Solar energy advantages and disadvantages

We are going to study the advantages and disadvantages of renewable energies, what influence they have on our lives and how necessary they are for the normal and healthy functioning of the Earth. In this case we will talk about solar energy so that we focus on it, its importance and all about solar energy advantages and disadvantages.

INTRODUCTION TO SOLAR ENERGY

Solar energy is the energy that is associated with solar radiation and is the main source of energy on our planet. From solar energy derives, in a more or less direct way, all the other sources of energy present on Earth: from fossil fuels, to wind energy, from hydroelectric power to that of the movement of waves. The only exceptions are nuclear energy, geothermal energy and tidal energy.

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Solar energy is normally used by organisms that perform chlorophyll photosynthesis, commonly called « plants ». All other living organisms, including humans, exploit chemical energy obtained from plants (this is the case with fossil fuels) or from other organisms that in turn exploit solar energy indirectly (by eating vegetables).

When we speak of solar energy, we refer to thermal solar energy and photovoltaic solar energy:

Solar thermal energy consists of heating a fluid using the energy of the sun, which would allow steam to be produced and, subsequently, electrical energy. This is achieved by means of solar collectors.

In photovoltaic solar energy, sunlight would hit a photovoltaic cell that produces electrical energy directly.

When photons hit a solar cell, they release electrons from its atoms. If the conductors are connected to the positive and negative sides of a cell, it forms an electrical circuit. When electrons flow through this circuit, they generate electricity. Multiple cells form a solar panel, and multiple panels (modules) can be connected together to form a solar array. The more panels you can deploy, the more power you can expect to generate.

Solar energy is undoubtedly one of the most widely used renewable energies in the world and one of the most advantageous, although we also find some disadvantages as we will list below.

ADVANTAGES OF SOLAR ENERGY

When we think of solar energy, there are many advantages that come to mind, it seems that this type of energy is offered to us day after day with the sunrise and, as Spain is a place so favored by this star, it becomes a type of energy that we could qualify as interesting.

These are the main advantages of solar energy:

NO CONTAMINATION

The most important of all advantages is that this type of energy does not pollute. It is a much cleaner energy than others such as nuclear energy, not to mention fossil fuel-based energy.

The use of solar systems allows energy production with low environmental impact, since it does not require fossil raw materials to trigger combustion processes and therefore does not introduce harmful substances into the atmosphere.

INEXHAUSTIBLE SOURCE OF ENERGY

When talking about solar energy we can say that it is an inexhaustible source. That is, it is a renewable energy that comes from an inexhaustible source that is the sun, so there is no need to worry about it running out, at least not in many millions of years.

In fact, the average irradiance that reaches the surface of the earth is equal to 1000 W for every square meter of surface, and it is totally at our disposal . When there are solar systems with yields that will take advantage of 70/80 percent, photovoltaics will be the most widely used method of energy production in the world.

Solar energy

LOW COST

Despite the significant investment cost involved when we install a solar panel system, those who decide to focus on this technology will see the cost of their electricity bill drop significantly, have the satisfaction of producing the energy they consume and be able to resell the excess on the national grid.

Think also that you will save money as the technology advances, while the cost of fossil fuels increases over time because they are becoming scarcer.

VARIETY IN THE USE OF THE SOLAR SOURCE

The energy from the sun can be used in different ways: with a solar photovoltaic system, which transforms the light directed towards the panels into electricity; with a solar thermal system, which allows the heat from the sun’s rays to be used to heat a fluid, used later, for example, to heat houses; with a solar thermodynamic system, which combines the two characteristics of the first plants mentioned.

What are the benefits the sun has on the earth ?
Grounding of photovoltaic systems