Some of the benefits of using solar panels for energy generation include the fact that solar energy is a renewable resource, the abundance of solar energy that reaches the earth and reduced electric costs. Negatives of using solar panels include the expense of installing solar panels, the costs of storing solar energy and limited access to solar energy at night or during overcast periods.
The expenses associated with manufacturing and installing solar panels are the primary negative when it comes to harnessing solar energy. Solar panels tend to be constructed of rare materials like cadmium telluride or copper indium gallium selenide, which can result in increased manufacturing prices. Installation requires calculating the ideal spot to gather the most sunlight and requires significant space to install enough panels to power a home.
To recoup the cost of solar panels, many government programs have been created to offset installation costs, which can make solar panels more widely available. Additionally, the long-term savings on electricity costs can offset the expense of installing panels and storing solar energy and reduce overall dependence on fossil fuels like coal. As more companies manufacture batteries to store solar energy, solar panels continue to grow as a practical alternative to buying energy from power companies.