The people of the world are constantly works hard to make development in every aspect. This has lead to intensive industrialisation and globalisation. This demands power in large scale, and for that fossil fuels are burnt. Since recently people have understood the problems of fossil fuels and hence have resorted to renewable resources. There would be no issue of exhaustion and neither would it cause as much pollution as burning fossil fuels can. Some commonly implemented renewable power sources are solar energy, wind energy, hydel energy and geothermal energy.
Solar Power and its problems
Harnessing the energy of the sun is the fundamental of solar energy. Solar panels are placed in such a way that they get the maximum exposure to the sun. While it may seem to be a simple process of setting up of panels and a circuit, there are many problems regarding solar energy. Some of them are:
- High initial investment- Solar panels are very costly. Many expensive materials are used for the making of a solar panel. Therefore, while setting up, a significant amount of money needs to be invested. Though, in the long run the solar energy will prove to be profitable.
- Storage issues- Solar energy is available only when the sun is out. Therefore, at night or when the skies are overcast, solar energy will not be available. It is necessary to determine the number of average sunny days of a region before setting up the solar panels. For providing energy in an uninterrupted manner, large batteries and other storage devices must be used to store the excess energy and use it later. These batteries are expensive and inefficient.
- Longevity and recycling- Solar panels do not last very long. Their average lifespan is twenty to thirty years. Though this may seem to be a lot, the need to reinvest another lump seem is a major drawback. Another issue is the once a panel’s life is over, it must be recycled. The problem lies in the fact that these panes are made of various materials like, glass, aluminium, synthetic materials like ethylene vinyl acetate and polyvinyl butyral, silicon and metals like lead, copper, cadmium and gallium. Now, these materials must be individually separated and processed to recycle it. This must be done without causing damage to the materials so that it can be used later and incur minimal loss. After dismantling the panels successfully, they can be used to build new panels or can be used in other industries.
The negative aspect of solar energy should not stop people from using solar energy. Some steps that can be taken are.
- The government needs to provide with a percentage of the investment of the investors to help them get motivated.
- Recycling of panels have been made easy with the introduction of advanced technology. According to PV Cycle, 95% of the materials can be recovered by the process. Also, many programmes are being launched which accepts used solar panels.
Conclusion- Solar Energy is a boon to the constantly developing world. However, it comes with certain disadvantages. Therefore, steps must be taken to minimalize the disadvantages and benefit from the technology.