The solar industry is rapidly becoming one of the biggest industries in the world, with people realising that panels have way more potential than just being attached to your roof. Solar vehicles, solar drones, solar-powered business parks and even solar powered mobile phone chargers are all proving popular, so, why have we decided to write an article about the disadvantages of solar energy?
The truth is, solar is not flawless; there are a few pitfalls to be aware of if you’re considering installing these panels. In this article, we will explain some of the underlying reasons why solar energy isn’t as huge as it could be…
Panels Aren’t 100% Effective
The science behind photovoltaic panels indicates that 100% efficient panels are a distinct possibility in future, but not as they currently stand. In fact, many panels are only around 20% effective, and often simply buying bigger panels is not going to get you more energy.
The photovoltaic cells differ in their efficiency ratings, meaning a small and efficient panel is going to generate more energy than a large and inefficient one.
So, having a roof covered in solar panels is quite unnecessary if they aren’t efficient. The downside of course, if that the more efficient a panel is, the more expensive it is. This financial truth is one of the disadvantages of solar energy.
Solar panels do not work at night, and so they are only effective during daylight hours. This would be absolutely fine, if our circadian rhythms worked exactly as they were meant to, but quiet often, we stay up late into the night, and then spend most of the daytime out at work or with friends.
Quite often, solar panel owners don’t get to enjoy the full benefit of their system, unless they have a home battery to store the surplus energy.
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Dust, and also sand, are two of the biggest causes of panels not being able to capture as much light as they should do. It has been revealed that Morocco’s solar potential alone is enough to power the entire world.
Although initially promising, it wouldn’t pan out so well in practice, due to the frequent sandstorms the country experiences. The size of this solar farm, and the amount of cleaning and maintenance it would require would be outrageous. When a layer of dust or sand sits on the top of a photovoltaic panel, it acts as a blockade against the sun.
Quite often, when a site is chosen for a solar farm, it is because it is a wide open space, with plenty of natural light, not too hot, little chance of clouds, and far away from people. While this all makes sense in theory, the problem that this creates is that all of these solar panels must then be connected to the grid, which is an enormous project and can take a long time and a lot of money to accomplish. It’s sometimes argued that rooftop panels on an individual basis are more effective, especially in more developed countries.
There are disadvantages of solar energy, but the reality is that we must follow the curve and adapt to solar now, before it’s too late. Every year, new solar innovations are introduced that bring us closer towards a future where fossil fuels are not necessary for powering the planet.