Solar Myths & Misconceptions
Myths and misconceptions regarding solar energy can impact the public perception and hinder those interested in investing in solar energy from investing in their own system.
Myth 1: Solar Panels are Inefficient and Don't Generate Enough Power
A common misconception regarding solar is that panels are not efficient enough for practical use. In recent years, major advancements in solar technology and improvements in efficiency have deemed solar panels as a viable alternative energy source.
Additionally, net metering and battery storage allow your system to provide electricity to your loads when the panels are not producing enough electricity. Many of those who invest in solar are able to power their home or business needs with little if any reliance on the grid if they choose to incorporate battery storage into their system.
Myth 2: Solar Energy is Expensive and Not Economically Viable
Many argue that solar energy is expensive and therefore not economically viable. While the upfront cost of a solar energy system may be high, tax incentives and grants are easily available to help fund the implementation of your system. Additionally, once the payback period of your system has ended, you will incur long term savings in comparison to what you would spend to purchase grid power. With technological advancements, the cost of solar system components are declining and becoming more affordable for purchase and installation.
Myth 3: Solar Panels Require Constant Sunlight to Function
Many believe that solar panels require direct sunlight in order to function. Solar panels are capable of operating during almost any weather conditions as sunlight still reaches the Earth. Solar panels are capable of using indirect sunlight to produce electricity. Indirect sunlight is sunlight that is reflected off another surface before hitting the solar panel. Indirect sunlight often occurs on cloudy days as well as days with other varying weather conditions. Solar panels are capable of adapting to various lighting conditions meaning they do not require constant direct sunlight to function.
Myth 4: Solar Panels Damage Roofs and Decrease Property Value
Oftentimes, individuals have concerns about potential damage caused by solar panel installations on roofs. Here at Peninsula Solar, we are committed to pristine installations. We approve all of our system designs through structural engineers that consider the integrity of your roof when designing and installing an array. Well installed arrays should never cause a roof leak and typically your roof actually has a longer lifespan as a result because it is protected from the elements by the panels. As long as you work with qualified and licensed solar professionals, you should not have to worry about roof damage. Solar panel installation can aid in increasing your property value as well which can be beneficial to homeowners when looking to sell.
Myth 5: Solar Energy is Only for Warm and Sunny Climates
Another misconception is that solar energy is only suitable for warm, sunny regions. Solar is a viable energy source in a range of climates including colder and cloudy regions. Solar panels absorb energy from the sun’s light, not its heat. High temperatures can actually reduce solar panel’s efficiency, meaning that cooler temperatures are more ideal for solar array systems. Solar panels are still capable of producing electricity in cloudy conditions as well as the efficiency is not inhibited. Implementing solar energy helps to diversify energy sources and limits the reliance on fossil fuels as solar panels are capable of operating in various weather conditions.
Solar Energy is Not Reliable or Consistent
Individuals may be hesitant to install solar panels because of the misconception that solar energy lacks reliability and consistency. Net metering can ensure that you can pull power from the grid when necessary and energy storage systems allow you to store excess energy for later use. Both of these options provide a continuous power supply to meet your energy needs. Successful implementations of solar energy in residential, commercial and utility-scale projects have proven the reliable and consistent power solar energy is capable of supplying to meet energy demands.
Solar Energy is Harmful to the Environment
Another common misconception is that solar energy implementation is harmful to the environment. Solar energy is a clean, renewable energy source and contributes significantly to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The environmental impact of manufacturing solar panels and other components is minimal in comparison to extraction of fossil fuels necessary to producing an equivalent amount of electricity. Solar panels are made of materials that are capable of being recycled. As solar energy has increased in popularity, safe disposal of waste after the lifespan of the system has also increased. There are specialized PV recycling facilities that take apart the panels and recycle the materials.
Many myths and misconceptions around the solar industry have been proven incorrect after proper research. Dissemination of accurate information will aid in dispelling myths and promoting the benefits of solar energy. It is important to educate yourself and speak with experienced professionals to make informed decisions to drive the adoption of renewable energy sources like solar power.