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The Disadvantages Of Solar Power

Aug 10, 2008
So if energy bills are constantly rising and using fossil fuels is contributing to environmental problems like global warming, doesn't it make sense to switch to a renewable energy source that is better for the environment and may even save you a bit on utility bills ? It sure does but ...there is always a but isn't there. Solar energy promises to deliver on all of these issues but it is not as straightforward as it seems. This article will list some of the disadvantages of solar power.

The biggest problem for many people that may have just taken out a large mortgage on a house is cost of installing a solar powered system. Although solar systems are becoming cheaper, this installation cost can still be prohibitive to some people.

Depending on how complicated your solar power system will be or how much power you will need, the cost could be as low as 5 thousand dollars and upwards of 50 thousand dollars. Although, many local and federal governing bodies can offer help, in the form of a tax rebate, the upfront costs still have to be worn by the home owner.

The second most often cited disadvantage of solar power is that it is climate dependent. If you don't get the right climate or day to day weather conditions that make solar power feasible then it won't be an effective solution for your energy needs.

Another common problem with solar power is the contrast to when you most need energy and when solar power can deliver that energy. Most people need power either at night or early in the morning. These are the worst times for generating power from the Sun because it is not there or is very weak. Indeed, midday is the best time for solar power generation which is when the normal home needs it least.

Of course there is a solution to this - you store the energy. There are two ways of doing this. You can store the energy in a bank of batteries that are kept on the premises or you can send the energy to your utility company. Sending energy to your utility company is the easiest solution and is mostly transparent to the homeowner.

Solar panels can be large and often have to be placed in specific locations. This may interfere with the look or design of the house which could be a problem to some people. The same applies to flat plate collectors or water tanks.

Also large solar panels or a solar water tank may obstruct the views of neighbors or cause them to be concerned. In many cases this can be overcome by mentioning that you are installing the system before hand. Systems like solar panels are also becoming more integrated into the building materials.

And the final disadvantage of solar power may not be a disadvantage depending on your outlook. Essentially you are creating your own power station and it becomes your responsibility to maintain it and ensure it does not break down. This will be more work than using the grid but may be rewarding both intellectually and financially depending on how you view solar power.
About the Author
Discover solar home design and how solar power hot water systems work at http://www.solarpowerappliances.com
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