Perhaps you’ve had a solar power company contact you recently and attempt to sell you on solar panels for your roof. You’re wondering if it’s really worth the investment. Will it save you money in the short-term? What are the long-term benefits and risks? These are all valid questions and should be considered before you decide to pull the plug on your home’s current regular source of electricity.
We interviewed an electrical contractor in Greenville SC to get the scoop on solar, and he gave us a few pros and cons. Keep reading to learn the benefits and disadvantages of solar energy.
The Benefits of Solar Panels
It’s a money-saver. How much money depends on a number of factors, all of which are unique to your situation. Whether you have an unshaded roof, and whether you decide to get a lease or a loan, will depend on how much ROI you’ll really get from a solar power project. Either way, you’ll still need other clean sources of energy for those times when the sun’s not shining. As we all know, the sun doesn’t shine 24/7 so keep that in mind when making your decision.
It’s better for the environment. Cutting carbon emissions is crucial for protecting our environment, which is constantly affected by global warming. Solar power is key to doing this; it also cuts down on environmental pollution and helps to preserve our freshwater resources, both of which are key players in conventional electricity generation. (Check out this post for more info.)
It’s a reliable source of energy. If a terrorist were to attack our power grid, the more solar power distribution we have, the better off we’re going to be as a nation. We all know the sun will continue to rise and set despite global warfare, so using the sun as a source of energy helps ensure our security in the event of a major disaster.
It helps to create more jobs. The manpower required to produce and install solar panels means more jobs and more money for middle-class workers. This is less true for coal, natural gas, or nuclear power, which relies on selling fuel—the profit from which largely ends up in the hands of a few big corporations. If you want to distribute wealth more equally, opt for solar power and encourage your neighbors to do the same.
If you’re mainly concerned about saving money, and you want to know how much you’ll save over time, check out this solar savings estimator.
Now for the cons…
Disadvantages of Solar Power
It’s hard to really think of disadvantages of solar power. I’d say the benefits outweigh the risks, especially when it comes to saving money long-term. But here are a few things to consider before you install solar panels on your home or office building.
It’s more expensive than wind power. Wind and solar kind of go hand-in-hand, and since we all need multiple sources of clean energy to keep the lights on, you may want to look at both as an option for your home or business, instead of just one. Check out this post to learn more about wind power.
Solar energy becomes a challenge at night. And nighttime is when most of us are looking to turn on the lights and use electricity for things like cooking and running water. This is why, as we mentioned, it’s important to mix up your energy sources so you always have a way to keep things running no matter what time of day it is.