Are There Hidden Environmental and Social Costs For Solar Energy?

The world is using solar power to get eco-friendly energy solutions. It reduces the usage of fossil fuel for generating electricity. 

The solar industry is recognized as a convenient way of energy production. But out of the beneficial to environment parts, you may ask- are there hidden environmental and social costs for solar energy?

We can’t ignore the possibilities and green operation of solar energy, but every sector has some effects on the environment and society. 

As a member of society and part of the environment, you should be concerned about these hidden issues. 

They are not so vital, but our social responsibility is to find out the upcoming opportunities and obstacles regarding technology. It will help us to make the world a better living place.

In this article, we present most of the hidden environmental and social costs for social energy.

ThePhoenixsun Video Series

Are there hidden environmental and social costs for solar energy?

Are there hidden environmental and social costs for solar energy?
Are there hidden environmental and social costs for solar energy?

Yes, the potential environmental and social impacts are associated with solar power. It may be caused by land use, habitat loss, water use, and harmful manufacturing materials. Depending on the technology and category, PV cells work differently with the environment.

Fire Safety

Installing solar panels on the rooftop of the home can reduce the fire safety of the building. Due to flammable materials, it may create additional risk if the house faces a fire attack.

It will impact the environment, and you can not ignore the lack of social safety for anything unwanted happening.

The risk is small, but you have to know the matter to reveal the hidden costs. You don’t have to worry about this because it is only applicable due to extreme fire.

Impact on Desert Based Species 

Impact on Desert Based Species
Impact on Desert Based Species 

There is a minor risk for desert-based species. Solar panels acquire the habitat of some tiny insects. Whether you are installing the solar panels on the rooftop or the ground station, it will affect the fraction of insects and small animals.

This process affects the ecology and increases the risk of losing beneficial worms and insects from the regular cycle. It is a fraction and slow impact, but it will suffer the ecology for the long run.

Silicon: Materials and Emissions

Photovoltaic cells are made with silicon materials, and you find most of the solar panels in blue because of this manufacturing process. 

Both of the polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panel’s manufacturing process is related to carbon emission.

On the contrary, a solar panel is protected with a steel frame and structure. This production process also brings some hazardous impact on the environment. 

This hidden result raises the question of 100% eco-friendliness of solar panels.

Occupational Health Standards

Sometimes it is not possible to maintain occupational health standards while installing solar panels. Workers and engineers work outdoors for a long time to establish a solar system. I will create mental pressure on them.

Similarly, many people and workers get injured from cleaning solar panels. The dry and dirty areas will create a dangerous situation for them.

Society is only concerned about green energy, but they should consider this matter too. It is related to the work standard of a growing sector.

Energy Interdependencies

Installing a solar system at your home means you got an independent power source. It affects the social structure and gets people out of the collection.

Having a potential power generation system, they cannot contact friends and neighbors for daily discussion. It is an important hidden impact recognized by sociologists.

Besides, the practice of social values is also minimizing because of this power reliability. A citizen is not concerned with the whole energy system. He/she only thinks about personal energy solutions.

Business Utilization

Utility companies are trying to make more sales, and this practice will increase the risk of system failure.

They install solar panels with a competitive attitude and want to acquire a significant part of the solar product’s market. The tendency to become a market leader by selling more products will affect the consumers.

Especially the beneficiaries who are installing small solar systems with less power and living in remote areas. Suppliers are providing low-grade panels by hiding the real issues.

Land Use

The solar system is now used for generating power for a large number of people. Energy distribution companies are moving to the solar power station and decreasing the production of fossil fuel.

They call it a green process, and it will save the environment by reducing fossil fuel usage. But a large solar-based power station needs huge lands for installing thousands of solar panels.

This is one of the most effective environmental impacts of solar panels and solar-based energy production systems.

Indirect Impact on Labor

Indirect Impact on Labor
Indirect Impact on Labor

Thousands of people are using the solar system for their home and small business. This independent energy source reduces the use of conventional electricity.

So, the demand for labor in a traditional electricity production house has decreased. Many people are losing their jobs, and they have nothing to do for this sudden moment.

Solar panel installations require labor, but a system will last at least for 25 to 30 years. After the primary installation, you don’t have any labor.

It is primarily beneficial and cost-effective for you, but the overall result is not good for society. It may create unemployment for the long term.

You may read these books to fully understand how solar energy changed the world.

Solar Energy The Physics and Engineering...

Buy on Amazon

Taming The Sun Innovations to...

Buy on Amazon

Photovoltaic Design and Installation

Buy on Amazon


In the final analysis, the solar system and solar panels are perfect for eco-friendly energy production. It is reducing the usage of fossil fuel and giving positive impacts on the environment.

In the same way, you can’t ignore the hidden environmental and social costs for solar energy. The above-discussed issues are strongly related to the solar panel, its production, and its distribution.

As a responsible solar panel user, you have to consider these matters and the benefits and proficiency of solar systems.

This holistic approach will reveal the factors of technology and ensure the safe use of solar panels everywhere. Try to use the best solar panels and systems. 

Leave a Comment