In order to justify why there is so much technological and monetary effort going into solar power and the development of new solar energy facilities it might be worthwhile going over a few of the significant benefits that are achieved from using solar energy. Some of these may seem obvious, some may be debatable and some may be surprising to some, but make no mistake, regardless of the detractors, solar energy is a valuable resource to develop and to refine.
So here are 10 benefits of solar energy.
1. Solar energy is not only sustainable, it is renewable and this means that we will never run out of it. It is about as natural a source of power as it is possible to generate. Not only are we able to refuel our vehicles with it we can heat our water and light our homes.
2. We can generate our own source of electricity via solar panels potentially enabling us to live off grid. In other words we need not be dependent on the public utility companies to supply our power and we also won’t be required to pay for our power.
3. The creation of solar energy requires little maintenance. Once the solar panels or troughs have been installed and they are brought up to maximum efficiency there is little else to do to ensure they are in working order.
4. They are a silent producer of energy. There is absolutely no noise made from photovoltaic panels as they convert sunlight into usable electricity.
5. The creation of solar power is unobtrusive, particularly the solar electricity that is generated from photovoltaic panels that sit on top of the roofs of buildings.
6. Many governments around the world and locally offer generous rebates and monetary incentives to install solar panels and solar hot water systems. The governments of various nations understand the importance of the creation of electricity from renewable sources is to the entire world and are receptive to making it as attractive a proposition as possible for individuals.
7. If you produce enough solar electricity or if you don’t use all of the electricity that you produce you can sell it back to the utility company for electricity credits. This is a rare occurrence for the most part, unless you are away on vacation for a week or two, in which case your solar panels will go on producing electricity that you won’t be using.
8. Large solar energy facilities can produce electricity regardless of whether the sun is shining or not making them sustainable and reliable electricity producers. The solar power plants capable of achieving this feat are generally thermal solar power producers capable of storing the heat generated and using it when the sun is not shining.
9. The advancements in technology used to create solar energy are continuing to improve making it even more cost effective. As it becomes cheaper to install new solar energy generators the price of solar electricity will continue to drop bringing it more into line with traditional, fossil-fuel generated electricity.
10. Solar electricity power plants and personal solar panels produce zero emissions and make no adverse mark on the environment.
The real benefit of using solar energy is its capability of being distributed among the community. As rooftop solar panels are becoming more widespread and more homes are installing them, the load on large coal-fired power plants is being reduced. Although a lot of money is being pumped into the creation of large-scale commercial solar power plants, it is the utilization of the space found on the roofs of our own homes that is going to make the biggest difference over the longer term.
There have been continued developments in the way in which solar energy is used and captured and this is resulting in some interesting new projects. One of the more recent projects, that is being commissioned in India, is the use of an extensive canal system to provide the land area for placing a series of solar panel installations.
The Narmada Canal Solar Project has just completed a 1MW test development and has been able to provide a lot of the benefits that come from installing a commercial sized solar power plant while avoiding one of the bigger disadvantages, which is the amount of space they require.
The solar energy debate is vigorous with strong arguments on both sides and there is certainly problems with it as a reliable energy source. We acknowledge this fact and have offered up a selection of disadvantages of solar energy as we recognise them.