Solar energy is increasingly affordable, and may even become cheaper than conventional energy produced by fossil fuels as the technology becomes more efficient. Government incentives for homeowners and businesses alike make it an attractive technology to invest in.

While there are plenty of pros to solar energy, the cons continue to keep it from being accessible to everyone. Unfortunately, not all consumers of electricity are able to install their own photovoltaic system. Some people do not own the place where they live, or their homes do not get enough sunlight to make solar panels efficient. And while the price of solar panels has decreased dramatically over the past decade, the upfront costs of installing rooftop solar are still cost-prohibitive for many. 

On a commercial scale, solar energy production continues to be a way for companies to produce electricity without contributing to the increasing levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Solar panels may be co-located with commercial crops in order to reduce the amount of arable land they render unusable for farming. 

Solar electricity generation itself does not emit pollutants; however, the production of solar panels, unless run on solar energy, continues to produce emissions. Solar panels are also not recyclable in most parts of the world. At the end of their useful lives, most solar panels are disposed of in landfills. This process has the potential to release toxic chemicals into the environment.5

Some facilities in Europe are leading the way in solar panel recycling and finding ways to reuse many of the original materials for new solar panels. This also reduces environmental impacts by decreasing the number of new semiconductor materials that need to be mined and processed. As solar energy increases in popularity and affordability, the demand for solar panel recycling will most likely increase

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *