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What Are Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy

Be it an industrial or residential setting, renewable energy resources can act as a great supplement for traditional resources. With the world getting hotter by the day, it is wise to switch to energy sources like solar energy. While solar energy is popularly considered an expensive alternative, it is not the case. One can find many affordable solar energy products for storage. 

But before discussing more solar technology, one should know about the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy. Is there a downside to solar panels? What are the merits and demerits of solar energy? Read this article to know more!

solar energy system

Understanding Solar Energy

Solar energy is the electrical or thermal energy produced from sunlight – solar panels that contain photovoltaic cells are placed in sunlight and the cells convert sunlight into electrical energy. Solar energy can be a great renewable alternative in many Asian and African countries that receive sunlight for most of the year.

Solar panels can be placed on rooftops or wide open fields to capture maximum sunlight. These panels are placed in sunlight for prolonged exposure – one minor drawback of solar energy is that it is weather-dependent. The longer the panels are exposed to the sun, the higher the amount of electricity produced.
Many people are skeptical of whether enough solar energy can be produced to power their houses or industries. One of the main benefits of solar energy is that it is renewable and abundant. One can also invest in solar batteries and energy storage systems that can help in reducing power bills. But it is better to know both the pros and cons of solar energy before you switch to this source.

a solar battery

If you are eager to know what are the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy, then here is the answer for you.

8 Advantages of Using Solar Energy

In the US, solar energy accounted for nearly 16% of the electricity generated by renewable sources in 2022. This was a commendable rise from the 13.5% that was seen in 2021. There are both pros and cons of using solar energy. Here are some benefits of solar energy that might convince you to switch to this form of renewable energy.

Renewable and Eco-friendly

The most remarkable advantage of solar energy is that it is environmentally friendly. One of the most preferred renewable energy sources, solar energy does not involve fossil fuels or heavy machinery. It is all about converting sunlight into electricity – there are no harmful emissions involved in the process. Solar power is clean, sustainable, and eco-friendly. It should also be mentioned that solar energy is easily accessible across most parts of the world.

Low Maintenance Costs

Considering overall statistics, the price of solar panels has been going downwards since 2010. While it is still not affordable for amny, solar energy is expected to become more affordable down the road. Not only are the solar panels getting cheaper, but the maintenance costs for these panels are very low. Solar panels have a long life – most panels come with around 20 years of warranty. All you have to do is keep these panels clean, and that can be easily done at home.

Abundant and Efficient

The sun is expected to exist for a minimum of 5 billion more years, so there is no doubt that sunlight will last for a long time. Sunlight is abundant in most parts of the world – with more sunlight comes more solar energy. As for efficiency, recent advancements in technology have improved the efficiency of solar panels – these systems are now more efficient than ever and can make a great option for industrial as well as residential energy needs.

Energy Independence

Energy independence is mainly about supplementing your residence with solar power or energy systems that can store energy from the solar source. But it is not just about your house being off the larger electrical grid, but also something of international importance. Solar energy offers more independence to nations for the production of energy, thus reducing their dependency on non-renewable resources like fossil fuels. When big nations switch to renewable sources, their carbon footprints reduce to high levels.

Reduced Power Bill

Power prices have been rising across the world and one of the best ways to combat this might be to have a supplement source of energy. This is where solar power comes to the rescue – you can have solar batteries and energy systems that can offer you extra sources of power that are off the official grid. This can be a great way to save on your power bills.

Long-Term Savings

Once you install a solar energy system in your house, you can start saving on your power bills. While the installation cost might be high, you can save a lot of money in the long term. Since solar panels and related accessories can be cleaned and maintained easily, you will be able to save a lot of money in the future. In six to ten years, users will be able to make benefits on their initial installment.

Household Energy Storage System

Potential Increase in Property Value

Statistics from a few years ago show that property buyers will pay more for solar-powered properties – one research states that buyers will spend 4.1% more on houses that have solar power facilities. Also, solar panels increase the value of your home. Basically by installing solar energy systems in your home, you not only save on energy bills, but you also increase the value of the property.

Multiple Uses

Since solar energy is versatile, you can save it up in different ways and channel it to various needs. For example, solar batteries can be charged and used in places that have no source of power. It is also easy to use solar batteries in boats and ships as they are easily available. Another example is where solar panels are integrated into buildings – transparent windows with solar panels are on the rise now, increasing power saving.

7 Disadvantages of Solar Energy

As much as there are benefits to solar energy, there are negatives too. One drawback is that they have a high initial cost that not many might be able to afford. Here are a few drawbacks of solar energy.

