Using new energy sources can have a huge impact on our environment and on our wallets. If you’re interested in oil investing and energy investing, you might wonder about the advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectric energy and solar power. Which is best?
First, if you think oil investing has nothing to do with alternative energy sources, think again. Big oil has been investing its dollars in solar panels, geothermal equipment, and other assets related to alternative energy for years.
This means you shouldn’t give up on oil investing — not by a long shot. Instead, understand the advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectric energy, solar power, and other renewable energy sources so you can invest wisely.
Hydroelectric energy — also called “hydropower” — uses water flow to generate electricity. It requires a plant, a dam, and a reservoir in a place where the infrastructure can control the flow rate and other factors necessary for reliable energy.
Proponents of hydroelectric energy rave about this clean fuel source, which doesn’t impact the climate like refining fossil fuels does and costs very little to maintain once it’s up and running.
Since it’s possible to adjust how much water flows through a hydropower plant and at what rate, hydroelectric energy provides a consistent baseline for energy production with the ability to quickly and easily change the flow to meet energy demands. For instance, during peak seasons, energy demand can increase sharply.
It’s also possible to turn off a hydropower plant at a moment’s notice, which makes it a safe and reliable way to generate electricity. As soon as the energy is needed again, operators can turn on the plant again immediately.
Perhaps the most commonly cited advantage of hydropower is that hydro plants don’t fail often and that they can last for decades without significant maintenance. Refineries, on the other hand, have much shorter lifespans and demand regular maintenance.
In terms of community, hydroelectric energy can serve other purposes. For instance, a community can turn a reservoir into a swimming and boating facility for locals and tourists. Reservoirs also can improve water availability for an area.
Primary Disadvantages of Hydroelectric Energy
While hydropower offers undeniable benefits, several disadvantages of hydroelectric energy also exist. The cost is a big one. While hydropower doesn’t cost much in terms of maintenance and repair, the initial cost can prove prohibitive. Creating the infrastructure, clearing land, and other costs can make a hydropower project unfeasible.
It’s also a geographically dependent energy source. For instance, you couldn’t build a hydropower plant in the desert because too little precipitation occurs. The same goes for areas without large bodies of water. In fact, some areas have been designated as exclusions from hydroelectric power because they don’t fit the climatic and geographical requirements necessary to make such a power plant work.
Other disadvantages of hydroelectric energy revolve around its impact on the environment. Acres of land must be cleared to make room for the plant itself as well as other infrastructure, which disrupts the local flora and fauna. Fish and other aquatic life forms often die in reservoirs and dams because they can’t survive once the water’s pH balance, flow rate, and temperature change.
Another disadvantage of hydroelectric energy is that, even if it’s built in an area with geographic availability, droughts can impact a plant’s ability to generate energy. The unpredictability of nature creates gaps in energy availability, which is one reason oil investing remains a viable choice for traders and investors.
Primary Advantages of Solar Power
Solar power takes advantage of the sun’s energy to generate electricity. Solar panels absorb the heat from the sun during the day and convert it into a usable fuel source for homes, businesses, and products.
Like hydropower, solar power is a clean fuel source. It doesn’t deplete any finite resources like fossil fuels. It doesn’t create any gas emissions, and the only potential danger to the environment lies in the collection of materials required to manufacture the panels and other products needed to harness the sun’s energy.
In some areas of the world, where no electric grid exists, solar power could provide much-needed energy at low cost. This creates the potential for enhanced quality of life and reduced health costs.
Additionally, solar powers don’t require much maintenance. Once they’re installed, they have a long lifespan. People and business owners don’t have to monitor solar panels for energy flow or other factors, so they’re also highly convenient.
We can use solar power for more purposes than hydropower. For decades, manufacturers have created lighting systems, calculators, toys, and other products that rely on sunlight to recharge batteries.
Primary Disadvantages of Solar Power
Many of the disadvantages of hydroelectric energy also apply to solar power, albeit in different ways.
For instance, solar power isn’t geographically dependent, but it does depend on the sun’s availability. During the night, solar panels can’t collect energy. This also applies to overcast days, which greatly reduce solar panels’ potential output.
Similarly, a disadvantage of hydroelectric energy and solar power alike is that they come with high upfront costs. Installing solar panels on a single house or business doesn’t cost as much as installing a hydro plant, but when you multiply the costs across millions of structures, the costs grow exponentially.
Solar power, at least with the current technology, can’t exist on its own. It needs a backup energy source for those occasions when the sun’s availability proves insufficient to cover energy demands. A sustained period of poor climatic conditions in extreme temperatures, for instance, would demand a backup source.
There are issues with energy storage, too. For instance, solar panels on a house’s roof can use energy as it’s processed by the panels, but it can’t store energy unless there’s a large battery attached to the system. While batteries aid in storing energy for future use, they’re extremely expensive.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydroelectric Energy and Solar Power: The Differences
The advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectric energy and solar power largely balance themselves out, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for both as unique energy sources. Oil investing experts like myself have noticed that oil companies are interested in renewable energy.
It isn’t just the Exxons and BPs of the world, either. Smaller companies with greater capacities for innovation have also caught the renewable energy train and are interested in expanding their profiles to include holdings in these areas. While there might be disadvantages of hydroelectric energy and solar power, both energy sources offer opportunities to create a cleaner environment.
In fact, using both together could help minimize the disadvantages of hydroelectric energy and solar power. When used as backup sources for one another, energy becomes available in greater abundance.
If you’re interested in learning how to trade stocks in the oil industry, pay careful attention to companies that are buying up solar panels and other resources so they can branch out into renewable energy. Even though there are disadvantages of hydroelectric energy and solar power, they can help reduce the burden on fossil fuels and help preserve our future.
Many other renewable energy sources exist. If we can find those opportunities and invest in them via the stock market, we can profit from healthier energy as well as shares in those companies’ stocks.
Are you new to oil investing? Have you tried oil investing, but failed to reap significant rewards? Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectric energy and solar power can help because you’ll discover that oil companies are always interested in the latest trends.
Over the years, sentiment toward oil companies has changed. People understand the negative impact fossil fuels have on our environment, and some of those people are investors. Consequently, oil companies look for other ways to generate energy, thereby improving sentiment as well as their stock prices.
Of course, it’s difficult to track these factors when you’re attending to your family and working a day job. That’s where I can help.
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