This radiant energy from the sun can be used in a variety of ways including electricity generation, heating and cooling homes and buildings,
cooking, water treatment, drying food grains and milk pasteurization.
Solar energy has been used since the ancient times. The Greeks and Chinese used it in orienting architectural structures while mirrors were
used in warfare before to concentrate the sun? rays on enemy ships which eventually burn them down.
While it has many advantages, solar energy has its share of disadvantages especially since it not considered a fully mature technology yet and therefore needs more development. Pros of Solar Energy
Solar energy is clean and does not cause pollution therefore, not harmful to the environment. Unlike fossil fuels, it does not produce waste
products and will last for a very long time as long as sun continues to shine.
energy systems can now function well in almost any climate. A home? design and orientation, though, have to be considered.
It does not need any fuel. It is also not dependent on the supply and demand of fossil fuel and therefore, unaffected by increasing prices of gasoline.
The sun is a free source of electricity. It does not require wires in order for power to travel and solar electricity can be stored. What? great about it is the absence of noise pollution when power is generated via solar energy. Remote locations are ideal sites for solar systems aimed at generating electricity.
Solar energy systems can operate on their own without being connected to a power or gas grid. This makes them available for use in far-flung areas.
Solar panels are durable and needs less maintenance which translates to cost savings. Initial investment can be recouped from three to eight years after which the energy cost becomes almost zero.
Manufacturers of solar equipment now offer longer warranties of up to 20 years or more to their products. This also translates to savings should the equipment bog down.
Financial incentives are provided by government aimed at reducing cost.
Cons of Solar Energy
The initial investment in solar systems is quite high compared to the conventional electric systems. The semi-conducting materials used in constructing a solar system are expensive.
The efficiency of solar systems needs more improvement. Today, the collection of solar energy is dependent on the number of hours of sunlight as well as on the climate. Obviously, this is only available during the day and therefore, people need to use other sources at night.
Solar equipment is quite expensive for the average person and requires a wide area for installation to maximize its efficiency.
The cost of solar energy is also high than electricity produced via non-renewable energy. Its price is becoming more competitive as energy shortages are becoming commonplace today.
For solar-powered vehicles, their slow speed may not be appealing to many people who are used to driving fast-speed automobiles.