A look at Solar Energy Pros and Cons

To understand the solar energy pros and cons it’s a good idea to start with an understanding of your carbon dioxide footprint. This “footprint” is a measure of how much carbon dioxide you’re releasing into the environment by virtue of your energy-consuming habits. A typical American carbon dioxide footprint is around 36,000 pounds (18 tons) per year.

Solar, however, has no carbon footprint. To generate solar electricity you don’t need transmission lines and all the associated inefficiency. Most importantly there is an unlimited solar supply. At sea level, on a sunny, clear day, 1kWh of sunlight energy is falling onto a 1-square meter surface per hour. Over the course of a sunny day, you can realistically expect to capture around 6 kWh of total energy from this same surface area. That’s 180 kWh per month. Five square meters is enough to completely replace a typical monthly power bill. Although this may seem to be a clear solar power advantage it’s just not that simple. There are some disadvantages of solar energy as we'll see in a bit.

Did you know that you have legal rights to your sunlight? That’s right; it’s one of the little known solar power facts that nobody can build upwards so that your solar exposures are affected. Government acknowledges value in the amount of sunlight that hits your home. They know that one of the disadvantages of solar energy is that shade greatly inhibits its potential.

The government also knows that when weighing the solar energy pros and cons of investing in solar power they want to insure you’re able to maintain this valuable solar resource. You have a legal right to demand that your neighbors remove trees and other impediments to your solar access. If a neighbor’s trees are shading your property, you can do something about it.

Another "con" to consider with solar energy pros and cons is that solar power relies on Mother Nature’s generosity, and this varies from region to region. If you watched the weather before you’ll really be paying attention now. The timing of your energy use does not coincide with solar energy availability which is at its peak when the household power demands are minimal. So it’s out of phase with you need.

Want some more disadvantages of solar energy? Let's talk about paper! You'll need to work around building codes. Bureaucrats are a big hassle, and interfacing with government agencies is frustrating. Here's a tip, only select qualified contractors who install complex solar systems. They'll know the county building codes and how to schedule inspectors or handle the problems that may entail a lot of technical details.

Always be alert for unscrupulous contractors. Here’s how to protect yourself. Don’t look just at the price; look at the system’s long-term reliability. Pay attention to the amount of experience the contractor has. Get conversant about solar power. The less you need to trust the contractor’s performance claims the better off you will be. You’ll know if he’s exaggerates the future system’s performance. Before diving into this alternative energy it’s helpful to know all of the advantages and disadvantages solar power.

There’s also some physical work associated with solar power. Solar water heating panels can freeze up in the winter so you need to pay attention. If you power most of your home with solar then you’re on your own for upkeep and repairs. You’ll need to consider the condition of your roof before you install solar panels. Solar panels will affect other roof maintenance tasks.

Now all of these "cons" in solar energy pros and cons are offset by money. Let's face it we are in it to save some bucks. If that's not enough of a motivating factor then freeing ourselves and finally gaining independence from foreign oil should be the impetus! Let's finally get OPEC behind us! Do we really want to keep sending our hard earned dollars to these countries that laugh at us? Solar power is domestically produced and every kWh of solar energy that we produce reduces our demand for foreign oil sources by the same amount.

Electrical power is our most important form of energy consumption and electrical consumption is increasing every year because electricity may be used in so many different ways. Solar power directly supplants the need to produce electrical power – the majority of which comes from coal-burning power plants. Some people believe that we need to promote electric vehicles, which use batteries for power.

These batteries need to be charged, and the current scenarios call for plugging into the grid for the power. Doing so will result in a huge increase in grid-powered electrical demand, which in turn means that we’ll be using a lot more coal and emitting a lot more carbon dioxide. An ideal solution is to use solar power, instead of the power grid, to charge the batteries. In some communities, special rate structures are available for those who charge their electric vehicles with solar panels.

Solar power systems generate their maximum outputs during the afternoons, when the sun is shining the brightest. Therefore, solar is a perfect solution to the peak power problems that are becoming more and more common across the country. By installing a solar generating system with battery backups, you’ll be largely immune from power blackouts. Yes it's true that one of the big "cons" in solar energy pros and cons is that going solar requires an upfront expense. Additionally the cost of going solar varies from year to year. Your timing is an important concern because predicting how subsidies will change is impossible.

To understand the character of the many solar energy pros and cons it’s not a bad idea to start small. You can always expand your solar system. You can invest in a small photovoltaic system for your rooftop and then expand it as you go, spreading the investment costs over a long period of time. The best way to understand the character of solar energy is to start with the simpler products.

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