The Pros and Cons of Solar Energy in the Philippines
Solar energy has become a perfect option to leap into self-consumption. It is a clean and inexhaustible energy that will allow us to save on the electricity bill from the first moment.
It offers many advantages, but knowing those drawbacks may affect our intention to join sustainable self-consumption is necessary.
Advantages of solar energy
The success of solar energy is not only due to the savings it represents on the electricity bill. Among the main benefits it offers, I highlight the following:
1. It is a clean, renewable, and sustainable energy
It does not release emissions directly or indirectly. Solar energy reduces the carbon footprint, decreasing the need for fossil fuels.
2. It is not necessary to extract any material to work
Only the sun is needed to operate a solar energy installation. Contrary to what happens with other types of renewable energy, such as biomass energy, which needs to extract organic matter for operation.
3. It is a renewable and inexhaustible source that can be used all over the planet.
It works anywhere with the sun, an inexhaustible natural source. Therefore, external dependency is reduced since exporting it is unnecessary.
4. Reduces consumption of the electrical network
Reducing the amount of energy demanded from the network allows for saving on the electricity bill while reducing pollution.
5. It is a versatile energy
In addition to photovoltaic solar energy, with which it is possible to produce electricity, there is thermal solar energy, which through heat, allows water to be heated and heating to be used sustainably.
6. You can continue saving thanks to the energy you do not use
The installation can be profitable thanks to the energy generated with the solar panels and not consumed. This excess energy can be poured into the network in exchange for a discount on the bill. It is what is known as surplus dumping.
Plenitude offers one of the highest rates for the electricity you don’t use.
7. Use recyclable materials
Solar panels are sustainable during use and at the end of their useful life. Its materials can be recycled and reused again, reducing environmental impact. In addition, 90% of the materials with which solar panels are made are recyclable. What better reason to bet on solar energy?
8. Help the economy
Besides offering an investment possibility, solar energy boosts the economy by generating development, installation, construction, and maintenance jobs.
9. Its maintenance is easy and cheap
For solar panels to function at total capacity during their useful life (between 20 and 25 years), it is necessary to carry out correct maintenance: preventive and technical. Preventive maintenance can be carried out by any user, checking the state of the components and keeping the solar panels clean regularly. On the contrary, technical maintenance is recommended to be carried out by experts, but they are offered at very competitive prices.
10. Subsidies and aid
Solar panels, in addition to helping us reduce energy consumption and save on electricity bills, allow us to benefit from subsidies that reduce the installation cost and help to amortize the investment faster.
There is a large number of state and Asian, European, and even American incentives and aid for the installation of solar panels.
The advantages of solar energy in the Philippines
The Philippines is a perfect country for the use of solar energy since it has a series of particularities that promote its use:
1. The price of light
Solar energy allows you to produce your electricity self-sufficiently and not depend on volatile changes in the price of electricity.
2. Surplus Compensation
In the Philippines, you can charge for the energy you do not consume, reducing the electricity bill. Plenitude offers one of the best rates for overage usage.
3. The sun in the Philippines
The Philippines has approximately 360 sunny days a year. Therefore, it is a privileged place for the production of solar energy. Even on rainy days, it still harvests solar energy at a minimum point.
The disadvantages of solar energy
Solar energy offers many more advantages than disadvantages, but it is necessary to know these disadvantages to take into account all the variables:
1. Initial investment
For the installation of the panels, it is necessary to make an initial investment that, under normal conditions, will be amortized in 9 years.
2. It is not a constant energy
The solar panels will not produce energy for 24 hours, only during daylight hours.
3. Dependence on the electrical network or generators
As the plates will only produce electricity during daylight hours, investing in batteries and, indeed, in a more significant number of panels to be self-sufficient will be necessary. If you want to know how many solar panels you need for your home, read my other articles and find out.
4. Weather dependency
The performance of solar panels can be affected by excessive heat, humidity, or cloudy periods. However, some panels, such as monocrystalline, perform best in adverse weather conditions.
The installation of solar panels requires work and space in the house
To install a solar panel system, it will be necessary to carry out simple and minimally invasive works to assemble the panels, and a sufficiently large area must be available (generally on the roof). In cases of large-scale production, a large area of land free of obstacles will be needed.
The disadvantages of solar thermal energy compared to photovoltaic
Solar energy can be photovoltaic or thermal. Knowing how to differentiate them is necessary to analyze their advantages and disadvantages.
Photovoltaic solar energy is one in which the panels absorb solar radiation to, through the inverter, produce helpful electricity for consumption. On the other hand, solar thermal energy uses this radiation to generate sanitary hot water (ACS) and heat.
In addition to producing clean and renewable energy, both systems are complementary. It is possible to produce solar thermal and photovoltaic energy simultaneously.
I explain what would be the main differences and advantages of photovoltaic solar energy compared to thermal:
Photovoltaic solar panels have a useful life of up to 30 years, while the elements of the thermal system will last between 5 and 10 years.
Thermal panels have mobile components that make system maintenance difficult at the cleaning level or when replacing parts. In photovoltaic solar panels, the user can carry out preventive maintenance.
While thermal energy limits its use to heating water and heating the home, photovoltaic energy can supply energy to any electrical device, including heating systems and electric water heaters for hot water.
Generally, a photovoltaic installation requires a more significant investment than a thermal one. However, the profitability of photovoltaic solar energy is higher thanks to its long functional life.
In conclusion, although photovoltaic solar energy has more advantages than thermal, both options offer many benefits that help care for the planet and represent significant savings for the consumer.
The future of solar energy
The rise of solar energy is a key factor in promoting the energy transition and respect for the environment. Continuous advances in solar energy and research into new materials are allowing photovoltaic panels to be lighter and cheaper in the future, with higher performance.