Advantages and challenges with solar PV

In addition to several advantages to solar photovoltaic system, there are challenges associated with this technology.


  • Since there are large amount of energy simply coming from sun’s rays, scarcity is not a concern at all. This can be a solution to the scarcity of other energy sources, especially sources originating from fossil fuels.
  • Solar radiation does not emit any type of pollution so therefore it lacks any CO2 emissions.
  • Solar radiation energy is available anywhere so regardless of location, solar energy can be generated anywhere in a decentralized way (such as rooftop panels). This would also mean that the losses occurring due to the transmission of energy is being reduced.
  • Implementing solar PV technology can be modular so the size of PV system can be increased when the need for electricity increases.


  • The cost of solar PV is usually a cost effective way to supply large quantities of electricity needed. However, producing electricity is more electricity. Although the cost of solar PV electricity has been significantly decreasing, further decreasing is still necessary in order for this technology to be affordable to everyone.
  • Solar PV has challenges regarding the uncertainty of how much of sun’s rays it would receive, as weather can change from time to time. This would prove difficulty in determining how much energy to store for future use. Sunlight is clearly unavailable during night hours while there is still demand for electricity. In addition, peak radiation availability may not match with the demand for peak electricity. A mechanism for effective energy storage and efficient recovery is needed for this reason.
  • Location can be an issue.  The availability of solar radiation can vary depending on location. Some places, such as the Southwest, there are significantly more solar radiation than other location, such as the Northeast. This would mean that solar energy generation is dependent on certain locations where the systems would need to be installed.


Solanski, Chetan S. Solar Photovoltaic Technology and Systems: A Manual for Technicians, Trainers and Engineers. 35-36., 2013 Web.


Primary Author: Amos Han

Primary Editor: Joe Donatoni

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