How Reliable Is Solar Power?

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In the recent past, there have been concerns about the deterioration of the environment due to climate change. Besides, there have been concerns about the skyrocketing gas prices, the increase in environmental pollution, and the sustainability of fossil fuels. That has prompted individuals, corporations, and governments to explore alternative sources of power.

One of the most preferred alternative sources of power is solar power. Presently, the amount of solar power systems installed in the USA has increased exponentially between the years 2010 and 2013 (by around 500 percent).

However, though solar power accounts for over 13,400 megawatts of clean energy, there are still some doubts about its reliability as well as viability. But looking at recent studies, solar power has been found to be reliable, clean, and efficient.

Why solar power is considered reliable

As per a study done by the University of Delaware, by 2030, renewable energy could have upstaged fossil fuels in reliably powering large electrical grids. Though the study did not specifically focus on solar energy, it can be deduced from the fact that a combination of renewable energy sources will generate enough power, especially considering the fact that solar energy accounts for a large bulk of renewable energy sources.

In fact, presently, some countries such as Germany have made significant strides to adopt renewable energy- both as a way to reduce emissions and costs. The German Association of Water and Energy Industries announced in 2011 that renewable sources of energy had, for the very first time, accounted for almost a quarter of the country’s total energy generation.

It is noteworthy, and as evidence of the reliability of solar power, that the prices for solar power are falling precipitously. The solar power prices are falling at both a consumer level and a commercial level. Admittedly, the installation of solar panels and the process of retrofitting older grids can carry significant costs, but the prices for rooftop PV systems have decreased significantly- the decline is as steep 29 percent from only 2010 to 2013. The reason why consumer solar energy is growing affordable each day is due favorable financing plans, government rebates such as the Solar Investment Tax Credit, and the no-cost installation leasing plans. Moreover, solar panels save consumers a lot of money that could be spent paying electricity bills.

What is more? Contemporary solar panels are designed to last for 25 years or more. They can withstand the elements and the fact that they do not have any moving part components, or any sub-components that can be prone to failure, solar panels can last for a very long time. In fact, studies reveal that over ninety percent of solar panels last for more than 30 years, and even when they fail, they still continue to generate electricity, albeit at a lowered output.

The main drawback of solar energy is that solar power panels only generate electricity in sunny areas when there is enough sunshine. And, solar energy generation drops dramatically at night because there is no sunlight. Therefore, in places where there isn’t enough sunshine in a typical day, solar power panels cannot suffice to generate enough power to make it a viable, reliable alternative source of energy.

But, all in all, solar power, for the most part, has proven to be a reliable, viable source of alternative energy.


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