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Solar Energy Advantages and Disadvantages

With advancements in technology, you might think solar energy is a simple solution for the world's increasing need for energy. Unfortunately, it is not simple. Solar energy production has advantages and disadvantages, just like energy production from other sources.

While sunlight is free, the cost of collecting and converting it to a useable energy is not. Cost is one factor people look at when they consider solar energy. The columns to the right list some solar energy advantages and disadvantages. Can you think of more?

Solar Energy Advantages

  • Sunlight is renewable day after day.
  • After equipment and set-up costs, solar energy is free. In the end, you save money.
  • Solar energy is a clean energy—it does not pollute our air.
  • Solar energy not used during the day can be stored in a battery system, or sold to the power company.

Solar Energy Disadvantages

  • Collecting solar energy depends on location and weather conditions.
  • Equipment is expensive. The average household makes up the cost in about seven years.
  • Solar panels and other collectors take up a lot of space.
  • You cannot produce solar electricity at night.

Additional topics

Science Encyclopedia for KidsSolar Energy