Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Solar panel installation – Positives and negatives

Solar energy is currently enjoying tremendous popularity from all over the globe and there are many homeowners who are interested in installing solar panels. Therefore let us discuss the positives and negatives of installing solar panels.

Solar panel positives: 

Solar panels do not create harmful greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change nor do they create water and air pollution like this is the case with currently dominant fossil fuels. Thus, installing solar panels belongs to environmentally friendly ways to generate electricity for your house hold.

Solar panels harness the almost unlimited energy from our Sun. Solar energy is the most abundant form of energy available on our planet and the potential of solar energy is almost limitless.

It is easy to maintain solar panels and the costs connected with their maintenance are minimal because there are no moving parts.

Solar panels operate extremely silently meaning they are not connected with big noise levels like this is sometimes case with large wind turbines.

It isn't difficult to install solar panels (the most important factor when installing them is choosing the right location).

Favorable tax incentives and rebates to homeowners for using solar panels are available in many countries from all over the world. Many U.S. states offer tax benefits for both residential as well as commercial solar panel applications.

The prices of solar panels are constantly decreasing- it has been said that in the last three years the prices of solar panels have declined by approximately 70 % meaning that solar energy could soon reach cost parity with fossil fuels.

You don't have to buy all required solar panels upfront but can instead buy them gradually meaning you don't have to make an instant multi-thousand-dollar investment.

Solar panels do not lose much of their efficiency during their lifespan of 20+ years.

The typical warranty for solar panels lasts 25-30 years which is more than enough for average homeowner to achieve money savings on the long run.

Solar panel negatives: 

Solar panels are still connected with significant costs, even despite the recent decline in prices. The price of solar panel rooftop system in United States for average home is currently in average at around $15,000.

Solar panels have relatively low efficiency because lot of sunlight gets wasted and turned into heat. Today's average solar panels achieve efficiency of 15-18% meaning that there is a great room for improvement. If not installed properly solar panel can become overheated leading to major decline in its efficiency.

Solar panels are made of several materials that are not environmentally friendly which means that they are in need of proper recycling in order to avoid environmental damage. The recycling of old solar panels could lead to environmental damage if not done carefully because of silicon, cadmium, selenium and sulfur hexafluoride (a potent greenhouse gas), all of which can be found in solar panels and released during the recycling.

Not all areas in the world have the adequate solar insolation values to effectively harness solar energy.