively low prices for fossil fuel generated energy. But as fossil fuel prices continue to rise, and the cost of solar energy continues to fall, solar is becoming more appealing. Especially if people can build the equipment themselves for a fraction of the cost. Click here to read more info about solar energy.
Unlike most energy generators, solar panels only work while the sun is shining on them. This means energy will have to be stored during the day for use at night, or other energy sources will have to be available for night time use. Cloudy weather will also greatly reduce the amount of energy. For many home installations, the solution is to stay connected to the power grid to provide energy when the solar panels are not providing enough. The solar panels can be just a supplement, or they can be hooked up to sell any excess energy back to the power company.
The equipment for collecting solar energy is usually simple and low maintenance. Both photovoltaic and solar heat collectors typically have no moving parts. This makes solar generators much different than other forms of energy that use mechanical components like turbines and engines powered by flames and steam. Solar collectors just sit quietly for many years doing their thing without needing any maintenance or adding fuel. An occasional surface cleaning once in a while may be all they need to keep them working efficiently for decades.
For those who are interested in using renewable energy, or who just want to save money, solar can be an option. It does have its pros and cons, but for many the advantages are worth it. Just knowing you are using clean, renewable energy and the independence can be worth the cost. And if you are the slightest bit handy, it can be enjoyable to build your solar panels and solar heating systems. You can save a ton of money and build it a little at a time. You can start with a simple panel to supplement your energy use, and scale it up until you are energy independent.