Many reports will state that Solar Panels are a worthy investment and a planet-saving energy resource that emits no pollution. While this is all very true, there are two sides to every story and both advantages and disadvantages to everything – including solar panels.
Solar Panel Disadvantages
• Solar cells and solar panels are not cheap: Committing to solar power energy is an investment and not a cheap one at that! With electricity bills continually on the rise, many UK homeowners are now finding that generating your electricity is a more attractive offering in the long run. However, the initial costs for the system and installation are not always cheap, and you have to see the benefits in the long term, meaning you have to be reasonably committed to your current home. Less than five years, then the solar panel may not be seen as a worthy investment in terms of ‘payback’. Generally, the ‘payback’ time of getting the cost of installing the panels back is around 7-10 years.
• Cloudy British Days: Solar panels use the simple rule of ‘more light = more energy’. So on a dark or stormy day, or at night, solar panels struggle to harness the power, a critical solar panel disadvantage. However, this does not mean that on a cloudy day no power at all will be generated, just the electricity produced on a sunny day will be much more significant as Photovoltaic solar panels (the most commonly used solar panels) use light, not heat to work.
Solar Panel Advantages
• No pollution: The main advantage of solar power over other energy resources is the fact no pollution is emitted. It is more practical than oil, as oil burning releases harmful greenhouse gases and CO2.
• Renewable resource: We can always rely on the sun upon constant and consistent power. Unlike other energy resources such as oil (most people use to power their homes), will go and be gone forever, meaning strength and energy will run out. Whereas with solar, there is an infinite amount of power we can generate.
• Available for domestic use: A key advantage for solar panels is the advance in technology, meaning groups have gradually become much smaller and much cheaper over the years, and they are now efficient and affordable enough for domestic use. Any solar energy you do not immediately use will be stored in the electrical grid through the meter. This means that on a miserable day, or at night when your system is not producing more energy than your building needs, it can use the energy stories in the electrical grid as usual.
• No noise: Unlike giant oil machines, solar panels make no noise when extracting useful energy from the sun. Meaning that as well as providing your home with a great deal of power and energy, it will be beautiful and peaceful for you still!
• Investment and savings: The continuous rise of electricity bills has meant UK homeowners are now finding that generating your electricity is an extremely attractive offering, and people can reap the benefits in the long term, a key advantage for solar panels. The Energy Saving Trust now estimates that a typical 4kwp system can save the average UK family up to £150 a year on their bills. With electricity bills predicted to rise over the next twenty years continuously, the amount saved from installing solar panels and using solar-generated energy will also increase. There are a variety of factors that determine these solar energy savings, however, such as the size of the system used, the electricity use and whether you are home during the day. To gain the maximum savings on electricity, a south-facing roof is also preferable, with no shading or trees so that the solar panels receive maximum light exposure.
• Convenience: Little maintenance is required to keep on top of your solar panels; they last a long time with just an annual clean. Solar panels can also be used in remote areas where it is difficult to extend the electricity power grid.
• Improving technology: With technology continually improving, there’s the opportunity for a solution to solar power storage for the night and on miserable days, and the chance for the panels to become smaller and cheaper still!