Solar energy is a viable source of renewable energy that has flourished as a popular alternative to fossil fuels (coal, petroleum, and natural gas) for meeting energy-related requirements. This energy source captures the heat or radiant light of the sun. It harnesses it by utilizing a range of ever-evolving technologies, including photovoltaics, solar heating, solar architecture, solar thermal energy, and artificial photosynthesis. Unlike fossil fuels, it has minimal to no side-effects on the environment and offers easy accessibility in all areas that receive direct sunlight.
Although the sun’s light or heat is available throughout the year, solar energy is the most expensive clean energy source in the market. The prices are declining, but there is still a huge gap to be filled. The solar installers in Tampa can help you set up a solar system in your house. But before you make this major decision, take a look at the major disadvantages of solar energy.
The Major Disadvantages Of Solar Energy
The science of synthesizing solar energy is continuously evolving. While it is surely an environmentally-friendly and sustainable source of energy, it too comes with some disadvantages. Some of them are mentioned below.
Area For Installation
Installation of a solar power plant can be a huge problem for big companies as they’ll need a big area for setting up the plant. Homeowners usually get the solar systems installed on their roofs, but companies have to lease extra spaces.
Setting up a solar energy system requires a significant amount of land. This can lead to serious consequences on the environment – land degradation, habitat loss for wildlife, damage to flora, etc.
Side-Effects On The Environment
Solar technology uses harmful materials such as cadmium and lead in the manufacturing process that has serious implications on the environment. It also uses other toxic metals through mining to produce photovoltaics or PVs that cause land pollution. Furthermore, with a rise in demand for this renewable energy source, disposing of wastes created in its process has become a problem, causing habitat loss. Since solar panels will be left in the sun, they will undergo deterioration from UV rays. Many other external aggressors like hail, snow, dirt, temperature fluctuations, and wind are serious threats to solar panels.
Location And Availability of Sunlight
Your house’s or company’s latitudinal location is one of the major factors used to determine a solar power plant’s efficiency. Because not all locations receive the same amount of sunlight every year, it becomes difficult to install a solar plant in farther away locations from the equator. The efficacy of a solar power plant can also vary as per the season. During summers, you can generate higher amounts of electricity because the earth is tilted and the sun is nearer to your location. Whereas in the winter, the earth moves away from the sun, leading to lesser amounts of electricity.
The science of synthesizing solar energy strictly relies on the ultra-violet rays of the sun. The energy source cannot be used to generate electricity at night, on cloudy days, or during storms, requiring homeowners or companies to either look for an alternative source of power or store extra energy created during the daytime. Storms and clouds also restrict the energy you can produce by blocking ultraviolet rays.
High Cost Of Storage And Installation
The biggest obstacle in harnessing solar energy on a larger scale is the huge costs involved in storing it as electrical energy. While battery storage options are available for storing solar power as electrical power, the latter is very expensive. Along with this, even the initial cost of setting up and operating a solar power plant is higher than fossil fuels. It has added costs – permits, monitoring, wiring, and maintenance costs, etc.
Although the govt. provides subsidies and additional benefits in some locations; still, there is a need to come up with cheaper alternatives to minimize the overall costs.
Solar energy is an inexhaustible energy source that offers several disadvantages, from being inefficient to being unaffordable. Along with specific requirements about the location and size of the installation area, the technology has serious implications for the environment.
Scientists are conducting research to develop cheaper methods to store solar power and reduce overhead costs associated with installing a plant, yet the future of solar energy is uncertain. Science is still evolving, and it has a long way to go.