Solar Panels Vs. Traditional Energy Sources- What You Should Choose

solar panels vs traditional energy

The predominant resources which the global economy depends on are oil, coal, and natural gas. For years most of the energy provided to homes for domestic purposes has come from traditional sources like coal and gas. This has been many homes’ go-to energy source, and even with the rise of green energy through solar power, you will still find traditional sources being utilized.

Fortunately, people are becoming environmentally conscious and considering long-term plans to save the environment and save on costs. Many have switched to solar panels as their primary energy source. Ten years ago, around 50% of the electricity in the US was generated from coal-fired power plants, and 25% was produced by natural gas. Nuclear power generated almost 20% of the country’s electricity.

(http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2015/ph240/gaertner1/#:~:text=There%20are%2010%20essential%20pros,for%20another%206.5%20billion%20years).

However, things have now changed, and green energy sources are becoming increasingly popular in many households around the globe. Traditional forms of energy will power most of the planet, while green resources like solar power and wind contribute to two to three percent of global energy capacity. Hence, it makes you wonder about the pros and cons of these energy sources and which one you should opt for that best suits your lifestyle. We will look at precisely that in the following article. Let’s begin.

Solar Panels in Celina Texas

Advantages

Renewable energy source

Solar power is a renewable energy source, indicating that we will never run out of energy as long as the sun lives. This, according to NASA, will be around 6.5 billion years. This makes solar energy abundant. In addition to abundance and renewability, we know that solar energy is sustainable, and we’ll never over consume it. This means that we will have it available in the distant future. The sun can be harnessed in every area of the world.

Environmentally friendly 

Most people also opt for this energy source because it’s environmentally friendly and will not cause pollution the way traditional energy sources would. The emissions associated with the panels’ manufacturing, transportation, and installation are virtually nothing compared to traditional energy sources. Solar energy is available everywhere and even more in countries closer to the equator.

Reduce bills 

Although the costs at the start may be high, they will be heavily reduced over time, saving you a ton of money in the long run. To eliminate or significantly reduce upfront costs, homeowners lease or purchase power agreements to finance their solar panels. Energy bills will drop substantially due to solar power; you can monitor this with analog panel meters.

How much you save with your solar panels depends on the size of your panels and electric heat usage. Specifically, a business using commercial panels will yield more benefits because the system size is large and can generally cover most of the bills.

Moreover, suppose you generate more electricity than you use. In that case, you will also receive payments for the surplus energy you export back to the grid through Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), provided your solar panel system is connected to the grid.

Diverse applications

The applications of solar energy are endless. Some main applications are generating electricity in places without a grid connection, distilling water in Africa, and even powering satellites in space.

Another remarkable advantage of solar panels is that you can subscribe to “community solar gardens.” This allows you to share solar energy among households. Solar energy can even be integrated into the materials used for buildings.

Low Maintenance 

Solar panels generally require little to no maintenance. The maintenance will consist of a few cleanings a year. A reliable solar panel manufacturer’s average years of warranty are around 20-25 years. No moving parts can pose a hassle, nor is there any wear or tear. The aspect that may need some of your attention is the inverter that needs to be changed after 5-10 years due to continuous working of converting solar energy into electricity and heat.

Disadvantages

Weather dependent 

Solar energy is highly weather dependent and requires sunlight to function properly. You may have to deal with days when the efficiency of solar panels drops.

Costs

Since solar energy must be used immediately, it must be stored in large batteries. The batteries are used in off-the-grid solar systems and must be charged during the day to utilize energy at night. This allows you to use solar energy all day but is also quite expensive.

Uses space 

Although this point depends entirely on the number of panels you need to power your home, a bigger home and more electrical appliances will require more panels and thus space. Naturally, you’d also want to collect as much sunlight as possible. Sometimes rooftops need to fit the number of panels your home requires sufficiently.

A good alternative is to install panels in your yard, but that brings us to square one about needing more space and considering proper access to sunlight. Nevertheless, you can always install fewer panels to satisfy some energy needs.

Weighing the pros and cons of traditional energy sources

Solar company in Celina Texas

Advantages

Easy transportation and storage 

Fossil fuels can easily be transported via international gas pipeline systems or tankers. Fossil fuel can also be stored efficiently indefinitely, allowing you to have power during winter.

Cheap 

Fossil fuels have a well-developed infrastructure making them more accessible and cheap. If the weather is ideal, you can even store the surplus fuel allowing the prices to fall further. The prices are falling significantly, especially since the rise of renewable resources.

Reliable 

As stated before, renewable energy depends entirely on your weather and is affected by the amount of sunlight in your area. The solar panel and wind turbine’s operation are only efficient when the sun shines, or there is enough wind. Your solar panel will only work at half capacity if the weather conditions are not ideal. However, fossil fuels are more controlled and do not rely on environmental factors.

Disadvantages

Not renewable 

We may easily run out of fossil fuel if we do not regulate our consumption, So we must be more cautious and always watch out. According to Woldometers, we will run out of oil in 47 years, natural gas in 52 years, and coal in 133 years.

Pollution

Many homeowners avoid using fossil fuels as their source of energy for this specific reason. Coal is the most harmful to the environment because it has many more harmful combustion products. Natural gas is the least toxic fossil fuel because it burns much cleaner. If we burn natural gas under perfect combustion circumstances, it will produce minimal to no harmful compounds. This doesn’t take away from the fact that fossil fuels are the main contributors to global warming.

In conclusion

In terms of upfront cost, solar power is more costly, but if you consider the long term, switching to solar panels is best if you want those electricity bills to go down. Solar energy is far more environmentally friendly. Fossil fuels, like coal, are incredibly harmful to our environment, and there is a less toxic fossil fuel called natural gas. However, it is less safe than solar energy. Solar energy may be renewable, and you can trust having solar power as long as the sun lives. But, traditional energy sources are more reliable because solar power is entirely dependent on the weather, so you may receive power less efficiently. Finally, solar panels are low maintenance and only require cleaning a couple of times a year, whereas fossil fuels can be dangerous, and storing/handling it can have high safety risks. As a result, solar panels are overall the better option.

We hope this article has insightfully shown why you should choose solar panels over traditional energy sources. Thank you for reading!

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