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So are there really disadvantages to solar energy? While solar energy in Ireland have been widely adopted across the country over the past number of years, they have also been criticised for being expensive or inefficient. However, solar panels have now proved to be extremely beneficial – not only for the environment but also for making big savings long into the future. 

Unfortunately, there are always some downsides to the energy source you choose to analyse. At EcoPlex we have outlined the disadvantages of solar energy in Ireland in the following points: 

5 disadvantages of solar energy in Ireland

The 9 Main Disadvantages Of Solar Energy In Ireland

1. Cost Of Solar Panels In Ireland

The initial cost of purchasing solar systems in Ireland can be high. This includes paying for solar panels, inverter, batteries, wiring, and the installation. Nevertheless, solar technology is constantly advancing, so it is safe to assume that prices will go down in the future. Additionally, with the SEAI grants, you can save a lot of money now. These grants will not be available indefinitely however! 

2. Weather-Dependent

Although solar energy can still be collected during cloudy and rainier days, the efficiency of the solar system does drop off slightly. Solar panels are dependent on sunlight to effectively gather solar energy. It should also be noted that for obvious reasons solar energy cannot be collected during the night. Moreover, extreme weather conditions and the influence of UV rays all pose a threat to the efficiency of solar panels in the long run. This then leads to the question, “are solar panels worth it in Ireland?”. With the potential savings you can make, we say it’s a certain YES!

3. Solar Energy Storage Can Be Expensive

Solar energy has to be used straight away, or it can be stored in solar batteries. These batteries, used in many off-the-grid solar systems, can collect energy throughout the day so that then can be used for energy at night. This is a good solution for using solar energy all day long but it is also quite expensive.

Generally speaking, it is more effective to use solar energy during the day and then pull energy from the grid during the night (you can only do this if your system is connected to the grid). Luckily your energy demand is usually significantly higher during the day so you can meet most of your daily energy requirements with solar energy. 

4. Uses a Lot of Space

The more electricity you need to produce, the more solar panels you will need to produce it. Solar panels require a lot of space and some roofs are not big enough to fit the number of solar panels that you would like to have, particularly if you intend on running off 100% solar energy. We estimate that a typical home needs about 20 solar panels to cover 100% of energy usage. The formula we use at EcoPlex to estimate the number of solar panels you need to power your home depends on three main factors: annual energy usagepanel wattage, and production ratios.

5. Associated with Pollution

Although pollution related to solar energy systems is incomparable to fossil fuel pollution, there is certainly a certain amount of pollution that comes with solar panel installation. Additionally, there are also some toxic materials and hazardous products used during the manufacturing process of solar panels, which can indirectly affect the environment. Again, we should reiterate that this level of pollution is minute to the pollution caused through fossil fuel extraction to fossil fuel usage.

6. Issues regarding roofing

Solar panels are often placed in rooftops of homes and businesses in order to make the most out of the space and exposure to sunlight. However, in the event of a repair/maintenance of the roof, having a solar panel installed can cause an issue. Therefore, the solar panels need to be disassembled for the maintenance/repair to be performed. Finally, it is always best to conduct a preliminary roof check before solar panel installation.

7. Reliability

Even though renewable energy sources are the future, their ability to produce power throughout the year is still a major talking point. In terms of solar energy, location is a significant factor. Not all locations around the globe receive tremendous amounts of sunlight. Furthermore, seasons also play a vital part. Solar output during the winters will be far less when compared to summers. In order to solve this dilemma, homeowners have started investing in battery backup systems to store power. Finally, an important point to be noted is that adding a battery backup will further increase the cost of the solar system. 

8. Complications during moving

One of the main disadvantages of solar energy, especially for a homeowner, is that solar arrays are costly to disassemble and shift during a move. In addition, finding a team to carry out reinstallation can prove to be costly. 

9. Aesthetic

This point is completely subjective. Solar panels have undergone a massive change aesthetically with more options now available in the form of coloured solar PV’s and much more. Furthermore, technological advancements have also brought out a major change. However, for some individuals solar panels are still seen as aesthetically unpleasing.

So, there you have it. That’s our take on the 9 main disadvantages of solar panels in Ireland. We don’t think it’s a deal-breaker.  Get a quote today to begin your journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

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