Are There Solar Energy Disadvantages?

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Solar power is a source of immense limitless power and one that is now being taken seriously by all governments and people alike. With the cost of installing solar electrical systems now coming down from the levels that were first introduced, many more homes and businesses are now taking advantage and installing solar technology to help reduce the cost of running and maintaining their premises. Within a matter of a short few years, the initial cost of installation and purchase of solar panels can be recouped and with a lifespan of about 30 years and minimal maintenance, you can drastically reduce your electricity bills.

There are of course some disadvantages to installing these systems, some people still feel the cost is high to purchase the solar panels, battery, inverter, and installation. A solar panels guide can be found by following the link provided. Let’s take a look at some of the few disadvantages of installing solar power.

The Weather Can Be a Problem

Unfortunately, not all countries have nice sunny weather year-round like Caribbean nations or Australia and this can have an effect on their use of solar power. The climate and cloud cover can have a detrimental part to play in harnessing the sun’s power for many countries. Northern Europe and Canada, for example, have serious cloud cover for much of the year, this does not mean that solar energy systems cannot work but they are not running at their true best.

Another downfall that is inevitable is the dark and nightfall when solar systems cannot collect the sun’s rays and with some countries having long winters such as the United Kingdom there are very limited hours each day to collect and store the power of the sun for later use.

Solar Power Can Also be Expensive to Store

Solar energy is typically used as it is being collected which is efficient but what about the energy that is not used? Batteries are used to store the additional power harnessed and can be expensive. For this reason, many people use the national or local grid during nighttime hours when collecting sunlight is impossible, luckily most households or businesses use most of their electricity demands during the day time with fans and air conditioning generally not being used during the evening.

Storing the excess power is a great way to save money but the cost of the batteries can be a deterrent for many people who choose to only use the solar energy produced during the daytime. It is worth investing in batteries to use solar power at nighttime but only if it is within your budget.

Solar Panel and Systems Can Take-up A Lot of Space

One of the disadvantages of solar panels is they can take up some serious space, this is why they are normally used on the roofs of buildings. It is not just the fact that the sun is more accessible from the roof because it really doesn’t make much difference as most buildings are not that tall and given the height of the building it may as well be at ground level. 

Not all buildings have been designed in a way that can accommodate the installation of solar panels and often the best solution is installing them in the garden or outside land. It doesn’t really matter where the panels are installed so long as they have access to sunlight but a rooftop is a better option if practical, given that the sun is 148 million km from the earth another 30 feet will not make much difference to levels of solar power collected.

Solar Energy Does Have its Ecological Footprint

Although solar power is clean and efficient it still needs to be installed and manufactured and this can create pollution. As with any green energy product it still needs to be made before it can produce environmentally friendly power and this process is unfortunately also damaging to the earth. Toxic chemicals are used during the manufacturing process to create solar panels and batteries and can have effects on the environment if not handled and disposed of correctly, which some manufactures neglect to do so.

Transporting solar technology is also damaging to the environment but the offset made by installing solar power in your business should over the long-term compensate for any ecological damage done during manufacturing, transportation, and installation of the solar panel system that you have purchased.

Not all Solar Panel Are Made to a High Standard

As with any manufactured product like cars or computers, they are not made to a high standard that certain countries employ so it is always best to do some research before buying a solar power system yourself. Any reputable installation expert will have the knowledge to advise you on what to buy. China may be the largest producer of solar panels and also the biggest consumer of solar energy but does not have the same manufacturing standards as the European Union or the United States, it is not worth trying to save a few dollars to install something that may have technical problems at a later date.

Whilst China and other countries may not have the same stringent manufacturing standards as other countries that does not mean you should not consider the option of buying their solar panels. Ask your local supplier for a fair and honest assessment of all available products before installation. 

Not Being Able to Install Solar Panels Yourself 

As with most modern technology the average person is not able to install solar technology, it is usually necessary to have a trained engineer assess and then install solar systems to your home or business to ensure the job is done correctly and you can enjoy the benefits. Having an expert install your system ensures that it is working at the optimal capacity it can, capturing the right amount of sunlight during the peak hours of the day.

It may look simple but it is quite difficult to install and needs a trained eye and experienced engineers to install, the same as fixing the engine on your car if you don’t really know what you are doing it can turn into an expensive exercise. Anybody who works on installing solar panels and energy-related products will have undergone training and be certificated.


Whilst nobody doubts there are massive benefits to solar power being employed and installed in buildings and the need for solar energy by hikers and extreme sports enthusiasts to power potential emergency devices such as cellphones there are still downsides. Solar power is not immune from criticism and whilst being the most eco-friendly of all the power generating sources available to us is still worth investing in.

There is no perfect solution to the solution of global warming and the man-made made environmental disasters that since the industrial revolution we have created but solar energy is surely one of the ways which can embrace and continue to invest in, even on a dull day the sun is still always shining. How we choose to use that limitless source of energy is up to us, if you haven’t chosen to explore the use of solar power maybe it is time to do so to not only save you money but also the planet for future generations.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.