What are some disadvantages of solar energy?

Posted by ifihomes on 19th Oct 2016

Solar Energy is abundant, non-polluting and un-ending. This energy can be tapped and used by different ways like complete Integrated Independent products and Rooftop solar panels with/without grid integration.

Power Transmission &Distribution depends on three main parameters: Power must be Cheap, Reliable, and Sustainable.

Home electrification – using rooftop solar panels / Large Solar Farms

One of the biggest disadvantages to solar energy is sun doesn't always shine at your location but out energy consumption is 24X7, Whereas most conventional energy (power lines) are available any time of the day, so when demand for energy arises, utility companies can fire up the coal and generate more power thus managing the reliability of the service.

Most solar panels are installed to face south, which maximizes electricity generation. This means the panels generate the most energy midday.

Energy consumption happens most in the morning when we wake up and early evening, right when people get back from work.

This creates the issue for many power distribution companies with solar as they actually increase this problem. Below daily graph gives you a good idea “duck curve"; as energy industry folks call it. Solar is essentially not becoming sustainable source throughout

Image Source:


To address sustainable/reliable source of power, there are a couple of solutions to this problem.

1. Implementation time of use prices, higher unit cost for early morning and evenings, which will pay more to solar projects, thus resulting in turning the face panels to West or East and increase generation during key times.

2. Invest in battery storage, which (among other things) can help us to store energy from the middle of the day and use it when we need it most

3. Hybrid solar forms interlinked with wind turbines, going for a hybrid approach however one of the best option. Wind turbines generate electricity as long as there is a favourable wind conditions throughout and good options to provide continuous supply which gives reliable & sustainable energy.

4. Options to overcome night is to store any surplus energy produced. This can be done by pumping water uphill and letting the elevated water driver turbines at night. This can be additional expense to build such system currently not cost effective.

Solar energy is cheap as compared to any source of energy in consideration of the pollutants that are added to environment and long term effects of such energy sources. Solar energy is cheap but the use of space (land) that comes at a cost based on prevailing rates can add to deforestation or reduced greenery.

Southern hemisphere the problems are still the costs associated with setting it up. These problems can however be overcome and there is still enough value in solar energy for most users. The fact that its efficiency also relies heavily on the weather is a drawback and can turn it into a non-starter for many.

For Indian subcontinent the cost factor matters the most but that should stop us from being a solar enthusiastic community. Rooftop solar and solar farms can be cost prohibitive for the individual home owners and the cost of land can be a very limiting factors to create large industry.

Ideal solution to give effective reduction is usage of power for many could be of using integrated independent solar products that effectively reduce the power bills and effectively reduce the burden of power needs on grids, which reel under severe shortage of supply.

Integrated Independent products function with solar energy without any other sources like the one below, these come with panel, batteries and light in one unit.

There are no practical disadvantage of such products, they are independent and self-sustaining and long life.

Initial cost for such products tend to be higher price but they practically pay themselves up in 3-5 years, provided a quality product with good warranty is procured.

There are numerous products like these are readily available from www.ifihomes.com, that can replace traditional lights that are packed in all-weather cases and provided wiring. These can provide better sustainable light in the night when they are needed that too without the cost of costly wiring and managing then with manual switches every day.

One should always look at these options in/around homes to reduce the pressure on environment, in whatever possible ways, however small they can be.