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Many of us know that solar energy is good, but few really understand why. Here is a comprehensive list of solar energy advantages and disadvantages that will help you to make an educated decision on whether or not solar energy is right for you.

With electricity rates high as 47 cents per kWh in Dominica, fellow blogger Jen of Living Dominica needs help comparing the electric costs. She has started an informal survey on electric rates around the world to compare them to Dominica electricity rates. So far Dominica is topping the charts. 😥

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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.
  • It will save you money on your electricity bill if you have one at all.
  • 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.
  • Solar energy does not require any fuel.

2. Environmentally friendly

  • Solar Energy is clean, renewable (unlike gas, oil and coal) and sustainable, helping to protect our environment.
  • It does not pollute our air by releasing carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide or mercury into the atmosphere like many traditional forms of electrical generations does.
  • By not using any fuel, Solar Energy does not contribute to the cost and problems of the recovery and transportation of fuel or the storage of radioactive waste.
  • Therefore Solar Energy does not contribute to global warming, acid rain or smog.
  • It actively contributes to the decrease of harmful green house gas emissions.
  • It’s generated where it is needed.

3. Independent/ semi-independent

  • Solar Energy can be utilized to offset utility-supplied energy consumption. It does not only reduce your electricity bill, but will also continue to supply your home/ business with electricity in the event of a power outage.
  • A Solar Energy system can operate entirely independent, not requiring a connection to a power or gas grid at all. Systems can therefore be installed in remote locations (like holiday log cabins), making it more practical and cost-effective than the supply of utility electricity to a new site.

4. Low/ no maintenance

  • Once installed, there are no recurring costs.
  • Solar Energy systems are virtually maintenance free and will last for decades.
  • They operate silently, have no moving parts, do not release offensive smells and do not require you to add any fuel.

Solar Energy Disadvantages

  • The initial cost is the main disadvantage of installing a solar energy system, largely because of the high cost of the semi-conducting materials used in building one.
  • 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.

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To learn more about solar energy and to find out if solar energy is right for you, go to Fact About Solar Energy dot com. You’ll discover what solar energy is, how solar energy works, and interesting fact about solar energy.

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3 Comments »

Comment by Jen
2007-07-16 19:10:18

Wind may be a less expensive option for those who live in locales where that would work.

But now comes the real question. WHY are electric rates so much higher here than elsewhere? I hope someone will enlighten me.

Comment by Dan
2007-07-17 18:35:13

We plan to install solar hot water and also have a solar electrical panels to charge batteries to back up our refrigerator and freezer.

It is hard to have total solar power unless you also use little power, and you must have “deep cycle” batteries that can provide current at a constant voltage until they’re nearly exhausted.

My suspected answer to your question: Electricity costs a lot in Dominica because so much of it is generated using fossil fuel and Dominica is not yet getting the benefit from fuel from Venezuela at a no-middleman discount, and also because electrical production is in the hands of a monopoly.

 
 
Comment by mrs poo
2011-06-20 04:03:33

i think solar panels are cool

 
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