What Are the Problems Associated With the Use of Solar Energy?

What Are the Problems Associated With the Use of Solar Energy?

Last updated on June 12, 2024

Explore the challenges of solar energy, including high initial costs, space requirements, weather dependency, and storage issues. This article delves into the common problems faced by solar energy users and offers insights into potential solutions and future prospects for sustainable energy.”

Solar Energy is the energy harnessed from the sun and used to generate electricity. It has proved to be a game changer when it comes to power alternatives.

In recent times, with an escalating energy crisis across the globe, people are becoming more inclined to use solar energy. The electricity generated is used for domestic purposes, powering electric appliances, and running industries and entire systems.

According to statistics, 4.4% of the global energy comes from solar power. As per the data of International Energy Agency (IEA), Solar PV generation increased by a record 270 TWh (up 26%) in 2022, reaching almost 1300 TWh.

Problems Associated with the Use of Solar Energy

The more widespread use of Solar Energy has led to an enormous debate. Despite its many benefits, solar energy comes with a few problems too that need to be considered.

By probing into the issues associated with solar energy usage, we can find better ways to tackle them and utilize this energy optimally. The wise usage of solar energy can mitigate such potential problems.

Here we will highlight a few major problems associated with the use of solar energy that need to be considered when choosing solar as a source of power generation.

1. Weather Dependence

Weather Dependence is a major issue associated with the use of solar energy. Solar panels work best in conditions of bright sunlight that fuel the generation of optimal amounts of electric power.

However, during foggy, cloudy or rainy days, the performance of solar panel systems gets highly compromised. According to Solar Alliance, solar panels don’t give their peak performance during cloudy or rainy days. Factors like clouds, rain, fog, and tree shade highly impact the extent of power generated.

To avail 24/7 power usage with solar energy systems, you need to a robust backup system to store energy during sunny days and use it on cloudy days and at night.

This makes you dependent on batteries for energy storage purposes. The production, maintenance, and disposal of these storage systems can have environmental and economic impact.

2. Expensive Installation

Solar Energy is expensive, incurring high installation upfront costs. This is due to the high costs of solar panel systems as well as the installation packages.

The cost of a solar panel system highly depends on the size of the system and quality of the parts. The installation costs are even higher due to energy storage needs. Site specific modifications may add significantly to the overall expenses of solar panel system installation.

Though many solar PV retailers offer discounts and governmental rebates to encourage solar energy usage, such discounts are limited to certain regions and states. Otherwise, purchasing and installing a complete solar panel system can get very expensive.

solar panel installation cost breakdown chart

3. Environmental concerns associated with the use of solar energy

Solar energy is generally considered a cleaner more sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuels.

However, it also comes with some environmental concerns. Evaluating the entire life cycle of solar technologies, from manufacturing to disposal, helps us understand their environmental impact.

Here are some environmental concerns associated with the use of solar energy:

Resource Extraction:

A wide range of raw materials like silicon, aluminum, silver and rare earth metals are extracted and processed to produce solar panels. The extraction of these materials causes disruption to natural habitats, pollution, as well as emission of greenhouse gases leading to harmful consequences.

Energy Intensive Manufacturing:

The manufacturing of solar panels, especially those based on crystalline silicon technology, requires a significant amount of energy. If the energy used during the manufacturing process comes from non-renewable sources, it can offset many environmental benefits of solar energy.

Chemical Use:

The solar panel manufacturing process involves the use of various chemicals, including solvents and toxic materials. These substances need to be handled carefully, as improper disposal or mishandling of these chemicals can lead to environmental hazards.

Land Usage and Habitat Disruption:

Large-scale solar installations usually require significant land use, potentially leading to habitat disruption and loss of biodiversity. Careful site selection and land-usage planning are essential to minimize these harmful consequences.

Such problems lead to potential environmental disruptions and tend to be a significant environmental concern associated with the use of solar energy.

environmental challanges associated with solar energy infogrphic

4. Compromised Performance in Some Regions

Solar panels systems don’t perform at their best everywhere around the globe. In many regions, their performance gets highly compromised because of the climate conditions and environment pattern.

Many European countries witness long seasons of winter and snowfall, lasting for more than 6 months.

During such seasons, sunlight exposure becomes quite minimal and solar panel systems fail to get stimulated enough to generate adequate amounts of power.

Where solar panel systems work at their maximum potential in bright and sunny regions, their performance gets highly impacted in cold areas. This makes their usage limited to regions that get plenty of bright sunny days.

Conclusion: Mitigating Solar Energy Challenges

Solar energy is increasingly in demand recently especially amid the global energy crisis. This is due to the incredible benefits associated with the use of solar panel systems as a means for power generation.

However, solar energy usage also comes with certain complications that need to be considered.

Solar Power generation is highly dependent on weather conditions and regional climate patterns. Solar panel installation can also be expensive and comes with certain environmental concerns too.

Hence, even though solar energy has a lot of benefits, it also has some drawbacks which should also be considered to harness optimal benefits.

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E-Green Electrical

E-Green Electrical is a top tier energy efficiency company based in Sydney. We focus on utilising government rebates to help reduce our clients energy consumption by installing energy efficient solutions. E-Green boasts a rich heritage within the realm of energy efficiency, consistently staying up to date with cutting-edge technologies to deliver optimal results for our valued customers.

We don't just sell products and services; we also provides tips and information on how to help reduce energy consumption. We believe in using energy wisely and teaching others how to do the same. For E-Green, it’s important to share knowledge with the community. That's why we regularly write articles about saving energy, new government rebates available and increasing sustainability.

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