Solar energy has a lot of benefits, but the technology being used is still new. There are many imperfections and minor flaws which must be acknowledged and worked upon to make it better. Though many people focus only on the advantages, its disadvantages should not be overlooked as there is a sizable amount of money invested in the system. Hence an honest and objective look at the cons of the solar system will help you weigh it and make the best decision and also harness the power that these solar systems can provide.
Cost of solar energy: This is the most debated disadvantage of the use of solar energy as it is the most expensive renewable energy resource. The initial cost of installing the system is high, but if you consider the long-term costs as well as the availability of fossil fuels, it turns out that it is a sound investment choice for residences. The payback of solar energy is that it produces a clean and healthy power with no other costs.
Issues with supply chain: There is a misconception that solar panels that are used to convert sun into energy have toxic chemicals which can damage the environment.
- Many companies manufacture PV panels that you see on the top of our roofs, and each one of them uses technology from a set of many different techniques. Some of these corporations dump waste generated from their plants into rivers while there are a few who use cadmium heavily.
- To counter this, many organizations track the practices and rate them accordingly. Though PV panels are recyclable, it is still not done as yet.
- Another critical thing to note is that apart from PV panels we can also use solar thermal plants to generate solar power. The process is simple where the sun’s heat produces steam, and that drives it to create electricity.
Does not work on rainy days: Solar energy generation depends on the sun, and it does not shine always. Though it is a huge disadvantage and that does not necessarily mean it is not feasible. There are ways to work around this drawback.
- Storing the solar energy when it is in abundance and using it when the sun is not shining.
- Transmitting it from sunny places to places where it is cloudy.
Solar producers who generate energy in large-scale use pumped hydro energy storage to store power in water towers. Small-scale solar producers use batteries to save them.
Conversion losses: Our homes are wired for AC while the solar power generated is DC; an inverter is used to convert this DC power to AC. But the problem with these inverters is that they are not 100% efficient hence the overall efficiency of the system goes down. Moreover, though homes are wired for AC, our small devices need DC, that means AC has converted again into DC and hence more conversion losses.
There are many disadvantages of solar energy, but most of them are only perceived, and very few are actual. With the technology advancing rapidly, most of the obstacles will be resolved and move to solar power will be a smarter move rather than sticking to fossil fuels.