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Do You Know The Pros & Cons of Solar Panels?

The public has developed a far greater interest in recent years about solar panels for renewable resources. Solar energy is one of the shining stars of the movement, for its low cost of implementation and efficient rewards in the form of electricity. Many people choose to put solar panels on their roof, either with DIY kits or buy purchasing pre-made panels. There are pros and cons to each, and to using solar energy in general. The pros seem to far outweigh the cons in many cases. The biggest pro is the benefit to the environment.

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Traditionally, people have torn through fossil fuels and coal since the industrial revolution in order to feed the high demand for energy that modern society requires. This has led to carbon emissions and a depletion of natural resources. By switching over to more renewable energy sources such as using solar panels on the roof, you can make a difference from the comfort of your own home, without suffering any major drawbacks. The government is providing a greater incentive to switch over as well, by offering tax breaks and rebates as part of a stimulus package to encourage more people to make this change in their household energy usage.

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The only con seems to be that solar energy can be inefficient in areas where the sun doesn’t often shine, and can be subject to changes in weather patterns. This is combated with the use of batteries that store up the energy, however if there is a long period without sunlight, as in certain parts of the Arctic, then this will not be the best energy method of choice. However, in most cases, solar energy is a viable and convenient alternative to the environmental damage caused by other overuse of electricity, or nuclear power. Small steps like these can make a big difference.

Solar Panels - The Good, the Bad, and the UGLY

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Many of us know that solar energy is a good thing, but few really understand why. Therefore, I compiled a comprehensive list of solar energy advantages and disadvantages that will enable you to make an educated decision whether on not Solar Power is right for YOU.

Solar Energy Advantages

1. Saves you money

  • After the initial investment has been recovered, the energy from the sun is practically FREE.
  • The recovery/ payback period for this investment can be very short depending on how much electricity your household uses.
  • Financial incentives are available form the government that will reduce your cost.
  • If your system produce more energy than you use, your utility company can buy it from you, building up a credit on your account! This is called net metering.
  • It will save you money on your electricity bill if you have one at all.
  • Solar energy does not require any fuel.
  • It's not affected by the supply and demand of fuel and is therefore not subjected to the ever-increasing price of gasoline.
  • The savings are immediate and for many years to come.
  • The use of solar energy indirectly reduces health costs.
2. Environmentally friendly
  • The cost of solar energy is also high compared to non-renewable utility-supplied electricity. As energy shortages are becoming more common, solar energy is becoming more price-competitive.
  • Solar panels require quite a large area for installation to achieve a good level of efficiency.
  • The efficiency of the system also relies on the location of the sun, although this problem can be overcome with the installation of certain components.
  • The production of solar energy is influenced by the presence of clouds or pollution in the air.
  • Similarly, no solar energy will be produced during nighttime although a battery backup system and/or net metering will solve this problem. See http://www.dsireusa.org for details on how net metering allows you to save electricity and money.
  • As far as solar powered cars go - their slower speed might not appeal to everyone caught up in today's rat race.