Pros and Cons of Solar Energy

We are huge advocates for solar energy, but we recognize it isn’t the right solution for everyone. While solar energy is sustainable and ultimately cheaper than utility electricity in the long run, and far superior to diesel generators with no energy input costs later on, it also requires a significant upfront investment and is not suitable for all types of properties/rooftops.

The ultimate question is whether the pros of solar energy outweigh the cons. In this article, we will cover the pros and cons of solar energy so that you can decide if going solar is right for you.

Pros and Cons of Solar Energy

Advantages of Solar


1. Energy Independence

Traditionally, most people rely on utility companies to provide them with electricity. When the grid goes out or the voltage is unstable, people can feel helpless.

If you have a solar system with energy storage, you can continue to generate electricity in an emergency. This peace of mind is priceless if you live in an area where the grid is unreliable or is often threatened by severe weather such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

Utilities also restrict those who want to live off the grid, such as remote hunting cabins. Solar power can generate electricity in places where it is too expensive to lay wires.

It is liberating to have complete control over where and how energy is produced. It also feels great to lock in a fixed electricity price for decades to come as the cost of electricity rises.

2. Eliminate Electricity Bills

Who doesn’t love to take a small electricity bill off their monthly bill? With a properly sized system, you can significantly reduce or completely eliminate your electricity bill.

From the moment you turn on your PV system, you can enjoy reduced electricity costs or even an elimination of your electricity bill. This is the most exciting part of solar energy.

3. Profitable investment

If your photovoltaic system is connected to the grid, the unused electricity can be connected to the grid and you can get some profit, or you can provide it to your neighbors and charge them for electricity. You can quickly reap the initial photovoltaic cost.

4. Long service life

The service life of photovoltaic panels is generally 20 to 35 years, and the service life can be extended through proper maintenance. Even after the service life ends, the panels can still be used, but the power generation may be reduced.

5. Sustainability

A sustainable energy source is one that we can use without depleting the source of power. Oil and gas are not sustainable, because we consume those resources as we use them.

In contrast, solar is sustainable because the source of energy (sunlight) is constantly replenished. We can use solar energy without worrying about whether we will deplete the Earth’s natural resources for future generations.

6. Low Maintenance Costs

Solar systems don’t have many moving parts. So, they rarely break down or require maintenance to keep them running optimally.

Solar panels have a 25-year warranty, but many panels last much longer. You’ll rarely need to repair or replace panels.

You’ll usually have to replace the inverter at least once over the life of the system, as inverter warranties are usually 10-15 years. But that’s pretty much the only scheduled maintenance you’ll encounter. Batteries aren’t required for grid-connected systems.

Off-grid systems are a little more complicated because they must include batteries, which usually require regular maintenance to keep them running properly.

7. Increase property value

Homebuyers see solar energy as a major selling point and are willing to pay a premium to move into a solar-powered home. It has been proven that solar energy systems can indeed make a home sell for a higher price.

Disadvantages of Solar Energy


1. It’s expensive to get started

Solar power is expensive—at least up front. To build a system that can power the average home (which uses 897 kWh of electricity per month), you could be looking at $8,000-10,000, depending on the products you choose.

That doesn’t include shipping or installation costs.

Of course, you’ll be paying for at least 25 years of energy production up front. In the long run, you’ll recoup your costs and start making money, but that doesn’t change the fact that not everyone has thousands of dollars in their pocket to make their solar dreams come true.

2. Takes up a lot of space

The standard solar panel size is 2.28m*1.13m.

If your home averages 500kWh per month, you will need at least 18 photovoltaic panels, which will take up about 46 square meters, which will take up a lot of space on your roof or yard.

Most people choose rooftop installation because it makes full use of the space that would otherwise be unused. If you need to design around odd angles and obstacles, you can always split the panels into sub-arrays.

3. Energy storage is expensive.

Batteries are the most expensive component of a solar power system. Not all systems require batteries, but they are essential when you are off the grid. They are also necessary if you need backup power for your grid-tied property.

Grid-tied systems do not automatically provide backup power during power outages. This is a common misconception. Without batteries, especially at night when the utility power goes out, you will be left without power.

Expect to spend more money when you add batteries to your system. Battery banks cost at least a few thousand dollars, and if you buy high-end lithium batteries for a full-scale off-grid system, the investment in batteries alone can easily reach five figures.

In addition, batteries do not last as long as the rest of the system. Lead-acid batteries have a warranty of 2 to 3 years, which means you will need to replace them 8-10 times before the panel warranty expires.

Lithium batteries have a lifespan of 10-15 years, which justifies their higher price, but you will need to replace them at least once over the life of the system.

4. Not every property is suitable for solar

Some properties are simply too narrow or covered in shadows to get the sunlight needed to generate enough energy, making them unsuitable for solar systems.

It is best to own your own home and not move for a long time. Solar is a 25-year investment, which doesn't make sense if you don't own your home or plan to move soon.

The good news is that since solar can increase property values, you will most likely recoup your investment in a solar system when you sell your home. But most people who go solar do so because they want to be self-sufficient and generate their own electricity (cheaper) for decades to come.

Before making a long-term investment in solar, consider the disputes over your property.

Have questions? Talk to a solar expert.

Still not sure if the benefits of solar outweigh the drawbacks? You can always schedule a consultation with one of our professional design technicians. We’ll answer questions, remove any design roadblocks, and help you decide if solar is right for you.

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Post time: Jul-09-2024