Q:

What are the pros and cons of solar energy?

A:

Quick Answer

The advantages of solar power include the energy independence it bestows on its users, quiet energy production, the lack of negative effects on the environment, and its overall cost. On the other hand, the high initial cost and its dependence on clear weather serve as deterrents to widespread adoption.

Know More

Full Answer

Solar panels and the process of converting solar energy into electricity do not directly cause pollution, although the manufacturing of solar panels, their transportation and installation can negatively affect the environment. The overall level of pollution in an area can diminish the effectiveness of solar panels, as high levels of smog and other particulates partially occlude the sun's rays.

A benefit of solar energy is its ability to provide electricity to homes and facilities in areas that are not connected to a conventional electric grid. Installing solar panels is less expensive than laying the high-voltage wires necessary to establish the connection.

As of 2014, the cost of a single highly efficient solar cell can go above $1,000, which precludes many households from utilizing solar power. Coupled with the fact that poor weather negatively affects their efficiency, and that solar panels do not work at night, solar power could prove to be insufficient, depending on electricity needs.

Federal and state jurisdictions typically offer financial incentives such as tax breaks, discounts or grants to people who opt to install solar panels, but this benefit is often offset by the costs required to maintain and repair the panels, on account of their sensitivity to damage.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why is solar energy bad?

    A:

    Disadvantages of solar energy include taking up a lot of space, unsightliness and costing a large amount of money to power buildings. While solar energy has some advantages compared to other power sources, the costs are sometimes not worth the disadvantages.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the pros and cons of hydropower?

    A:

    Hydropower is clean, renewable and the lowest-cost way to generate electricity, but hydropower also requires damming of rivers, which destroys wildlife and changes the natural cycle of the river flooding. It can also cause changes in the composition of water.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do we need to conserve energy?

    A:

    One needs to conserve energy, or decrease our energy use, in order to preserve non-renewable resources and reduce our impact on the environment. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the production of electricity in 2012 was the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions, ultimately contributing to dangerous global warming.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does solar energy create electricity?

    A:

    Solar energy produces electricity by generating copious amounts of heat, which is channeled through electrical conductors and transformed into electrical power. Solar heat collectors, cooling towers and photovoltaic panels are all types of energy systems that use solar energy. Heat collectors and panels sit on building roofs and over parking lots, and they are strategically placed facing south, where the sun shines with the most power.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore