Solar power is just what it sounds like, power from the sun. To be more technical, it is the conversion of sunlight into electricity. Solar power has gained popularity within the last few years as a renewable energy source that does not cause pollution. When it became apparent that fossil fuels used for energy where causing pollution, scientists started raving about solar energy. Here is a picture that describes the solar power process in short.
But just like any energy source, it has both some advantages and disadvantages. The advantages and disadvantages of solar power are briefly described below.
Advantages of Solar Power
Solar power is advantageous in so many ways. It is pollutant free. It is also noiseless and has been used in numerous devices that consume low amounts of energy. Solar power is endless as long as the sun continues to shine. Here are a list of the advantages of solar energy.
- Solar energy is free, it comes straight from the sun.
- It does not cause pollution.
- Solar power is used in remote areas where electricity is next to impossible to get.
- Watches, calculators and other such low energy devices are run by solar power.
- Solar power will outlast the world’s oil reserves as it will last forever.
- It is a renewable energy source, as long as the sun shines, energy is being manufactured.
- Harvesting energy from the sun is noiseless and is therefore excellent for residential areas.
- Solar cells and panels require very little maintenance and they last a very long time.
- Once the solar panels or cells are installed, the cost of electricity will decrease. Only on cloudy or overcast days will electricity from the power companies be required.
Disadvantages of Solar Power
Although there are numerous advantages to solar energy and some would claim that they outweigh the disadvantages, there are still disadvantages to this type of energy source. Solar energy is dependent upon the sun and can only be produced when the sun is shining. Here are a list of the disadvantages of solar energy.
- The only times solar energy can be captured and converted is during the daylight and when the sun is shining.
- The panels and cells that are used to collect the sunlight are expensive to purchase.
- Solar power stations cannot put out enough energy to sustain large areas. They cannot compete with the large conventional power stations.
- Places that stay mostly overcast with little constant sunlight are not good places for solar power. Solar power is unreliable within those areas.
- Solar power stations require large amounts of land for the panels and cells to collect enough sunlight to provide enough energy.