Disadvantages of solar energy
Solar energy has been seen as the answer to all our energy problems because the power we get from the sun will never run out like that of fossil fuels, and it is a free resource too. But despite the fact that there are of course many benefits to solar energy, there are a number of disadvantages of solar energy as well.
One of the major disadvantages of solar energy currently is the fact that there are not enough solar technologies developed at the moment to fully supply the energy needs of the globe’s inhabitants. There are some technologies such as solar collectors that can help with supplying some energy to your home such as solar powered hot water systems and solar power heaters for your swimming pool. But these technologies are very limited in the amount of power that can be supplied to your house. Many people become frustrated with this because they want to take advantage of using clean energy, but do not see the point of using renewable energy when it makes so little a difference to your power bill and installing such technologies takes so much effort.
One of the other main disadvantages of solar energy is the astronomical cost involved with buying and setting up the technology. You may have heard claims before that solar energy is free energy and if you take advantage of such a resource you will never have to pay another dime to your electrical provider. This is not true at all and the technology to set up solar energy is usually just far too expensive for most people to even consider such an energy option. Even though energy prices are expensive and the costs keep climbing, a lot of people can afford to pay a monthly electricity bill because the cost involved is expected and manageable. However this is not the case with solar technologies as it might cost you up to $10,000 to set up a solar energy hot water system that needs to be paid up front, and even then you cannot be guaranteed that you will not have to pay for traditional electricity as well if the system does not work as well as you wish it to.
There are many other disadvantages of solar energy that stop people from wanting to invest in such a technology. You may have heard that there is an infinite amount of sunlight available and hence it will never run out, but what these theorists have failed to tell you is that the sun does not shine at night time and how are you going to get electricity then if you no longer have the traditional forms of electricity installed in your home. You still need energy at night – to watch the television and boil the jug to make a cup of coffee – and many of the solar energy technologies do not take this into account. Before you consider setting up solar power systems you need to take such things into account, otherwise you will be thoroughly disappointed.
Solar energy sounds too good to be true because it has been said that it uses the heat of the sun to power your home, and you will never have to spend another dollar on electricity –this is not true, there are some real disadvantages of solar energy at this point in time. To begin with the technology is a huge initial expense, the technology does not work well enough just yet, and the sun does not shine 24 hours a day so you are not guaranteed to have power constantly. Take these into consideration before you look into powering your home with solar energy.
Disadvantages of wind energy
Wind energy comes from the sun – the energy of the sun warms and cools as the earth spins between day and night and wind is created. Wind energy is not a new thing, it was used in the middle ages to mill grain and has been used in China for many centuries to pump water, however people soon lost interest in wind power and began burning fossil fuels. Interest has risen again because of our environmental problems and the fact that wind does not generate any gases. This is one of the real advantages of wind energy, but we have to take disadvantages of wind energy into account too.
The biggest disadvantage of wind energy is the noise that wind farms create because there is not just one wind turbine in a field but hundreds or even thousands of wind turbines making a huge amount of noise. It has actually been said that commercial wind turbines make so much noise that they are often compared to the noise that a jet plane makes. With wind energy you may get rid of environmental pollution but you are stuck with another pollution instead – noise pollution. We live in a world where people are very opinionated and only want things to happen that suit them. It is not uncommon for people to protest about wind farms because of the noises that are created by them, and if people protest enough there is no chance that a wind farm will be instated because the government will sometimes not allow it. People don’t always protest because of noise either, a lot of people protest against the development of wind farms because they destroy the beauty of clean, green open fields.
Another of the other major disadvantages of wind energy is the fact that wind can never be predicted – one day you’ll have lots of gusts blowing, and other days there will be no wind at all. It is therefore difficult to know what the weather will be like and therefore if wind energy is the only source of power available people will go without power when it is not windy. In theory, wind power sounds like a great idea but it is not quiet so true in practice.
There are other disadvantages of wind energy that does not spring to your mind straight away when you think about wind energy as a source of power but nevertheless some problems do still exist. Such things as it is expensive to set up the wind power technology in the beginning stages, you have to get government consents, land consents and actually have to find land big enough to have the wind farm on. In our over populated world it is often hard to find decent land spaces that are close to where people live. Sure you could put wind farms out of farms well into the country but these wind farms will be to far away from the people who want to use the wind power, and most of the time it will be very uneconomical to have these wind farms is such far out and barren places.
All in all despite the fact that there are some good things to say about wind energy, the disadvantages of wind energy by far outweigh the advantages with the biggest problems not being able to predict the winds and noise control problems. We will find an answer one day!
So if you want to live off the power grid, then you should consider a hybrid system, i.e. both solar and wind energy combined!