Solar energy has become one of the forerunners in alternative energy research. Since the rise f awareness about the pending depletion of the non renewable energy sources that we use, scientists have catapulted research in this area. The sun is a powerful and massive nuclear reactor with a lot of gases engaging in nuclear fusion to give off energy we know as heat and sun light. It is the largest and most powerful body in our solar system.
Research had led scientists to the realization that the sun’s powerful energy which we enjoy on a daily basis can be harnessed even further to generate electricity for human use. It is an inexhaustible source that is clean and leaves no carbon footprint. On paper, this sounds like the ideal source of energy in many aspects. However, like any other alternative source of energy, it has it’s own disadvantages. We shall look at a few major ones.
The sun only shines for an average of 12 hours a day. This is roughly the amount of time there is for the solar cells to harness the energy. However, at night when there is no sun, the panels cannot generate any energy. The solution to tips for some users is to utilize storage batteries as an additional accessory to their kit. The storage is then able to store up energy harnessed during the day for use at night. This means more cost in order to implement this additional feature.
Also, in areas where the average weather is cloudy and there are trees, it is more difficult to harness the power. For that reason, solar energy is best harnessed in sunny weather conditions, which is not always the case. This is one disadvantage of solar energy.
Te cost to implement a solar grid for the home or any other place is significantly high. Most of this cost comes from the initial purchase of solar panels, which are significantly expensive. This is a factor that may hinder many people from using this type of energy. The government is becoming more involved in putting incentives in place to offset the costs mainly by tax offsets. However, even with the efforts, the panels still remain expensive and above the capability of many potential users. As technology advances, it is expected that the cost will lower, enabling those who prefer this alternative energy to have it.
Another disadvantage of solar energy is efficiency. The current solar panels are equipped with technology that only delivers a 40% efficiency rate. This means that 40% of the sun’s energy is harnessed and turned into usable power. The other larger 60% on the other hand, goes to waste. Better and more expensive panels with capable technology to harness more power have doubled the efficiency rate, which is good or efficiency, but bad on the cost. These more technologically sophisticated panels are more expensive than their less efficient counterparts. For that reason, only a few can actually afford these efficient panels. For an alternative energy that requires more people to use it in order to have a positive impact on the planet, it hinders people from having it.