Solar energy is a rapidly growing field and there are a lot of myths regarding solar power. Many of the arguments against solar are based on outdated or incorrect information. We are setting the record straight on some of the most common solar energy myths:
Myth 1: Solar panels do not work in cold snowy weather or when it is cloudy.
Fact: Solar panels work in sunny, cold, and even cloudy environments. The technologies of solar panels allow them to work effectively and efficiently and are even more effective in cooler temperatures than warmer ones. In addition, cloudy weather does not inhibit the efficiency of solar panels; they can be a viable source of electricity as they can still produce enough power. Even cold, sunny winter days generate a comparable level of electricity to what you would get from hot summer days. Examples of countries where such systems are efficient are Germany (world leader of solar panels), the UK, China, and Italy.
Myth 2: Solar energy is too costly and is not economically viable.
Fact: Actually, if we look at figures from 2009 to 2020, investments in solar panels have generally been on the rise as they are becoming more affordable. Their average costs have fallen by about 30% percent. Globally, it is actually cheaper to produce electricity from solar energy than it is from coal.
Myth 3: Installing solar is quite complicated and requires a lot of maintenance.
Fact: Actually, solar panel installation is relatively straightforward as long as you are using a reliable manufacturer. Ideally, if your system is connected to your utility grid, which is common among electricity systems, then it makes solar panels easier to maintain. The solar panels would just need to be cleaned with water to remove any accumulated dust or debris or snow that has been trapped on them. Solar panels are constructed in a way that allows them to withstand harsh weather, including hail, sleet, etc.
Myth 4: Solar panels will cause damage to your roof.
Fact: Solar panels actually benefit the portion of the roof they cover by protecting and preserving it. In the unlikely event that the roof the panels are sitting on is damaged and needs to be repaired, the panel can be easily removed since they aren’t directly attached to the roof; they are just mounted on top of it. Usually, if there are any gaps between the rooftop and the panels, sealant is used to fill in the gaps. In addition, the mounts are protected using a metal “flashing” or coverings for an extra barrier for protection. Always remember to make sure your roof is damage-free before mounting a new roof top.
Myth 5: Reselling your home will be harder with solar panels.
Fact: Actually, solar panels would enhance the property value of your home. Many studies have found that homes with solar panels actually sell faster than homes without solar panels. Although the cost of solar panels ranges from $5,000 – 8,000, you end up saving on a long term basis as they enhance your home’s value by as much as $14,000 on average, but this is completely dependent on how much it will be worth.
Myth 6: Solar panel prices are based on the size of your home.
Fact: Solar panels are designed to fit the specific needs of each homeowner. When determining the cost of installing solar panels, special attention is paid to the orientation and slope of your home’s roof. In addition, the surrounding area of the roof is considered when building to make sure it is positioned in an area that has easy access to sunlight and is not obstructed by surrounding trees or buildings.
Myth 7: If we can use clean coal, why invest in solar energy?
Fact: Solar power is a cleaner form of energy than “clean coal” because coal is not really clean. Coal is one of the dirtiest fossil fuels. Coal mining is responsible for several health problems due to the blasting of mountaintops and leaving a pond of black slurry in its path. The more coal we burn, the more damage we do to the environment as it increases the levels of mercury and smog and additionally increases carbon pollution, leading to more damaging effects in the environment.
Myth 8: Solar panels are bad for the environment after their lifetime is used up.
Fact: Actually, solar panels are built to reach a maximum lifetime use of 25 years, after which they can be recycled. This all depends on the manufacturer you use to install your solar panels but knowing whether they will be recycled is a bit tricky as most solar panels are still working optimally. Additionally, some manufacturers will even recycle them for you free of charge.
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Written By: Laila El azhary