There are more advantages of solar energy compared to disadvantages but everything has pros and cons here are disadvantages of solar energy.
Solar energy is generated by solar radiation. The sun is a strong energy source and this energy source can be used to install solar modules.
Although often criticized as expensive or inefficient, solar energy has proved to be extremely beneficial, not only for the environment but also financially.
Disadvantages Of Solar Energy
1. Depends on Weather
Although solar energy can still be absorbed on cloudy and rainy days, the efficiency of the solar system decreases. The effective production of solar energy by solar collectors depends on the light of the sun.
Therefore, some cloudy days of rain may have a noticeable impact on the energy system. It should also be taken into account that solar energy cannot be stored at night.
On the other hand, if you also need a solution to heat water for night or winter operation, you can consider using thermodynamic plates.
2. It takes up a lot of space
The more electricity you want to produce, the more solar cells you need to collect as much sunlight as possible.
Solar modules take up a lot of space and some roofs are not large enough to accommodate the desired number of solar modules. An alternative is to install some panels in the yard, but they must have access to sunlight.
If you do not have enough space for all panels, you can install less to cover part of your energy needs.
3. Low performance in the shade
Darkness affects not only the usability of solar collectors but also the usability of shadows. This may be in local shaded areas, such as under trees or near high structures, where the same rules apply on cloudy and/or foggy days, or even in areas with pollution problems.
All physical objects or weather conditions that reduce the solar radiation of solar modules affect their performance and are therefore not suitable for installation in all locations. In terms of environmental pollution, this particular disadvantage is more pronounced for older solar cell components, as newer designs combine technologies to overcome the worst of these effects.
4. In the event of dirt
Although the pollution from solar systems is much lower than from other energy sources, solar energy can be linked to pollution.
Transport and installation of solar systems are linked to greenhouse gas emissions. There are also some toxic materials and hazardous products used in the production of solar photovoltaics that can have an indirect impact on the environment.
However, solar energy is much less harmful to the environment than other alternative energy sources.
5. It shall not be produced in darkness
Electricity from the sun cannot be generated in the dark. Solar modules operate efficiently under strong solar radiation and therefore cannot generate electricity in the dark of night sky.
This problem may be exacerbated in countries where days are shorter at different times of the year, but also by the introduction of a battery system capable of storing the electricity generated by solar collectors during the day for use at night.
This method is used in some domestic solar systems where batteries may take up more space but is more common in solar devices such as garden lighting.
It should be noted that some industrial solar power plants use technology in which a certain type of salt is melted during the day by solar energy. At night this salt remains melted although strongly cooled and can still be used for electricity generation.
6. Solar modules require a large surface area
In order to generate electricity at an acceptable level, a solar system often requires several consecutive modules, which are commonly referred to as solar modules.
This can take up a large area and is often seen as a disadvantage in areas with limited space. In most cases, homeowners install solar cells on the roof, which often provide sufficient space for such systems.
The space required for the construction of a solar power plant may be large, which increases costs due to the need to purchase more land.
7. Low efficiency at high and low temperatures
The efficiency of solar energy can also be affected by temperature. The climate may be too cold or even too hot for the solar module to function effectively, as most of the modules have a threshold depending on their operating temperature.
The science behind it goes beyond the scope of this article, but as a combination of high and low temperatures, it can reduce the photovoltaic effect; the ability of a semiconductor to emit electrons when it absorbs photons from the sun’s rays.
8. Costs related
The cost of purchasing a solar system is quite high. While the UK government has put in place some incentive schemes for renewables, such as feed-in tariffs, the initial costs still need to be covered.
This includes payments for solar modules, inverters, batteries, wiring, and installation. Nevertheless, solar technologies are constantly evolving so we can assume that prices will fall in the future.
9. High acquisition costs and long return on investment
One of the main disadvantages is the high cost of solar systems. Domestic solar modules remain an expensive option to generate electricity for the home, while the construction of large solar power plants can be very costly.
Although the installation of solar technology requires a high upfront investment, solar modules often offer a return on investment (ROI) due to their lower energy costs and the possibility of reselling the excess electricity back to the grid.
However, this process can take many years and for some systems notably older technologies no return on investment is possible.
It should be noted that some governments that want to increase the use of solar energy may offer subsidies to both homeowners and companies that want to invest in their own solar systems.
Always contact your local council or government for information about available programs, as they can destroy hundreds if not thousands of dollars from the initial investment you need.
10. Low power output compared to other options
Large solar systems often have a much lower output than fossil fuel systems. Although we cannot expect solar power plants to exceed the capacity of conventional thermal power plants, they are still a viable solution for producing large amounts of electricity, both clean and renewable.
11. Storing solar energy is expensive
Solar energy must be used immediately or can be stored in large batteries. These batteries, which are used in solar systems, can be charged during the day, so that energy is consumed at night.
This is a good solution for using solar energy all day long, but it is also quite expensive. In most cases, it makes more sense to use solar energy during the day and to draw energy from the grid at night this is only possible if the system is connected to the grid.
Fortunately, your energy needs are usually higher during the day, so most of them can be covered by solar energy.
12. NIMBY effect
The NIMBY effect not in my garden can also apply to solar modules. This is more important for wind turbines, but solar cells can still be used by neighbors who see solar cells on the roof as eye-catching. Unlike wind turbines, solar panels do not generate noise and therefore the NIMBY effect should be smaller, but there is still a problem.
More modern implementations of solar technologies (e.g. tiles) contribute to the mitigation of this effect through the aesthetics of solar modules through their seamless integration with the building.