Top 10 Solar Myths
1. Solar panels do not work in cold, cloudy places/states. UV light is all that’s needed and even the cloudiest of places have excelled. Germany, who ranks low in sunny days, is the solar energy capital of the world. In fact, when the solar panels are cold, they are able to better conduct electricity.
2. Solar systems are too expensive. Solar Energy Installations are more affordable than they have ever been. In every state, incentives cover a minimum of 30% all the way up to 85% of the system costs. The cost per watt, installed, is at an all time low of $8.
3. Solar panels require constant maintenance. The panels rarely require maintenance or cleaning, plus the average warranty lasts 25 years!
4. Solar systems are ugly, large and bulky. Solar panels have come a long way over the years. Now systems have become virtually seamless with solar shingles. Solar cells can be combined with slate, metal, fiber-cement, and asphalt roofing.
5. Few states offer rebates or financial incentives for solar energy installations. According to the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy, 48 states have a solar/renewable energy incentive on top of the 30% federal tax credit!
6. The solar panels cannot withstand harsh climates (snow, hail, winds, sleet). The University of Vermont (who receives considerable snow fall) has a system that has proven to be effective and virtually maintenance free, even during the winter months. The color of the solar panels is dark which aides in melting the snow plus a South facing position allows for a quickened process.
7. Solar systems are unreliable and inconsistent. On the contrary, solar electric systems can be more reliable than the utility company. They have no moving parts and off-grid systems are not subject to power outages. In fact, solar technologies are used to power many vital systems: aircraft warning lights, railroad crossing signals, navigational buoys, etc.
8. I cannot use solar energy because I don’t have Southern roof exposure. East/West roof exposure is also effective for photovoltaic systems. Another option is a ground mounted system in which case all you need is a relatively flat, unshaded area.
9. Solar energy is inefficient. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, solar panel efficiency has more than quadrupled since the 1970%u2032s. With an average between 15-19% it sits in the same efficiency range as the gas in your car. Unlike gas though, the technology continues to advance, in turn, so will efficiency.
10. I won’t live in the home long enough to make my investment back. Actually, a solar system increases the value of the home. For every $1,000 that has been saved in annual electric costs, your home’s value rises $20,000. (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development).
(Information from http://solar.coolerplanet.com/Articles/top-10-solar-energy-myths.aspx)
repeated from November 2010 blog here – upon request
- Americans Love Green Energy, but Will They Pay for It? (dailyfinance.com)
- DIY Solar Panels: A Cost Effective Option. (ideagreenshop.com)