Separating fact from myths. Despite the growth of solar installations, many myths remain, here are the top 6 solar energy myths we hear.
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 Saskatchewan, we can now make power for the same cost or very close what you would pay on your utility bill) 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. (power output is actually greater in cool climates)
Although on a cloudy or a cold day solar panels are slightly less efficient as in sunny weather, they can still produce a large percent of their normal power-production capacity. And the only time, when weather can stop the solar panels from working, is if they are covered with a thick layer of snow, because then sunlight can’t get to the photovoltaic cells and therefore the panels aren’t able to produce any power. (slope and panel design help mitigate the snow cover)
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.
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. And, 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.
4. Solar panels aren’t safe and can cause damage to my roof
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, 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 (mounting hardware and a quality installation) they are specially designed not to leak.
On top of that, most new solar panel systems 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.
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 NET Meter 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 grid 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, (Typically 1.5X the cost of the solar installation) 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.
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.
Original Content written for publication on pvbuz. Edits and additions (in italic) added by AE Inc. for Saskatchewan solar conditions.