Solar energy has rather large investment costs because of the high cost of the semi-conducting materials that are used for building solar energy systems and therefore its investment costs are significantly larger compared to for instnce, electricity that is gained from non-renewable energy sources. Thre's also the great problem in required area for this installation since solar panels require very large area in order to achieve optimum efficiency. With size of the area, there's also the problem of location, since system efficiency also depends upon sun location.
Another problem can be clouds or even air pollution since both of them influence intensity of sun's energy. Another problem is nightime of the day when there's no sun in the sky. These look to be serious disadvantages but what about advantages of solar energy, are they big enough to justify installment of solar energy system?
First of all solar energy systems are almost maintenance free and in corelation with free sun energy make excellent long term investment once they start refunding. The recovery sometimes isn't that long as many predict and depends on on how much electricity your household uses. In many countries there are also significant financial incentives that are quite helpful in reducing your investment costs. There's no more electricity bills coming each month and solar energy doesn't require any fule to operate and this is in fact double advantage since it's not affected by the supply and demand of fuel that is now more expensive than ever before. Once you install solar energy system savings are immediate and for manymore years to come.
But not only you will benefite from solar energy, but also your surrounding environmnet since solar energy is clean renewable energy source unlike coal and oil, and isn't causing worsening of global warming problem like non-renewable energy sources do, on the contrary it contributes to decrease of greenhouse gas emissions. There's also none waste disposal problem that is typical for some other non-renewable energy sources.
Solar power plant. All mirrors reflect solar radiation to the top of the tower. Click on picture for full size.
Also if you're looking for indepenent system then solar energy system must be your first pick since solar energy system can operate completely independent, not requiring a connection to a power or gas grid at all which means that this system can be even installed in remote areas where other energy sources aren't neither practical nor available.
So what's the conclusion? There's definitely lot more advantages than disadvantages, not only from efficiency and cost reduction but only in form of preserving the environment, and since the global warming problem started environment became hot issue.