8 Solar Energy Advantages and Disadvantages To Getting Off The Grid

It’s clean, widely available, renewable, and easy to scale for small or big projects. But without the right setup, all it takes is a cloudy day to bring your power source screeching to a halt.

● Can you build a dependable solar energy system that actually works every day?
● How can solar energy be cheap and expensive at the same time?
● Are you building a system to save money now, or are you channeling a sustainable source of energy to get off the grid completely?

solar energy advantages and disadvantages

Some people say that solar energy isn’t just a great solution for energy when electricity isn’t available but the future of energy as we know it. Others say solar energy means an expensive system that won’t work when you really need it. What exactly is solar energy, and what are the solar energy advantages and disadvantages?

Solar Energy

The sun is an incredible source of energy that falls freely to Earth every day. It warms the planet, gives us light, and is the reason we are alive. But our technology isn’t designed to use the energy, for example, our cell phone doesn’t charge just by setting it out in the sun.

Solar energy also means the tools we need to harness the energy from the sun and turn it into something we can use. Solar energy advantages and disadvantages are important to understand when setting up a system for emergency survival.

Solar Energy Advantages and Disadvantages

You can’t depend on the electric company to give your home power forever. But like any other solution to this problem, solar energy advantages and disadvantages are very important to think about before you install a system.

solar energy advantages and disadvantages

Advantage #1 Renewable, Free Energy

Every day, our sun hit the Earth with enough energy to give us 20 times more power than we need. We need a lot of power, so that’s saying something. The biggest advantage to installing a solar energy system is that you’ll never have to worry about finding more energy because it literally falls from the sky.

Disadvantage #2 At The Mercy of The Weather

Even though the Earth gets a lot more energy that we need every day, it’s not equally distributed. Some areas of the world get a lot more sunlight than others, which means that in cloudy weather or when the days are shorter you won’t get as much energy as on a clear, sunny day.

Advantage #3 Storing Energy With Batteries

At night and on days where there isn’t as much direct sunlight, a solar energy system draws off of batteries that store extra energy on clear days. The more batteries you have, the more energy you can store to get you through dreary days.

Disadvantage #4 Batteries Aren’t Cheap

Batteries can store extra solar energy, but they aren’t cheap and they take up room. This makes it impractical for one family to store up a lot of extra energy and a week of bad weather can put you in a desperate energy situation if solar was the only source of energy you had.

Advantage #5 Solar Energy is Scalable

It might be impractical to plan on getting all of your energy needs from a solar energy system, but solar energy is adaptable and can be used for specific purposes. If you identified the top three to five reasons you’ll need energy if the grid goes down, you can set up solar energy systems for those specific uses. For example, a solar energy water heater is a smaller and more practical project that jumping straight into running your whole house on solar energy. As time and resources allow you could invest in more equipment for more uses.

Another use for solar energy: powering your home security system so it works even if a thief cuts your power first. Check out this article for using solar energy for your home security system.

Disadvantage #6 Solar Energy is Expensive

Technology is improving and prices are going down, but a basic solar energy set up can still have a huge price tag. Even if you start small, you’ll need to be prepared to put a decent chunk of money into setting up a solar energy system.

Advantage #7 Solar Energy Saves Money

While life is status quo and we aren’t in a survival situation, having a solar energy system will decrease the amount of money you spend on electricity. This can be helpful to scale up your operation, to get other survival gear, or just to keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket. Solar energy advantages and disadvantages are different depending on what kind of situation you are preparing for.

Disadvantage #8 Pollution Effect Solar Energy

Pollution in the area makes your solar energy set up less effective. While this might not be a problem, some end of the world survivals include lots of air pollution. If you rely entirely on solar energy for when the grid goes down, you will have to cross your fingers that the cause of the disaster doesn’t pump too much pollution in the air for your system to work. Otherwise, you’ll be flat out of luck.

solar energy advantages and disadvantages

 

 

One thing to be crucially aware of is the difference between setting up solar panels for use right now while you still have the option to take power from the grid versus setting up solar for a total collapse. This video from SurvivalReport talks about solar energy advantages and disadvantages in real survival situations and tells you exactly what you should be looking for when purchasing the equipment.

A lot of survivalists think they’ll be able to just loot the solar supplies they need, but as the man in this video points out, that’s highly unrealistic. He talks about the importance of battery storage. Some people throw a bunch of panels on their roof and feed into the grid during the day and see a big savings on their electric bill.

But the problem is that when they get home, they don’t have power stored and they are drawing their power from the grid in the evenings. This saves money, but it does not prepare you for a real emergency.

Solar energy advantages and disadvantages will be depend on exactly what you plan to get out of your system. Plan out what your goals are for solar energy before you start buying the equipment you’ll need.

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