Solar power has sparked our interest because it’s eco-friendly. However, solar power isn’t a perfect fit for all homes. Here we will tell you about the cons of solar energy so that you’ll know what to expect when you buy your own system.
Disadvantages of Solar Energy
Here are the major cons of solar energy:
#1 It’s Expensive
One of the biggest cons of solar energy is its cost. If you can’t have it through financing, up-front costs can discourage you. It’s true that solar panels have hugely dropped over the past few years, but they are still expensive. Currently, the best quality solar cells might be more than $1,000, and a few households may require more than one.
Not everyone has the cash on hand to make an investment of this size. However, you may still be able to have it through financing options like state-backed loan programs, leases and power purchase agreements.
#2 Solar Panels May Not Be Efficient
There’s still a lot to learn about the efficiency of solar energy. In fact, great solar panels involve the amount of space it takes to produce power. A 250-watt panel with 15% efficiency makes the same power as a 250-watt panel with 20%.
The difference lies in the size, and you might as well wait for smaller panels to be mass-produced. And even if most roofs are large enough to make enough power for the average household, size still matters.
One of the disadvantages of solar energy is that it’s affected by air pollution. If there is a high level of air pollution in your area, your solar panels may not be that effective.
#3 Energy Storage is Costly
Solar energy has to be used right away. If not, it needs to be stored in large batteries. These are used in off-the-grid solar systems and can be charged during the day so that the energy can be used at night.
However, one of the disadvantages of solar energy is that batteries are large and heavy. You’ll need ample space to store them, and you will have to replace them from time to time, which can add to the cost.
#4 It’s Not Easy to Find Quality Installers
Many companies have joined the solar bandwagon, and homeowners are sometimes put off with this. You see a lot of pushy door-to-door sales reps that press you to sign a 20-year solar contract before they even explain the full scope of their service.
Indeed, solar power is one of the fastest growing markets, but there are plenty of companies that employ aggressive sales tactics, without having the technical know-how about what they’re selling. Regardless, some companies do offer fair deals that put homeowners in control.
#5 It Depends on the Weather
Climate and weather patterns in your area can influence how well your solar panels work. Solar panels work best in ambient light. Though power can still be produced during rainy or cloudy days, efficiency drops.
But even if weather conditions are one of the disadvantages of solar energy, this can be addressed with adequate power storage. Companies are now producing efficient solar panels that can still generate enough power during cool, foggy weather. You’ll wonder how households in cool places like San Francisco can have enough solar energy like those in sunny Sacramento.
#6 It Doesn’t Work for Every Type of Roof
Solar panels are connected by a mounting system or “racking” to your roof. Certain roofing materials like slate or cedar tiles are used in older homes, and this can be a challenge for solar system installers to work with.
Many homes and apartment buildings have skylights or other rooftop additions like roof decks. This makes it extra hard and costly to install solar panels. Despite this issue, you still have options. You can either have ground-mounted solar panels or you can buy a share in a community solar garden. There will be a mass adoption of solar power in the long-run, and this won’t be an issue anymore.
#7 It’s A Waste if You’re About to Move
Solar energy is a big investment. Since it’s installed in your home, it’s not easy to take it along with you if you will move to another place.
The solar leasing or contracting company can address this issue by simply arranging to have the lease or the PPA switched to the new owner. Since the new owner will pay less for their electricity, they have no reason to take them down. But that will only happen if there’s someone willing to buy the house, and the payback period for a solar system is around 7 ½ years. It’s a big investment.
And if you decide to take the solar system and lease contract with you, you’ll to deal with costs for de-installing and re-installing the system.
#8 Uses a Lot of Space
Until there are readily available smaller and more efficient solar panels, you’ll need more panels and space to collect more sunlight. Most panels require a lot of space and some households don’t have enough space to fit enough panels.
One solution is to install some of the panels in your yard. However, they need to have access to sunlight to produce the right amount of power.
Still, the Pros Outweigh the Cons of Solar Energy
But while solar power has some cons, it has become an eco-friendly substitute to fossil fuels. Soon, there will be advances to make it a cheaper solution to the world’s energy problems, and we’ll reap more benefits over the long term. If the enormous potential gains of harnessing the sun’s light and heat, it may be worth it for us to push through with this technology.