Solar Energy vs Fossil Fuels: Differences, Pros/Cons and Pricing!

14 August 2021 Posted by vmotta Energy Saving Tips

Let’s talk about solar energy vs traditional electricity, shall we?

Specifically the pros and cons, the different prices, and what is the smartest choice for you.

PROS vs CONS

Here’s a condensed list of pros and cons of both solar and non-renewable energy:

SOLAR POWER

Pros

  • Available to extract anywhere.
  • It’s clean and doesn’t require expensive conversions of any former resource into electricity.
  • Energy can be stored for efficient use later on.
  • It’s not only clean energy it’s also a silent energy compared to other renewable resources.
  • No constant maintenance is required, solar energy is an automatic process once it is installed.
  • People who use solar energy, at least in America, are benefited from federal tax reductions fees by the government.
  • Solar energy is used to power space technology like the 15-year-old Mars Rover (If NASA is using it, it must be efficient.)
  • Abundant and renewable.
  • Reduces significant electrical costs from your bill.

Cons

  • Requires an investment to install.
  • It’s an intermittent source of energy depending on the weather conditions of each day. 
  • Requires space to place solar panels, that’s why traditionally, they are placed on rooftops.

NON-RENEWABLE ENERGY

Pros

  • Abundant across the country.
  • This system has prevailed over the years. 
  • Energy production is equally distributed.

Cons

  • Most of the energy produced in the United States is wasted; less than 40% of the energy produced by fossil fuels is efficiently consumed.
  • Non- renewable.
  • Toxic to humans and the environment due to carbon emissions, producing smog, acid rain from sulfur dioxide and the greenhouse effect.
  • Adds up over time, by increasing the costs over 2% every year.
  • Can’t be produced by independent homeowners, thus relying on companies to provide the energy.

No technology is completely perfect, that’s why we can appreciate how each form of energy has its own advantages and disadvantages that should be taken into consideration when making a decision. Sticking to either option depends on your philosophy and the impact you would like to have.

For most people, having traditional, abundant non-renewable energy is a safe way to continue operating. The fact is that the environment is not the same as it was 40 years ago. Making a decision towards renewable energy has become a considerable option for families and companies around the world.

We can appreciate that solar energy has many positive attributes that have major benefits for those who choose this alternative. On the other hand, non-renewable energy is the main source of electricity in most American homes, though it’s not the cleanest or the safest way to power your home.

Solar seems to attract many people, as it permits their users to produce their own source of energy and distribute it as they please. This is completely independent of any company.

In today’s world, as we slowly evolve into an entirely eco-friendly energy nation, using both of these methods of energy is a perfect balance, since alternating between both sources can help reduce hugely the wasted energy. 

Switching to new methods such as solar will require an investment while using normal means of electricity requires you to pay for your light bill. Most people don’t see the impact fossil fuels have on the environment because the consequences aren’t seen directly. At home, the energy you consume daily has traveled many miles to get there; far from sight.

The means of solar is to generate your own means of power in real time. You are in control of your energy and the distribution of it.

Pricing

Getting down to brass tacks, let’s delve into pricing.

Non-Renewable Energy

The US Energy Information Administration has published the average cost of electricity per kWh (Kilowatt hour). Residential homes run roughly 12.89¢ per kWh. The average monthly consumption is 897 kWh per month extending to 10,766 kWh in a whole year. Keeping this in mind, in 2018 the average residential cost rose 5% from the previous year.

With this information, we can conclude that the average household pays around 100 – 120 dollars in electric bills before taxes and fees, though this price may vary from city to city. This translates to a total of around  $1440 each year. 

Solar

Solar energy has had a huge decline in pricing ever since the late 20th century. The average solar cell prices range from $0.30 per watt or lower. The largest investment is the property costs at home. Installation fees are quite minimal compared to previous years.

Average residential homes install 5 kWh on an average of $2.80 per DC watt. For commercial areas these prices are even lower, starting at $1.85 per DC watt.

Therefore,  if a kilowatt equals 1000 watts, this means that 5 kWh equates to 5000 watts. Multiplying this by the residential average, we can conclude the average pricing for solar-powered homes is around $14,000.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducted a study where they found that residential solar panels degrade after installation about 0.5%. When it’s well installed, a solar panel can last you over two decades, powering your home efficiently.  

What is the Smartest Choice?

Although these variables depend on where you are on the map, an average can be taken into consideration. The end result depends entirely on you.

  • What are your goals?
  • How do you wish to live your life?
  • Are looking for eco-friendly investments?
  • Want to have control over the energy you consume?

These questions are all factors to take into consideration. Every decision equates to what you are passionate about. It’s no secret the world is changing and technology is trying to patch up the errors we’ve made towards the environment.

The past decade has seen a huge rise in these alternatives. It’s very clear that corporations and residential homes are making the leap to eco-friendly energy and that alone, is a sign towards a clean future. With this in mind, before making a decision, consider the factors and think about which side suits your needs.

At Core Energy we have a team specialized in providing you with advice on which is the best alternative for your home and your family to switch to solar energy. Contact us at 1-877-267-3674 or sales@coreenergysolar.com