Advantages of Solar Energy
1. Energy independence
Traditionally, most people depend on the utility company to supply them with power. When the grid goes down, going without power for an extended period of time can be a helpless feeling.
It’s liberating to have complete control over where and how you produce energy. And with electricity costs rising, it also feels great to lock in a fixed rate for your electricity over the next few decades.
2. Eliminate your electric bill
Who doesn’t love one less bill coming out of their paycheck? With a properly sized system, you can drastically reduce or completely eliminate your electric bill.
Even if you extend your payback period by taking out a loan to finance your project, you still enjoy reduced electricity costs from the moment you flip the switch on your PV system. This is the most exciting part of solar for many people: bringing the system online and watching their power bill disappear.
3. (Grid-tied) solar is a profitable investment
If you buy a grid-tie system (the type of system you build if you have access to power lines), you can expect your investment into solar to turn a profit in the long run.
In fact, over the 25-year life of the solar panel warranty, after clearing the initial payback period it’s still profitable.
4. Lucrative government incentives
The investment into solar becomes even more appealing when you take government incentives into account. Government programs are in place to encourage people to invest in renewable energy. Claiming these can put a ton of cash back in your pocket.
A sustainable energy source is one that we can use without depleting the source of power. Oil and gas are not sustainable, because we consume those resources as we use them.
In contrast, solar is sustainable because the source of energy (sunlight) is constantly replenished. We can use solar energy without worrying about whether we will deplete the Earth’s natural resources for future generations.
6. Low maintenance
Solar systems don’t have a lot of moving parts. As a result, they rarely break down or require maintenance to keep them running optimally.
Panels are warrantied to last 25 years, but many have a much longer lifespan.
It’s common to replace your inverter at least once over the life of your system, as inverters are typically warrantied for 5-10 years. But that’s about the only scheduled maintenance you will encounter for grid-tied systems.
Off-grid systems are a bit more complex because they must include batteries, which often require routine maintenance. Specifically, flooded lead-acid batteries (the cheapest option available) must be checked and refilled with water regularly to keep them functioning properly.
However, building a grid-tied system eliminates the need for batteries, so most people will rarely need to check in on their system for maintenance or replacements.