Solar Power Pros and Cons

Solar power pros and cons can be a list that goes on and on, but here are a few of the basics you should know about solar power, especially if you plan on using solar panels to power your home.  Are the costs really worth it?  How much energy can you really produce?  What laws do I need to worry about?

Cons of Solar Power: the Disadvantages

The Cost.

The sheer cost of solar panels will stop many people from ever getting them.  Right now, only the rich can afford the solar panels which are supposed to be saving you money.  So it seems a bit like a cache 22.  You have to spend money to save it.  But even then, they say it takes 20 years to recoop on your investment.  Now that number is getting lower all the time, and in a few years perhaps it will only take 10 years to be making money with your solar panels rather then spending it.  The average complete solar power installation can cost as much as $15,000 to $20,000.  For now, most people are sticking with just paying a $100 power bill rather than pay a price tag that big.

Dependability.

Let’s face it.  You only benefit from solar power when the sun is shining on your panels.  This means that half of the time your solar panels are just taking up space, doing nothing for you.  And on cloudy and rainy days you won’t be able to produce hardly any energy.  Depending on where you live this can be a big con.  Living in Washington state may not allow you to benefit hardly at all from solar panels, so you should take this into consideration, which is our next point.  You can rely on solar most of the time, but it is not as reliable as a wind turbine can be in windy locations.

Location.

This is a huge factor and be a big con if you live in a region of the world that gets a lot of rain and clouds, or where there is not much daylight to benefit from.  In parts of Alaska in the winter time there are days where you only have an hour or 2 of sunlight at the most, so the time of year can be critical too.  If you really want to rely on solar power for your main source of power than the right location can be critical.  Otherwise you would have to be an extreme amount of solar panels to make up for this factor and store all of the energy in batteries to use it on dark and rainy days.

The Pros of Solar Power: the Advantages

Set it and forget it.

Once you get your solar panels set up, there is very little maintenance ever needed.  Most panels can go for 20 years or more without ever needing any kind of work needed.  The reason for this is that there are no moving parts.  Movement causes things to break down over time, but solar panels just sit there and absorb the sun’s energy so there is not much you have to worry about there.

Efficiency.

The efficiency of solar energy is getting better all the time and they are able to make panels that can absorb more energy than ever before.  Even a few of these large panels can power all of your large appliances in your home.  In a power outage this may come in handy as well.  Your solar units can work like a generator.

Reliance.

Not having to rely on the power company is a huge pro.  I can’t tell you how sick I got of paying for my electricity every month when the costs just kept going up all the time.  With the money you are able to save on your power bill you can use it to buy even more solar units and become more efficient.  Even though there will be rainy and cloudy days, every time the sun is out, you will know that you are creating energy that is totally free to you.

No pollution.

For some this will be the biggest factor to consider.  There is not a single ounce of pollution from these solar panels and there never will be.  Renewable energy is a wonderful thing and it’s great to know you will never run out of this stuff either.  No matter how much we use solar energy there will always be more energy to get from the sun.  No one can hog it all and it’s free for the taking so why not start using solar power at home today.

Government perks.

You should check with your local laws, but there are all kinds of benefits the government will give you for going green with solar power.  There are grants you can get and huge tax breaks as well.  With this big push to go green, you can save some green as well, and that’s reason enough to start using solar power at home for me.

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