Solar PV

The Honest Disadvantages of Solar Energy

When it comes to solar energy, there are a lot of benefits that people like to talk about: it makes use of a natural renewable resource, is rapidly coming down in price, and doesn’t produce harmful greenhouse gases. That much you already know. But what are the disadvantages of solar energy? Is there anything bad...

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Last updates on 11th of September 2023

When it comes to solar energy, there are a lot of benefits that people like to talk about: it makes use of a natural renewable resource, is rapidly coming down in price, and doesn't produce harmful greenhouse gases. That much you already know.

But what are the disadvantages of solar energy? Is there anything bad about solar energy, and if so, how bad is it?

In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the disadvantages of using solar energy. We will also check how these disadvantages can be overcome. So, without further ado, let's get started!

1. Solar energy is not always available

The availability of solar energy is not continuous. The sun doesn't shine at night, which is an obvious limitation on solar power generation, but there’s also less output during the winter months. In addition, it's no secret that some parts of the country get less sun than others, which further limits generation. This means that you can't rely on solar energy to power your home 24/7.

One way around this is to install a battery storage system, which will store energy from your solar panels so that you can use it when the sun isn't shining. They also store excess energy from the sun, which would otherwise go to waste.

2. Solar panels require space

Although solar panels are an amazing piece of technology, turning sunlight into electricity with no moving parts and in silence, they do require space. You need a good-sized roof or garden to install solar panels, and even more, if you want to add battery storage. This can be an obstacle for people who live in cities with little available space.

One way to get around this is by using a smaller solar panel system. Not all systems are the same size, so you can make the best use of your space with a smaller one.

3. Solar energy is expensive to set up

experienced worker cleaning solar panels on house roof

You also have to consider the economic disadvantages of solar energy. Solar panels can be expensive to install, and it's indeed more of a medium to long-term investment than an instant money-saver.

But as true as that might be, the cost of solar panels and battery storage has come down rapidly in recent years, making it more affordable for everyone. In addition, group-buying schemes like Solar Together make it even more affordable. Through Solar Together, you gain access to exclusive group-buying schemes that give help you get high-quality panels at a competitive price.

4. Solar panels need occasional maintenance

A solar panel isn't like a boiler that needs yearly checks and regular servicing. They don't have any moving parts. While the amount of rain we get in the UK is usually enough to keep them clean, they can get grubby and mucky sitting on your roof, especially if you have trees nearby.

But if you're imagining lots of hard work keeping them clean and lots of extra costs for special cleaning supplies, don't worry. Rinsing them clean is enough to keep them working optimally at any time of year. We don’t advise getting onto your roof and cleaning them yourself; you can wash them with water from ground level. If they need a deeper clean, you should find a local window cleaner who also cleans solar panels. Plus, good panels are coated with a hydrophobic film that stops dirt from sticking, making cleaning even easier.

5. Solar batteries can be harmful to the environment

As well as expenses and maintenance, there are social disadvantages of solar energy batteries. If not disposed of properly, these chemicals can contaminate soil and water supplies and be dangerous to humans and animals.

Fortunately, there are ways to dispose of solar batteries safely and without harming the environment. They are difficult, but not impossible, to recycle. There's also the fact that they last for a very long time—so the net benefits to the environment outweigh the damage they cause. This is perhaps the best example of how you have to balance the advantages and disadvantages of using solar energy.

6. You may not like how solar panels look

You may think that solar panels are quite unsightly, even if they are useful. If you're not a fan of how they look, it's best to install them in a place where they will be least visible.

7. Solar energy is a relatively new and developing technology

Another relevant disadvantage—at least in a sense—is that solar panel technology is constantly improving. While that's good in that they're becoming better, it's bad if you install them only to get left behind. You may want to wait until a future point to have a more efficient panel installed instead, which would be understandable; that being said, today's panels are still plenty good enough to lower your household bills and lessen your environmental impact.

Contact Solar Together Today

The key disadvantage and the main reason solar isn't more popular yet is how much solar power costs. Buying the panels and having them installed costs around £7,000 on average, which, understandably, most people don't have to spare.

That's why we created Solar Together.

Solar Together is a group-buying scheme that makes solar panels and batteries more accessible and affordable for everyone. Group-buying is a great way to install solar panels on your property. By pooling our resources together, everyone can make a saving.

We vet suppliers for the quality of their service so that you don't have to. Beyond that, we even offer optional add-ons like battery storage and EV charge point installation and insurance-backed guarantees for customer protection.

We understand why that might sound too good to be true. So, why not learn more through our Blog?

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