Solar panels have many advantages, but also some disadvantages. All too often the benefits are highlighted, but it is only fair that the disadvantages are also listed.
The price of a solar panel
One of the biggest drawbacks is the price of a solar panel. A system that converts solar energy into electricity is anything but cheap. The price is determined by various factors such as the number of square meters of solar panels and their lifespan. A normal family can easily pay 18,000 to 22,000 euros to be supplied with electricity all year round. The price includes the installation with all materials, wiring, working hours and the solar panels themselves.
Many people think that the production costs of solar energy are too high compared to the yield. But the price of solar energy drops by a considerable amount every year while the price of oil and gas and the like becomes more expensive in the long term.
It is wrong to think that solar cells only produce electricity when the sun shines. Although, of course, the sun must shine. The point is that a solar panel also provides electricity when it is cloudy. Still, a lot of electricity is needed if the sun is not shining, such as lighting at night. That means that something is needed that stores the solar energy produced until you need it.
Today, hardly any electricity is produced by means of solar panels, so the electricity that is generated in this way is used up immediately. But if the market evolves in such a way that over time more than 20 percent of the electricity production would be generated by solar cells, it must be stored in, for example, batteries. That, in turn, provides extra difficulty and an extra cost.
Is the production environmentally unfriendly?
The production of some solar cells requires environmentally polluting products, such as solvents, cadmium, phosphorus, arsenic, phenoxyethanol and hydrochloric acid. However, that is only a small disadvantage because the environmental pollution caused by the production of the solar cells is negligible compared to the environmental benefits that they generate.
Some types of solar panels also have to be processed in a special way when they are worn out. The intention is to use fewer and fewer environmental pollutants in the future. After all, a lot of research is being done into the production process of solar cells. This is also increasingly successful because fewer and fewer harmful substances are being used.
The production of a solar panel itself also requires a lot of energy that is often generated in the traditional way. That means that they use fossil fuels for production and that also means that fossil fuels release harmful greenhouse gases such as CO2 into the air during their combustion, which has a negative impact on the climate.
Disadvantages solar panel: Good location is necessary
It is important that your solar panel is in a good location to get the highest possible return. Do not spend too much time trying to find the best spot, being exposed to the sun for too long has increase chance of getting itchy spots on your skin. If you install solar panels you must, therefore, ensure that they are not placed in the shade of trees or other houses. Moreover, no energy can be generated at night. The location of the roof itself is also important. It is best to install the solar panels on the southern side of the roof. There are also panels that turn with the direction of the sun, but the price is usually not proportional to the extra electricity that they generate.
In the past, installing solar panels in Flanders was made interesting by issuing green energy certificates. However, these have been abolished, which means that your investment will not be recovered as quickly.
Not everyone thinks that solar panels look nice. Moreover, they take up a lot of space. That is why a solar panel is installed on the roof. Yet there, too, space is limited.