Why is not everyone using solar panels?
If we look at climate change and various data, we can see how non-renewable energy sources are causing great harm to the environment. To combat climate change, shifting to renewable energy sources can be a life-saving strategy.
And as we know as of now, Solar power is the most popular renewable energy source in the world! It’s relatively easy to work with, eco-friendly, and overall more feasible than most other renewable energy resources.
But still, why aren’t we all using Solar Power yet?
The primary reason not everyone is using solar power yet is not enough awareness at the ground level. Most people don’t have enough education on climate change and how renewable energy sources can positively impact the Earth. Besides that, other vital factors, such as weather dependency, efficiency, cost, etc., are some common reasons.
In the following sections, we’ll discuss ten reasons why not everyone is using solar power yet!
1. Weather Dependency
On cloudy days, solar electricity generation may not be that efficient as compared to other energy sources. And it might look like it’s a wrong choice to go for solar panels where the weather is mostly cloudy. That could be one reason why not everyone is considering Solar Panels.
However, solar panels won’t stop working entirely on a cloudy day, but it depends on how thick the cloud is. In general, it can produce 15-20% of its typical efficiency during a cloudy day. And nowadays, we have specifically designed solar panels to work on such weather conditions too!
Here is one example of a highly efficient solar panel: ACOPOWER 120W Mono Lightweight Portable Solar Panel
Like cloudy days, solar panel efficiency becomes 15-25% of its typical output energy on rainy days. For example, if you have a system that can produce 5KW power, it’ll typically give 1KW power.
Which is not that bad, right? And nowadays, hybrid modern PV systems are waterproof as well.
Also, rain is perfect for the maintenance of your solar panels. Dust and dirt can decrease the efficiency of your solar panels by 17%. And rain naturally cleans up the outermost surface of your solar panels.
Now you can see, rainy days are not much of a problem!
In winter, unless your solar panels are covered by snow, it will work efficiently! So, if you experience heavy snowfall in winter, you need to clean your solar panels so that they can work efficiently. And on a sunny winter day, your solar panel will work well.
Storm and cyclone:
Storms and cyclones are the only weather conditions where we need to consider the weather forecast carefully. The safest way to protect your solar panels is to uninstall them if the cyclone is too intense. Later, you can re-install the panels again.
Now you can see, different weather conditions can be a challenge, but they can not discourage the world from adopting this technology. So awareness plays a key role here.
2. Lattitude Dependency
Around the equator, we can use solar panels most efficiently, but if we go far from the equator line, we can see a gradual decrease in solar energy conversion efficiency.
This happens primarily because of two reasons
1. The inclination of sun rays 2. Thicker atmosphere
If we go towards the pole, we can see a decrease in energy efficiency because of the reasons mentioned above.
However, we can combat this by using an appropriate hybrid system to generate energy according to your needs. In such cases, your initial cost might increase. Hopefully, in the future, we can make it more efficient as technology advances.
3. Installation Cost of PV System
The initial installation cost of a PV system can be around $9,255 – $28,000 in the US.
Also, it depends on in which country you are living. In India, a 1KW off-grid PV system with inverter and battery might cost around ₹120k-₹140k.
But still, compared to the traditional power system, the initial cost is a bit high, and you might need 5+ years to get back the initial investment. However, this investment might pay off in the long term as solar panels last 25-30 years.
Also, the good news is as technology advances, the cost gets lower as well. And we can hope within the next few years it can be so affordable that anyone can install a PV system to power their houses. For that, big institutions and governments have to come forward as well.
4. Storage Efficiency Issues
As you know, we can’t produce solar energy at a constant level all the time. Sometimes, you might get an excessive amount of energy as well. That’s why storing that energy is crucial.
For energy storage, we usually use large lithium-ion batteries. However, lithium-ion batteries are not that efficient. If you don’t charge the batteries for ten days, they will start to discharge.
But to combat this storage efficiency problem, we have other mechanical storage alternatives that might get popular in the near future.
5. Solar Doesn’t Work at Night
At night a photovoltaic system can’t generate electricity without solar light. So you might feel discouraged for this reason, but to combat this issue in an off-grid system, we use solar energy storage such as batteries.
That’s how we can overcome this limitation. Also, using an on-grid PV system, we can make a hybrid system where we can use power from our traditional supply line at night.
6. Solar Panels Might use a Large Amount of Space
If you don’t have enough space to install solar panels, it might be a tough choice. To power an entire house, you must need multiple solar panels to set up.
However, this problem has a solution! If you live in a community and can encourage them to join this green initiative, installing a community PV system might be beneficial. In this case, the system will be shared with multiple owners but not by a single person.
7. High Cost for Energy Storage
We already discussed that the initial cost is a bit high for PV system installations. This is not so high in the long term, but it depends on the quality of the battery storage as well. And batteries are one of the major components that might require spending every 5-10 years.
8. Solar Panels are Not yet Efficient Enough
Overall it might seem, solar panels are still not that efficient as they can convert only 10-15% of the solar energy incoming, which is true. But as we progressed, we saw efficiency increased day by day.
If efficiency increases, it will decrease the cost as well. Also, as solar energy is a renewable energy source, we can take our time to experiment more on this technology for the betterment of the world.
9. Misleading Information around the Internet
Around the internet, we can see many misleading pieces of information out there. And that can potentially confuse and demotivate the green living enthusiasts.
That’s why it’s the responsibility of all educators to be transparent enough with the new learners to have a better interest in this technology.
10. Not enough Awareness among People
Not having enough awareness is one of the main reasons people are still not interested enough to invest in solar energy systems. It is necessary to educate all the children about Climate Change in schools.
We need to spread awareness around the internet as well. If we don’t take climate change seriously in the future, it will be significant harm to the Earth.
Once we have enough awareness of climate change, we’ll eventually be more interested in renewable energy sectors, and even powerful authorities will take it seriously.
Asking questions is great! When we ask questions, we get to know more about the topic. We hope we were able to cover all those doubts and queries regarding the main issue.
We thank you all for researching this specific topic. Now you can be an ambassador to spread the proper knowledge on Solar Energy Panels. Together we all can make the change!