The Pros & Cons of Solar Energy in 2023
As costs seem to increase for everything from food to energy, many are turning to solar as a way to reduce their utility bills. But many still wonder if it’s worth the investment. Here we’ll look at the pros and cons of solar energy and if installing a solar system makes sense for your Missouri home.
How Does a Solar System Work?
Solar panels use special semiconductors that generate electricity when electrons are excited by photons of light that are released by the sun. This direct current electricity is collected and sent to an inverter, which converts the direct current into the alternating current electricity that your home uses for power. Any extra energy can then be sold to your electrical provider in a process called net metering, earning you a credit on your utility bill. Some systems add a battery to store electricity for use during power outages or during peak times when electricity from the utility grid is more expensive.
The Pros of Solar Energy
A solar system can be an excellent way to reduce or virtually eliminate your electrical bill. A well-designed system can produce all the energy you need during the daytime, plus generate enough extra power to offset any electricity you will use from the grid overnight or during cloudy weather. Just a few of the pros of adding a solar system include:
- Reduced electrical bills: With enough solar, you can pay little or nothing for power from the utility grid, though you may still have to pay connection and delivery fees.
- Energy independence: Solar can make your home more energy independent, especially if you add a solar battery backup system to keep the power on during utility outages or bad weather.
- Low maintenance: Solar panels last a long time and require very little maintenance to operate efficiently.
- Combat rising energy prices: Energy costs only seem to go up, and by investing in solar now, you can save substantial amounts over the lifetime of the system.
- Increasing your home’s value: Homes with a solar system sell for a higher price than those without one, plus they will sell quicker because lower energy costs are a great selling point.
- Helping the environment: Solar is a renewable energy source that can help the environment and minimize the use of fossil fuels for energy production.
The Cons of Solar Energy
There are certainly some downsides to solar energy, such as the high initial investment, but some of the negatives of a solar system are quite exaggerated. Some of the most common cons of solar energy and the truth behind them include:
- Installation costs: Solar panels and related equipment have dropped in price dramatically over the last few decades as production has increased and become more efficient. Plus, with the federal solar tax credit of up to 30% of the total cost of the system, along with local tax credits and incentives, the costs for solar energy are increasingly competitive with traditional energy sources.
- Manufacturing impact: Solar panels use materials that have to be mined and transported long distances, and this can have a negative impact on the environment. That impact, however, is much less than traditional energy sources like coal or natural gas.
- Cost of batteries: Solar batteries can be costly to install, but they are not necessary to enjoy the benefits of lower electricity costs from a solar system. Battery prices are decreasing quickly, however, and they are an excellent option for those who need reliable power even when the grid is down.
- Scarcity of materials: Some materials used in solar panels, batteries, and other solar equipment are scarce, costly, and hard to acquire, such as rare earth metals, but more sustainable alternatives are being developed for future use, such as sodium-ion batteries.
Solar Energy Installations in Missouri & Northwest Arkansas
As energy costs continue to rise, a solar system can be an increasingly worthwhile investment for your home or business. At Solera Energy, we offer residential and commercial solar installations in Missouri and Northwest Arkansas. We can design a solar system that is customized to meet your energy needs and budget, whether you want to have enough power to run your entire home or business or to just reduce your overall electricity costs. We are the premier solar installer in Missouri, and we feature top-quality solar equipment, superior workmanship, and impressive financing options to make the solar installation as easy as possible.