Solar is one of the most promising sources of renewable energy. And that explains why the industry has seen a surge of growth in the past couple of years. More people are using solar panels as backup systems or as a way to offset electricity bills. But just like any other industry, solar systems are facing a unique set of challenges.
Here are some of the barriers that are still holding solar energy back from its full potential.
Here’s the deal:
The output of a solar panel depends on the amount of sunlight it gets. Therefore, a solar panel system in a generally warmer area would be a better investment. And there is nothing you can do about this.
Adding more solar panels is the only possible solution to this problem. However, it’s like installing another roof. It’s so expensive that the project might take decades to break even. And that is never a good thing.
The Efficiency of Solar Systems
Further, the solar panels are not that efficient. That’s because they convert only 25% of the sunlight that hits them. Plans are underway to make better panels, but that might take some time.
Then there is the issue with inverters. They tend to work for 5 – 10 years max, which usually ends up in a replacement. But there is a catch. There is a chance that you might not have broken even at the time of this major repair. So there’s that to worry about when considering a solar system installation.
In most developed countries, grids can be several decades old. That means they are not primed for the amount of energy that people send to it. Here’s how it works:
People install solar systems without including the batteries. The power goes directly to their electrical system, and the surplus goes to the grid. That results in a current surge which causes hardware failure. This issue will escalate as more people take up this particular solar system model.
Yes, you read that right. Solar systems can cause adverse environmental effects.
You might be wondering:
How does this happen, exactly?
Well, battery and solar manufacturing involve harmful materials. For example, Nitrogen Trifluoride is a byproduct of solar cell production. And it is more potent than Carbon Monoxide.
Also, battery production involves the use of a long list of heavy metals. These materials eventually go to landfills, causing problems for the soil and ocean.
While solar technology is one of the most promising green energy solutions, it still faces challenges. But that does not mean it cant work. There is a lot of effort going into making the production of solar systems greener and solving the efficiency issue.