Pros and cons of solar energy

How solar works
How solar works. From greenenergyafrica.net

Pros:

1. Renewability

Speaking about solar energy, first of all, it is necessary to mention that it is a renewable energy source, unlike fossil fuels – coal, oil, gas, which are not being restored. According to NASA, about 6.5 billion years ago, the inhabitants of the Earth have nothing to worry about – about as much as the Sun will warm our planet with its rays until it explodes.

2. Abundance

The potential of solar energy is zenormous – the surface of the Earth is irradiated with 120 thousand terawatts of sunlight, which is 20 thousand times higher than the world demand for it.

3. Persistence

In addition, the solar energy is inexhaustible and constant – it can not be overpaid in the process of meeting the needs of mankind in energy carriers, so that it will be enough in abundance and for the share of future generations.

4. Availability

In addition to other advantages of solar energy, it is available at every point of the world – not only in the equatorial zone of the Earth, but also in the northern latitudes. For example, Germany currently occupies the first place in the world for the use of solar energy and has its maximum potential.

5. Ecological cleanliness

In light of the latest trends in the struggle for the ecological purity of the Earth, solar energy is the most promising sector, which partially replaces the energy received from non-renewable fuel resources and, thus, is a fundamental step towards protecting the climate from global warming. The production, transportation, installation and use of solar power plants is practically not accompanied by harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Even if they are present in a small amount, then compared to traditional sources of energy – this is almost zero impact on the environment.

6. Noiselessness

Due to the fact that in systems on the solar resource there are no moving nodes, as, for example, in generators, the generation of electricity is noiseless.

7. Efficiency, low operating costs

Moving to solar panels as an autonomous energy source, owners of frequent houses receive tangible savings. It is also important that maintenance of solar-powered power systems is characterized by low costs – it is only necessary to clean solar cells several times a year, and the manufacturer’s warranty on them is usually 20-25 years.

8. Extensive field of application

Solar energy has a wide range of applications – it is the generation of electricity in regions where there is no connection to a centralized power supply system, and desalination of water in Africa, and even the supply of energy to satellites in near-earth orbit. Not in vain, solar energy is recently called “people’s” – this name reflects the simplicity of its integration into the electricity supply system at home, both in the case of photovoltaic and thermal elements.

9. Innovative technologies

Every year, technologies in the production of solar cells are becoming more sophisticated – thin-film modules are introduced directly into the building materials during the construction stage. Japanese concern Sharp – the leader in the production of solar panels, recently introduced an innovative system of transparent storage elements for window glazing. Modern achievements in the field of nanotechnology and quantum physics allow us to talk about a possible increase in the power of solar panels in 3 times.

Cons:

1. High cost

There is an opinion that solar energy belongs to the category of an expensive resource – this is perhaps the most contentious issue of all the positive and negative aspects of its use. Due to the fact that the arrangement of the house with solar storage elements costs a considerable amount at the initial stage.

2. Inconsistencies

Due to the fact that sunlight is not available at night, as well as on cloudy and rainy days, solar energy can not be the main source of electricity. But, in comparison with wind turbines, this, after all, is a more stable option.

3. High cost of energy storage

Batteries that allow you to accumulate energy and smooth, to some extent, the instability of solar energy supply, is distinguished by a high price that is not available to every homeowner. Simplifies the situation by the fact that the peak of electricity consumption is exactly at daylight hours.

4. Minor pollution of the environment

Despite the fact that compared to the production and processing of other types of energy resources, solar energy is most friendly to the natural environment, some technological processes for manufacturing solar panels are accompanied by the emission of greenhouse gases, nitrogen trifluoride and sulfur hexafluoride.

5. The use of expensive and rare components

The release of thin-film solar panels requires the introduction of cadmium telluride (CdTe) or indium gallium selenide (CIGS), which are rare and expensive – this entails a rise in the cost of alternative energy supply in general.

6. Low power density

One of the important parameters of the electric power source is the average power density, measured in W / m2 and characterizing the amount of energy that can be obtained from a unit of energy source area. This figure for solar radiation is 170 W / m2 – this is more than other renewable natural resources, but lower than oil, gas, coal and nuclear power. For this reason, to generate 1 kW of electricity from solar heat requires a large area of ​​solar panels.

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