Family in Backyard, Highlighting GAF Solar Shingles

What are the Advantages of Solar Energy? Are There any Disadvantages?

8 minutes

While solar energy has been around for a while, and has grown in popularity in recent years, technological advancement as well as the cost of solar energy has stayed stagnant. Solar energy does not produce emissions or pollutants, making it an extremely attractive option for commercial, governmental, and environmental reasons. Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular as an energy source for residential and commercial properties.  

Traditional solar panels have been the standard for many years, but companies like GAF, the leaders in roofing systems have embarked on a journey to reinvent how solar energy is collected. Building-Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) solar shingles are the result of this innovation. These solar shingles are a type of solar panel that is integrated into a standard asphalt roofing shingle. The solar shingles are nearly indistinguishable from the rest of the roof, making them much more aesthetically pleasing than the large bulky solar panels. 

Solar shingles are not necessarily modern technology but have been loosely utilized by homeowners because they were expensive and produced far less output than other solar technologies on the market.  

However, GAF’s idea was to make a solar shingle that would be competitive with other solar technologies and more aesthetically pleasing. After years of research and development, GAF has finally released a product that is priced similarly to other solar energy sources and produces an output that is on par with the industry standard. Consequently, there has been a recent surge in popularity for solar shingles. 

So, What Are the Solar Energy Benefits? 

Solar energy has a plethora of advantages that make it an attractive option for powering both commercial and residential properties: Some of the solar energy benefits includes that it is a renewable resource that does not produce emissions or pollutants, making it environmentally friendly. Additionally, solar power is a free resource once the initial investment in solar panels has been made. Solar panels have a long lifespan and require extraordinarily little maintenance, making them a low-cost energy option in the long run. They may reduce your energy bills and eventually pay off most of the initial cost. Solar energy also provides different applications for homes and businesses. Another great and promising fact about solar energy is that the technology is constantly improving and evolving,  

Little Maintenance is Required 

Solar panels and solar shingles tend to be exceptionally durable and require little maintenance. Panels and shingles have no moving parts and are built to withstand all types of weather conditions, including high winds, hail, and heavy snowfall. Solar shingles are also exceptionally durable and can last for decades with extraordinarily little maintenance required. In most cases, the only maintenance that is required is to keep the panels clean of debris and to check the wiring periodically.  

Diverse Uses for Solar Energy 

While our home requires energy to keep you and your family comfortable, solar energy can help other aspects of your home other than just keeping electricity costs down. Solar energy can be used to heat your water, power your home’s ventilation system, and even to heat your pool. NASA themselves use solar panels on their satellites. This makes solar power a very versatile and practical energy source. Additionally, solar power can also be used to power an electrical vehicle.  

Solar Energy Can Help Lower Your Electricity Bill 

Solar power can provide significant savings on your electricity bill. Panels and shingles produce the most electricity during the daytime when energy demand is typically high. This electricity can be used to power your home, and the excess can be stored in batteries or sold back to the grid. Solar power can also be used to offset energy costs during peak demand periods.  

When energy demand is high, utilities often charge higher rates for electricity. Solar power can help offset these higher rates by providing energy during these periods. Solar power can also help you avoid blackouts and brownouts.  

Technological Advances in Solar Power 

Solar power is constantly evolving with modern technologies being developed to increase efficiency and decrease costs. Solar panels are becoming more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity. Additionally, new materials are being developed that can be used to create thinner and more flexible solar panels. These advances are making solar power more viable for a wider range of applications. 

Disadvantages of Solar Power 

While solar power has many advantages, there are also some disadvantages to consider. Solar power is a renewable resource that does not produce emissions or pollutants, but the manufacturing process does create harmful emissions. Solar energy has improved over the years, but can it keep up with demand in the future? Unaffordable prices are generally associated with solar power units and may deter consumers from adopting solar power. Efficiency is not at 100% yet as solar panels and shingles require a lot of space. If there were a solar panel on every square inch of your roof, there is still a chance that it would not be 100% efficient. Cloud coverage can also be an issue as solar power requires as much sunlight as possible to produce energy.  

Manufacturing Process Hurts the Environment 

Despite the advantages of solar power, the manufacturing process of solar panels and solar shingles can have a negative impact on the environment. The production of solar panels requires the use of harmful chemicals, including cadmium, lead, and selenium. These chemicals can pollute the air and water and have been linked to health problems in factory workers. Also, solar panel production generates a significant amount of waste. While the coal and oil & gas industries produce much larger amounts of pollutants and waste, solar energy is still considered much cleaner. 

Can Solar Energy Keep up With Energy Demand? 

The world’s energy demand is constantly increasing, and solar power will need to keep up if it is to become a major player in the energy market. Solar power is currently less than 3% of the world’s energy mix according to the U.S (United States). Energy Information Administration, but this is expected to increase in the coming years. Solar power is expected to grow significantly in the next decade, but it will need to continue to evolve to meet the demands of the future. Environmental concerns have switched the world’s mindset and focus to renewable energy sources. Solar power is a renewable resource that does not produce emissions or pollutants, making it a desirable choice for the future. Solar power is constantly evolving with modern technologies being developed to increase efficiency and decrease costs.  

High Cost to Manufacture & Install 

Solar power is an expensive renewable resource. The cost of solar panels has decreased significantly over the years, but the cost of installation and maintenance is still high. Solar power is not currently competitive with other forms of energy, but this is expected to change in the future. The cost of solar power is expected to continue to decrease as technology improves and more companies enter the market. Solar power is an appealing source of energy due to its many advantages. Solar power is renewable, efficient, and environmentally friendly. Although the initial cost of solar power may be high, the long-term savings are significant. Solar power is a viable option for the future of energy production.  

Solar Energy Requires a lot of Space and Sunlight for Optimal Performance 

Solar panels and solar shingles are not 100% efficient, so a lot of space is required for optimal performance. Additionally, cloud coverage can reduce the amount of sunlight that solar panels and solar shingles receive, which reduces their efficiency. In the future, solar energy efficiency without optimal sunlight may be more feasible.  

The Transformation of Homes is Our Calling 

If you are looking to invest in solar energy for your home, the first step is assessing your roof. Is it big enough to hold the number of solar panels you would need to power your home? Is your roof getting to the end of its lifespan? Does it get enough sunlight? These are crucial factors to consider before making the switch to solar power. Many that start to do their due diligence may overlook the fact that solar companies sometimes may not install their panels on an older roof, for safety purposes. Also adding substantial weight to your roof may cause more harm than good.  

If you are interested in seeing the transformation of your home with DaBella, contact us today. DaBella uses top grade asphalt architectural shingles and other high quality roofing materials backed by industry leading warranties. DaBella also is a proud member of very few contractors in the industry with the title of a GAF Master Elite Contractor. This title allows us to offer exclusive colors, product lines, and warranties. Call DaBella today at 844-DaBella for a free no-obligation estimate. 


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Steven Shortridge

District Manager

Portland, OR

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