The solar energy market is evolving very quickly.
Thanks to many innovations, solar energy has become a lot cheaper and more available than ever. In the last year solar panel installed capacity increased by 16%, and, at the same time, prices of solar panels fell by 17%. But, despite the rapid development in this field, there still are many myths and misconceptions about this renewable energy source that discourage many households from installing and using solar panels.
So, let’s find out some more information about solar lighting and debunk the solar power myths, so there is no more doubt that solar energy is anything but the best renewable energy source.
1. Solar energy isn’t reliable and won’t work in cold, non-sunny climates
Probably the most common misconception about solar panels is that they are very unreliable and that they work only in direct sunlight. But the opposite is true, since solar energy systems are not only very reliable but also, unless we are not talking about North or South Pole, solar panels can generate electricity in any kind of climate and weather.
Although on a cloudy or a cold day solar panels are slightly less efficient as in sunny weather, they can still produce 10 to 25 percent of their regular power-production capacity. And the only time, when weather can stop the solar panels from working, is if they are covered with a layer of snow, because then sunlight can’t get to the photovoltaic cells and therefore the panels aren’t able to produce any power.
2. More energy is spent manufacturing solar panels than they actually produce
Many people also think that solar energy is not that efficient and environmentally friendly because it takes more energy to make solar panels than they are able to produce in their lifetime. The truth is that until 2010 it was so, but now solar panels are lot more efficient, and it takes very little energy to make them. For example, new generation thin film panels require less silicon in the manufacturing process, which means that fewer materials are used as well as wasted during the making of solar panels.
Solar systems have become so efficient that all the energy that has been used to produce solar panels up until this point will be generated back by 2020.
3. Regular households cannot afford to install solar panels because it is too expensive
The assumption that solar panels are too expensive also holds back many households from going solar. Again, this is a myth that stems from the past. When the solar panels first appeared on the market, they were extremely expensive, but prices have dropped drastically since then. The price of solar panels has reduced by 75 percent within just last four years. A
nd, if we look at how quickly solar panels will recoup the investment you made, by deciding to install the panels, in money savings, then solar panels are worth considering, because, in the long term, you will be the winning side of things. And in many countries it is even possible to earn some money from your solar panels, so why not go solar?
4. Solar panels aren’t safe and can cause damage to my roof
Also, there are a lot of misconceptions about solar panel installation. Many people think solar panels will damage the roof, and that, because of these panels, the roof might start leaking, when it rains. And, while it is true, that, to install solar panels, a few small holes will be drilled into your roof, because solar panels need to be attached to the roof somehow, they won’t cause any leaks because they are specially designed not to let the water inside.
On top of that, most new solar panels are designed to protect the roof, so, instead of damaging your roof the panels will add an extra layer of protection to it. And solar panels are also extensively tested, to make sure that they won’t damage the roof in any way, so you have nothing to worry about.
5. Solar power will still provide electricity, even if there is a blackout
Then there is very common assumption that solar energy can still power the house when there is a blackout. If you have both, solar battery system a solar photovoltaic system, then you will still have power. But, if you have a solar panel system that is grid-tied, like most modern solar setups nowadays are, the power in your home will go out, too.
That is because, in this case, your solar panels are still connected to the regular electricity grid, which in return is turned off during a blackout for safety reasons, and so workers don’t electrocute themselves while fixing the wires.
6. It will hard to sell my house if I have solar panels on the roof
And the last solar energy myth is that roof solar panels will lower the value of your house. But it is the exact opposite – the value of your house will increase, if you have solar panels on the roof, and it will even be easier to sell the house. Studies have shown, that houses with solar panels usually sell in the shorter period.
Particularly in the countries with special schemes for solar panel owners, because these schemes mean, that the new owners will not only be able to save money on their electricity consumption, but also will be able to earn some additional money from their government.
Solar technologies are improving with every coming year. People are more willing to accept this solar power as alternative energy source, not only because of personal gain, but also because it helps to reduce CO2 emissions and make the world less independent from fossil fuels. And, those who are still on the fence about solar energy, should educate themselves on solar energy, because, their negative notions on solar power might just be nothing more than misconceptions.
Content written for publication on pvbuzz media by Arthur Smith. Arthur has been working in the solar and lighting industries for many years, and now he shares his insights on solar power and energy efficient lighting in his blog LEDwatcher dot com.