High Initial Cost

While solar panel costs have been generally trending downwards, it still costs a lot to set up a complete solar energy system in your house. It is estimated that it takes nearly $18,000 to install a solar setup in a residential setting. People can indeed avail of federal incentives for solar setup in certain countries, but it is still not feasible for everyone. This is one of the biggest solar energy disadvantages.

Intermittent Power Generation

The thing about solar energy is that not all regions get continuous sunlight. There are a lot of interruptions like rains and cloudy weather that can block sunlight, and thus temporarily interrupting power generation. Since solar power is weather-dependent, it is not a reliable source of renewable energy in many countries, especially in Nordic countries. While some energy is still generated on a cloudy day, it is only on sunny, clear days that solar power systems work the best.

Environmental Downside of Manufacturing Solar Panels

While solar power is a renewable resource of energy that is relatively clean, it still contributes negatively to the environment. The manufacturing of photovoltaic cells requires toxic and hazardous base materials that eventually add to the pollution. The manufacturing process also involves the release of greenhouse gasses. So in a relative sense, while solar energy is clean, it still contributes a lot to pollution. It is also estimated that by 2050, solar power and related setups will be responsible for around 78 tonnes of waste in the US.

Space Constraints in Residential Areas

Solar panels need a lot of space – at least, to produce considerable amounts of energy, one requires quite a lot of solar panels. Not only is this cost-wise a hindrance, but it is also impossible to install them in a crowded residential area. Also, after installation, it should be ensured that they receive ample sunlight – again, this can be an issue in apartments and other community living spaces.

Land Occupancy

When we consider the setting up of solar energy systems on a large scale, we see that they take up acres of land. Statistics show that to power 1,000 houses with solar power, around 32 acres of land would be needed. This is not only impossible with the rising urbanization of rural areas, but it also contributes to more land pollution, as the installation of solar panels involves waste.

Relocation Issues

Solar panels are usually considered a one-time investment that is attached to the property – uninstalling and reinstalling the entire setup costs too much. This is a major downside to solar panels – this is why solar energy is not the best option for all. One good alternative for this is opting for solar household energy storage systems like batteries and all-in-in systems.

Problems in Disposal

Since solar panels contain many toxic chemicals, disposal is still an issue. They cause a lot of waste and lead to environmental degradation. Even recycling is not a great option when it comes to these panels because options remain limited.

Are Solar Energy/Panels Worth it?

While there are both solar energy pros and cons, it is more sustainable than fossil fuels and contributes to a healthier Earth. Solar technology also saves up a lot of money in large-scale investments, thus opening up a new future for the power industry. But it still comes with its high costs in small-scale and domestic usage.

To decide whether solar energy alternatives are worth it, we have to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy. Investing in solar panels is cost-effective in the long term, but they do not work for short-term needs. One can opt for solar storage options for residential uses, thus both saving money and using cleaner energy.

However, in industrial and commercial settings, solar energy systems can be a great alternative to nonrenewable energy resources. Big corporations can either invest in solar panels or opt for industrial energy storage systems that will come in handy during emergencies. Also, solar energy can be a great option for many industries, like textile, agriculture, and paper industries. Economic and efficient, solar energy is a great option for commercial and industrial uses.

It takes at least eight to ten years for solar energy systems to make up for their investment, so yes, solar energy is worth it in the long run.

Prospect of Solar Energy

Worldwide, the scope and prospect for solar energy have been on the rise. With the price of solar panels on the decreasing curve, it is expected that newer technologies will soon increase the efficiency of these panels. With solar technology getting more efficient and the products getting cheaper, solar power has the potential to become the most reliable renewable energy resource.

Solar technology has already revolutionized many parts of the world. For example, in Bangladesh, solar energy is a major resource in rural areas and is helping nearly 20 million people to live their lives better. Many rural parts of Bangladesh still struggle with a continuous supply of electricity, and solar power is the solution to their struggles.


Solar energy is one of the most reliable renewable energy sources in the world right now. Be it for residential or industrial purposes, solar power can be a good supplement to traditional energy sources. Before investing in solar technology, one must consider both the pros and cons of using solar energy. This will help you understand if solar technology is efficient and economical for your purpose.
After considering the solar power advantages and disadvantages, you can opt for solar panels or solar batteries. While solar panels are a permanent investment, devices like solar batteries can be helpful for residential purposes. Visit BLJ Solar to find more solar technology products that will help you grow!

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