The Pros And Cons Of Using The Sun As An Energy Source

As fossil fuel supplies dwindle and pollution becomes more and more of an issue, people everywhere are turning to more sustainable energy sources. One of these is solar power. Solar panels are used to harness the sun's energy and then turn it into electricity that can be used to power homes and businesses. Solar power sounds like a clean, unlimited resource -- and in most cases it is. But be sure to consider both the pros and cons of solar energy before investing in solar panels:

Pro: Solar power is abundant.

There's a limit to most power sources. There's only so much coal left on the planet, and there are only so many rivers with water that runs fast enough to generate power. But solar power is virtually unlimited. The sun won't stop producing energy tomorrow, and you can trap as much of it as you want without causing a shortage elsewhere.

Pro: Solar panels are low-maintenance.

If you install your own solar panels, this is a great advantage to consider. They don't require a lot of upkeep. Other green power-generating options like wind turbines are more difficult and costly to maintain thanks to the mechanical parts.

Pro: Solar panels are widely available.

There are a lot of companies who make and install solar panels, so it's possible to shop around and find a good deal. You don't have to search for some obscure contractor halfway across the country to have solar panels installed.

Con: Solar panels take up a lot of space.

Many homeowners put them on their roofs, but if your roof is too small, you won't be able to fit enough panels to generate enough power. Putting them in a field is an option, but they still take up space that you may need for other applications.

Con: Solar panels are expensive.

The price is coming down a bit since they've become more popular, but they are still a pretty big investment. To keep costs down, some people lease solar panels on a yearly contract. If you live in a sunny area, you may save enough on electricity to make up for the cost of the lease.

Con: Solar panels only work well in sunny areas.

Of course, you need the sun to generate power with solar panels. So if you live in a cloudy area, your panels may not trap enough energy to really make them worthwhile. Contact a company like for more information and assistance.