Many people are preferring to go solar in their homes, as renewable energy is becoming a tangible reality due to increasing availability and decreased cost of technology. The United States receives more energy in the form of sunlight in less than 40 minutes than from all the fossil fuels we burn every year; therefore, it has high sustainability potential as an energy source for both homes and businesses. Climate change and growing electricity costs have pushed towards an alternative: renewable energy. But any change is not without its neigh-sayers; therefore, it’s necessary to debunk any myths that people have about solar energy, because misguided perception is almost always part of the problem.
Myth 1: Solar-powered devices only work well in warm, sunny climates.
Solar technologies are geographically versatile: they can work even in cloudy areas. The provision of this energy is from storage containers that make the allocation of solar-powered energy possible when direct sun is not available. Some photovoltaic systems can provide people with enough energy to go up to 30 days without sunlight.
Despite the fact that we think solar panels work better in warmer weather, the actual truth is that solar panels are more efficient in cooler climates. A cloudy, cool area can still successfully sustain A country like Germany that severely lacks sunny days is still able to be one of the solar capitals of the world.
Myth 2: Solar Energy is too expensive.
According to Eskom (power utility company in Africa), a unit of electricity from their coal plants will cost about $0.97 while a unit of solar energy will cost approximately $0.89. There’s also no input cost for the energy source. Many companies use coal for plants that generate electricity and this coal costs money (unless you own a mine too). The sun is free.
Also, many states have incentives that make switching the solar energy well worth it. Some incentives cover anywhere from 30-80 percent of the system costs, which is a powerful motivation to consider alternative energy. With companies that sell the systems providing financing options, the barrier of entry is so low that there’s much less room for excuses why individuals don’t try solar power.
Myth 3: Solar panels required constant and extensive maintenance.
Despite this belief, solar panels require little-to-no maintenance beyond the initial installation. You can hose off the panels once in a while to prevent too much dirt build-up but; for the most part, natural precipitation is enough to clear most debris from solar panels. Many panels even come with a monitor that can tell you if anything is interfering with the output of the panel, making it much easier to determine if there’s obstructive debris on the panels.
Myth 4: Solar panels are unattractive and will be an eyesore on my roof.
Many companies have started to refine solar panel styles to match more seamlessly with your roof. There are even “solar shingles” that look exactly like the shingles on your roof and operates like a solar panel. Solar panels have become so versatile that it now can match slate, metal, fiber-cement, and asphalt roofing.
Myth 5: Solar panels are unreliable and inconsistent
According to The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, photovoltaics is “the most reliable source of electric power ever invented.” Because a solar panel has no moving parts, it’s an incredibly reliable structure. Many of the panels have been rigorously tested in laboratories, and many companies provide a 20-30 year guarantee on their products. In addition, these systems must meet the requirements of national and local building and utility codes, which even further guarantees return on the investment of solar panels.