Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy

Questioning solar

Solar energy is the energy that the sun gives off via radiation. Over the years scientists and engineers have managed to create technology which harnesses this energy so we can use it in our homes and in industry. We need to adopt solar energy as much as possible for the sake of the planet, but we also need to be aware of its advantages and disadvantages.

The world is looking for alternative sources of energy to fossil fuels to tackle climate change. Part of this fight includes trying to increase our use of solar energy. Solar energy technology is improving all the time and we now have the most efficient solar panels at the lowest prices so it's a great time to be investing in solar energy for your home. Not only because it will help the planet, but also because it can significantly lower your energy costs.

If you are considering solar energy panels for your home and would like professional advice and competitive quotes, send us an enquiry today. We will put you in touch with up to 3 MCS certified (or equivalent) solar installers in your area. They'll provide bespoke advice and free no-obligation quotes for the job so you can find the best deal for you.

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy

Advantages of Solar Energy

Solar energy is a renewable energy source

Solar energy is a renewable source of energy which means it will not run out for around 5 billion years (according to scientific estimations). While fossil fuels are going to run out in the next 50 years if we keep using them at the current rate, we can rely on solar energy.

Solar energy is a cleaner source of energy

Burning fossil fuels produces greenhouse gases causing global warming and climate change. Solar energy does not produce gases which are harmful to the planet.

Using solar energy reduces electricity bills

A solar energy system will cover your electricity use at least in part which will reduce your reliance on the grid and your need to buy electricity from a supplier. This will reduce your energy bills.

You could earn money through the Smart Export Guarantee

The government's Smart Export Guarantee scheme opens to applications in January 2019. Under the scheme, owners of solar PV panels (up to 5MW capacity) can earn money for the electricity they export to the grid. Energy suppliers (with more than 150,000 customers) are obliged to pay them for each unit they send to the grid which will be measured by an export meter. Although legally suppliers only need to offer above 0 for each unit of electricity, the industry estimates that the average payment will be approximately 5.5p per kilowatt hour.

Solar energy systems are cheap and simple to maintain

Solar energy systems only need occasional cleaning to keep them working. You can do this yourself or employ a specialist company for a low cost of £30-£40. This will prevent the cells being obstructed by bird mess or dirt so they can generate the maximum amount of electricity.

Solar panels are durable

There are no moving parts or wear and tear and solar panels usually include a warranty of 25-30 years, although the inverter may need replacing after 5-10 years.

Solar energy can be used in many ways in the home

Solar energy is converted to electricity for use in your home or to charge an electric vehicle or it can be used as heat to produce hot water for your home via solar thermal panels. With a solar battery, you can store energy generated during the day for use at night.

Disadvantages of Solar Energy

Solar energy has a high upfront cost

Installing solar panels is a significant investment in terms of upfront cost and is likely to cost £6,000-£7,000 for an average sized home. However, research and development is ongoing to bring the costs down to make it a more affordable option for UK homeowners and small businesses.

Solar energy varies in availability

Solar energy is available on cloudy days but obviously not as much as it would be on a clear and sunny day. This means the efficiency and productivity of a solar energy system will drop on cloudy days and is not available at night.

Solar energy is only available during the day – unless you have a battery

Solar energy is only available during the day and when converted by the panels into electricity it needs to be used straight away or it will be sent to the national grid. This means that unless you are home during the day you won't be able to benefit from a lot of the solar electricity. However, if you install a solar battery in your system you can store the electricity you don't use during the day for use at night which will increase your savings.

Solar panels take up a lot of space on your roof

Solar panels take up space on the roof and the more electricity you want to produce the bigger the panels will need to be. Panels also need to be positioned correctly to be able to absorb the highest levels of sunlight. A south facing roof is best but other directions can also work. Find out my in Is my roof suitable for solar panels?

Interested in solar energy for your home?

If you're convinced that the advantages of solar energy outweigh the disadvantages, your next step is to contact MCS certified (or equivalent) solar installers for tailored advice and installation quotes. By comparing multiple quotes you can find out not only the best type and size of solar energy system for your home but also which installer will give you the best price.

Send us an enquiry today and we'll put you in touch with to 3 installers in your area who will provide you with 3 quick, free and no-obligation quotes.

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