What are some bad aspects of solar energy?

I need some information for my negative debate speech. The subject is "Should the American goverment support solar energy?" If you could help it would greatly appreciated. Thanks!

3 thoughts on “What are some bad aspects of solar energy?”

  1. 1) Use rare and often toxic materials (eg cadmium).

    2) Often energy intensive to make and uses toxic materials (but generally pays back their energy use in construction within a coupla years).

    3) Unreliable output (eg nothing at night when you need energy for lighting)

    4) Expensive

    Rough counters to expect to each point:
    1) the cadmium etc is locked up in the panel and is easily recycled rather than going into the environment if disposed of properly. Other materials are available.
    2) Energy use is going down and their energy payback time is getting shorter and shorter
    3) A mix of energy storage, smart grids or backup power can solve this, but they all add to the price
    4) A good point right now – solar is still more expensive than grid power in most places. Given a decade it should be cost effective but until you put lots of money into point 3) you won’t probably won’t be able to provide much more than 10 or 20% of electricity with solar.

    IMO, cost is your best point.

  2. Keep in mind I like solar energy, but I’ll give you some points.

    1) It costs more
    2) panels degrade faster than other energy sources equipment
    3) They consume arable land
    4) they consume natural habitat to set up
    5) They can be unsightly (visual pollution)
    6) Higher upkeep costs
    7) Can be a hazard in high winds
    8) transimssion issues getting energy from collection point to use point
    9) energy only available in good weather
    10) seasonality to its generation makes it an irregular energy source

    There are good arguments in reply to all these points, but you wanted some negative debate points.

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