Solar energy is energy that comes from the sun in the form of light and heat. It is a form of clean, renewable energy that is used by people around the world. Because of limitations in money and technology, only a tiny percentage of the total amount of available solar energy is effectively harnessed and used. While it is clean and renewable, solar energy is far from being a perfect energy form and is not likely to replace other forms of energy. There are many solar energy pros and cons that consumers and businesses consider before deciding whether or not to make use of the sun's energy.
There are many solar energy pros and cons that people must consider before making the costly decision to switch to solar energy. Using such energy does have its benefits. Solar panels give off no pollution of any kind, and little pollution in produced in their production. Solar panels produce energy silently and, in that sense at least, are very non intrusive. As long as they are not damaged, solar panels can provide free energy to a home or business for years.
While years of free energy and decreased dependence on fossil fuels may sound great, no examination of solar energy pros and cons is complete without a look at the price, which is considered the largest barrier to conversion to solar energy use. Solar energy panels and cells are very costly, and several may be required to power a home, business, or vehicle. While upkeep isn't particularly expensive and the energy gained after setup is free, the initial cost of purchasing and installing solar panels can be very high. In spite of this high cost, though, enough solar panels set up in an area with plenty of sunlight should, in time, pay for themselves through the free energy they provide.
Other solar energy pros and cons involve the environment that the solar panels are set up in. It is often very practical to set up solar panels in remote areas, such as outer space, where power is needed but where local power grids are not an option. Solar panels are, however, weather dependent. An area that regularly experiences heavy cloud cover will likely gain little benefit from solar panels, which work best when directly exposed to sunlight. Another consideration is the amount of time out of each day that solar energy is accessible; solar panels require sunlight to work, so they only function during the daylight hours.