Pros and Cons of Solar Energy
Decisions, decisions. Will solar panels be worth the time and effort....read on for details.
Solar technology continues to advance. The latest, greatest thing to come down the PV pike is thin-film solar cells. These cells are made of layered semiconductor materials that are only a few micrometers thick. This thin film technology makes possible roof shingles and tiles, building facades and window glazing made of photovoltaic material. These shingles and glazing are just as protective and durable as conventional shingles and glazing.
There are, naturally, pros and cons to using solar panels. Some of the advantages include zero carbon emissions. No pollution, no waste. It’s some of the cleanest energy you’re bound to find in this or any other galaxy.
Advantage number two is freeing yourself (at least partially) from power companies. No more dependence on the power grid system, no more being at the mercy of outages and rate hikes.
The main disadvantage of solar panels is price. The average cost for a home installation of the typical solar panel system is $35,000.
There are two types of solar panel systems: solar thermal system and the solar electric system. The solar thermal system is less expensive than solar electric systems. Solar thermal systems can cost as little as $7,700, but a typical solar electric system costs about $44,000. Rebates are available for the installation of solar panels.
A second disadvantage of solar electric systems is that they must be protected from mechanical damage (in particular against hail impact, wind and snow loads, ice). This is especially important for wafer-based silicon cells which are brittle.
A third disadvantage you may not consider a disadvantage—it depends on your point of view. Some people think they look bad up there on the roof.
But if you’ve got some money to invest in something that will eventually pay for itself and you’re interested in reducing your impact on the environment, solar may be the way to go.