Solar energy has attractive advantages for environmentalists and those seeking alternative energy sources. It is a clean source of energy, and the source of power is free for everyone. The sun is available to everyone on the planet, but some downsides to solar energy make it difficult to implement for individuals.
Up Front Costs
The up-front costs of solar energy are a barrier for some homeowners. The costs have been steadily decreasing over the years, but it is still a significant problem. The cost of solar panels and installation in the home can cause homeowners to wait years before cost savings balance the expense. Do-it-yourself manuals and guides have helped to lower the costs, and some homeowners have built and installed their own solar energy system. The materials used in an efficient solar system can still be very costly, however.
In some areas, homeowners may be able to offset up-front costs by selling energy back to the power companies. This is not available in all areas.
Homeowners who decide to install solar panels in their home for energy production will find that the system is not maintenance-free. Solar panels do wear out in time, and homeowners must replace them to keep the energy production system working efficiently.
Physical Land and Space
Solar panels require a significant amount of real estate to produce sufficient amounts of energy. This can be a problem for homeowners with limited space. While homeowners can install solar panels in smaller amounts, the lesser amount will not be able to keep up with power demands in an average household.
The source of power for solar energy is the sun. The sun is available in every area of the globe, but it is not even in the amount that it is dispersed. Some areas will always receive more sunlight than other areas. Homeowners living in an area that does not have sufficient sunlight find it difficult to create enough power to provide energy for their home. The technology is rapidly changing, though, and solar charged batteries help to offset some of this disadvantage.