The use of solar energy can be advantageous in a number of different ways. In this article, we take a look at the top 15 benefits of solar energy. You will learn why this renewable energy source is the most popular choice for many people around the world.
Our list comprises of the top 15 benefits that solar energy can have. These cover the use, availability, cost and environmental impact of solar.
#1. Solar energy is both renewable and sustainable
One of the key benefits of solar energy relates to the fact it is both renewable and sustainable. A renewable energy source is one that does not become depleted as we use it. Traditional sources of energy (such as coal and natural gas) will one day run out. For this reason alone, it is vital that we increase our use of renewable alternatives.
Using renewable energy from the sun helps to reduce our dependency on fossil fuel sources. This, in turn, helps to increase our energy security. We often use this term to describe the association between national security and the availability of natural resources for energy consumption.
#2. It has numerous environmental benefits
Using the sun to produce electricity has a number of benefits on the environment. It’s important to note that electricity generation with fossil fuels involves combustion. This process releases gases such as carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. Such gases contribute towards climate change and pollute the air we breathe
Using solar photovoltaics to generate electricity does not involve combustion and therefore produces no greenhouse gas emissions This results in cleaner air and a reduced effect on global warming.
#3. Solar is widely available
Whilst some parts of the earth receive fewer amounts of solar radiation than others, it is still widely available. We can tap into this source of energy for our own benefit.
Depending on exactly where you live, solar energy systems are likely to be a viable option to power your home. Solar
#4. We can use it in a number of different ways
Up to this point, we have mainly covered the benefits of using solar energy to generate electricity. We can, however, make use of the sun in a variety of other ways. These include the following:
- To generate electricity – covered already.
- For heating water – this uses a process known as solar thermal energy.
- To heat air – think about greenhouses and conservatories.
- When growing crops – the sun is a major influencer in food production.
#5. Can help to reduce fossil fuel consumption
By using solar energy, we can help to reduce fossil fuel consumption. When we generate power from renewable sources, we reduce the need to burn diminishing reserve of fossil fuels such as coal, oil
#6. Solar PV is a low noise power option
We’ve all heard how wind turbines can have a serious impact on the lives of local residents. This is due to both the visual and noise pollution that they create.
Solar panels on the other hand do not produce any noticable levels of noise. This makes solar farms a low-noise alternative to wind farms. Solar panels are also suitable for placement directly on the roof of a house or other building.
#7. The sun is free
This is one of the key benefits that solar energy offers. Nobody is able to charge for the sun – we can all tap into this source of energy free of charge, without permission.
Although the cost of installing solar panels can be quite high, once they are in place, there are no costs involved with the supply of solar energy.
#8. Solar panels can be installed on rooftops
The fact you can install solar cells directly on top of your home makes them one of the most widely used renewable energy technologies.
Other renewable energy sources are either unsuitable for residential installations or require significant areas of land. For example, wind turbines are often considered too noisy by homeowners for a local installation. Geotherham heat pumps on the other hand are a viable option, but many designs require a large area of land for the installation of underground pipes.
#9. Solar energy systems are often a low maintenance solution
After a professional has installed your solar panels, the system should be relatively low maintenance. Sure, the panels will need cleaning, but they should run for years without trouble.
Various factors influence the lifespan of solar energy technologies. If you are planning an installation, be sure to check with your provider how you can get the most out of your system.
#10. Solar has low running costs
Linked with benefit #9 is the fact that solar panels have low running costs. You don’t need to buy fuel for the panels and maintenance will be fairly minimal.
#11. You can use it in remote locations
With solar energy been widely available, you can tap into this energy source in almost any part of the world. The sun can be used to provide power in remote locations where it might be impractical or impossible to run electricity cables to.
Solar also has its uses as a portable power option. Technologies already exist that allow you to charge your smartphone or power a portable device directly from the sun. This is especially beneficial when hiking, camping, or simply enjoying a day out at the beach.
#12. Solar panels offer a return on investment
When installed under the right conditions, solar panels provide a return on investment (ROI). Whilst the initial cost of solar can be quite high, this can be offset by the reduction in energy costs you are likely to face. When solar cells are installed under a tax credit system, ROI can be sped up.
Many homeowners experience a reduction in their electricity bill after the installation of solar technologies. This can in many cases, offer an ROI over a 20 year period. This may differ depending on your exact circumstances, so be sure to check with your supplier.
#13. Solar energy can help to increase energy security
We’ve already touched on this topic, but it’s worth reiterating that solar energy does help to increase our energy security. With levels of the earth’s natural resources diminishing all the time, it’s important that we make use of renewable sources to reduce the long-term effects this might have.
Solar companies have made significant breakthroughs over the years to help with this process. Solar farms are now a viable solution in many parts of the world. They can be found everywhere from the US to Australia, Asia, and many European countries.
#14. Solar power is efficient
We should note that using the sun to generate electricity is a highly efficient process. As solid fuels are not required with solar panels, there is no wastage. Whatsmore, solar technologies are improving all the time. This allows solar cells to generate larger amounts of electricity than ever before!
#15. It helps to create jobs
Often overlooked is the fact that solar energy has created a global industry of manufacturers, suppliers, and installers. This has led to the creation of a large number of jobs at different levels.
So there we have our top 15 benefits that solar energy can have. The key benefits relate to how solar energy can have a positive impact on the environment whilst reducing our dependency on fossil fuels.
Other benefits relate to the fact that the sun can play a key role in providing a source of clean energy in remote locations and help to reduce household electricity costs in the long term.
If you would like to compare a full list of solar energy pros and cons, then we also have an article covering that topic here.