Electricity is one of the man-made inventions which has simplified human lives to a great extent. Now electronic powered machines are found everywhere, in homes, in businesses, and agriculture sector. Technology has advanced so much that now electric cars are outnumbering traditional fuel-powered cars.
But there are multiple ways of electricity generation and now users can choose which type they want for their usage. Using Utility electricity is the most common form. But now Solar energy is one of the sustainable and cost-free energy generation options.
But which type of energy should we use? In this blog, we will discuss the differences between the two and will provide an honest comparison on which you should choose.
Utility Electricity vs. Solar energy:
Utility electricity is the one which is provided by WAPDA and users have to pay the utility bill according to the usage. It is one of the easiest ways to gain electric supply whereas Solar energy is generated through solar energy systems and can provide electricity for different usages like residential, industrial, agricultural, or even local businesses.
The comparison of Utility electricity and Solar energy depends upon the usage and financial position. Following are the different points of the comparison.
The cost varies widely depending on fuel prices, demand, the mix of energy sources used, and economic conditions.
Currently, Pakistan is facing economic instability and has applied for IMF loans. To pay back the loans, the IMF has its terms and conditions. One of which is increasing electricity rates along with an increase in other utilities.
Price fluctuations are very common and can increase over time.
The initial cost of installing solar panels can be relatively high, but they offer long-term cost savings.
Solar panel owners can benefit from reduced or eliminated electricity bills, making solar energy a cost-effective choice over the long term.
They don’t have to worry about the price increase or the limited use of electricity as they can use as much as their solar energy system can generate.
|Utility Electricity||Solar energy|
|Source of Generation||Generated by power plants using various sources, including fossil fuels (coal, natural gas), nuclear energy, hydroelectric dams, and, in some cases, renewable sources like wind and solar.||Generated directly from sunlight using photovoltaic (PV) panels. Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity through a process called the photovoltaic effect.|
|Environmental Impact||Varies depending on the source of generation. Fossil fuel-based power generation can produce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, contributing to environmental issues like climate change and air quality degradation.||Clean and renewable energy source, producing no direct greenhouse gas emissions or air pollutants during electricity generation.
Minimal environmental footprint compared to fossil fuels.
|Energy Independence||Dependence on utility electricity means relying on centralized power generation like WAPDA and its distribution systems. The government also plays a significant role in determining the prices of the electricity units. In Pakistan, utility electricity is generated through hydro-power projects or through thermal power plants that burn fossil fuels like coal.
Due to this reason, consumers have limited control over the source and price of electricity.
|Solar energy provides a significant degree of energy independence. Solar panel owners can generate their electricity, reducing reliance on the grid or WAPDA’s electricity and mitigating the impact of energy price fluctuations.
|Reliability||Generally considered reliable, as it is easy to use and has a consistent power supply. But along with occasional outages or disruptions due to factors; including weather, maintenance, or infrastructure issues, load-shedding in Pakistan is also a reality.
|Dependent on sunlight, which varies with weather conditions and time of day. But in Pakistan, sunlight is available on 95% of the year.
Solar panels do not produce electricity at night, and reduce their output during cloudy or overcast days.
Battery storage systems can enhance reliability by storing excess energy for use during low-light periods. Battery storage can also vary.
|Sustainability||Depends on the mix of energy sources used by WAPDA. WAPDA produces electric power through hydro-power projects and through thermal power plants that burn fossils like coal.
Utility electricity is not sustainable.
|Inherently sustainable, as it relies on an abundant and renewable energy source which is sunlight. It reduces the carbon footprint associated with electricity consumption. As sunlight is available almost 95% of the year in Pakistan and the sunlight is free of charge, solar energy is a good option.|
|Installation and Ownership||Consumers typically do not own or control the generation infrastructure for utility electricity. They receive electricity through a centralized distribution system. But the installation of utility electricity is very easy. Users just have to submit their documents to WAPDA to use the utility electricity.||Owners have control over their generation system. They are responsible for the installation, maintenance, and operation of the solar panels. The installation process is also easy as Bright Energy provides a complete service for solar panel installation.
An Honest Comparison:
Both utility electricity and solar energy have their benefits and drawbacks, and the choice between them depends on factors like location, energy goals, budget, and environmental considerations. But the benefits of solar energy are significant and users should install solar panels.
In many cases, a combination of both, known as a grid-tied solar system (with or without net metering), offers a balanced approach to energy consumption and sustainability.
Users can use solar energy during the day and charge batteries on solar energy at night. But solar-charged batteries are not enough to power the usage for the whole night, especially in summer when air conditioners and fans are used throughout the day. But users will only pay the utility bills for their usage at night only as solar energy will fulfill their electrical needs during the day.
Users can get a detailed description of how much solar energy system they need according to the discussion of professionals of Bright Energy. We provide you with a completely tailor-made offer including your budget and usage.
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