Renewable energy is something that the world is striving for since our non-renewable energy resources are diminishing quickly. One of the best green energy options is solar energy, however, despite solar power being a clean and extremely efficient way how to produce electricity, there are still a lot of myths about this alternative energy source, that turn away many potential solar power users. So it is time to debunk these myths and to find out the truth about solar energy, which is why we, the LEDwatcher team, offer you a list of some of the most popular solar energy myths along with an explanation why they are just myths.
1. Solar energy is very expensive
Whenever there is a discussion about solar energy and solar panels, there is big group of people who refuse to convert to solar power just because they have heard this misconception that solar energy is very expensive. So let me be the first to tell you that, although it maybe was so 30 years ago, the price of solar panels have dropped significantly since then and therefore you cannot call solar energy an expensive venture anymore. In fact, the price of solar panels and solar cells are the lowest they have ever been, and we will only be seeing further price reduction in the coming years, with new and advanced technologies being introduced in the solar industry every year.
2. Solar power isn’t even that green
Another myth that I have heard about solar energy, that just puzzles me, is that solar power isn’t even that green or that clean, meaning that solar energy produce as much of the greenhouse gas emission as say fossil fuels do. But this myth couldn’t be further from the truth, since the process of producing energy with the help of solar panels doesn’t produce any greenhouse gasses what so ever, therefore solar energy is green and able to decrease the greenhouse gas emissions great deal. On top of that, even if we take into account the fact that solar systems do take machinery to set them up, which of course produces some harmful gasses, solar energy plants still generate so much clean energy that it doesn’t hold a candle to the gas emissions that occur while the solar panels are being installed.
3. Solar systems demand a lot of upkeep
Then there is the myth that solar systems will require nonstop maintenance and that you will have to keep up with them all the time, in order for the solar panels to produce you good amount of energy. And again, this is a false misconception, because solar systems actually demand very little care. Actually, once a solar system that is tied to an electricity grid is installed, the most you will have to do to it will be to check up on it a few times a year and hose the panels down if they get too dirty. And even these tasks are not obligatory, but more of suggestions so your panels keep working in optimum capacity. This is because solar panels not only have virtually no moving parts, but their design nowadays is so well-made that solar systems provide sturdy, safe and reliable way of producing energy.
4. Solar panels won’t generate energy on cloudy days and during the winter
And lastly I also cannot forget the myth that solar panels do not generate power during the winter or if they are set up in climates where there are a lot of cloudy or foggy days. To better understand why this myth is just that a myth, let me explain how solar panels work. So, solar panels use their photovoltaic cells aka the solar cells to absorb light and convert it into electricity, which means that solar energy comes from light not heat, therefore even if you live in a colder climate or one where sunlight isn’t such a common occurrence, your panels will still produce a ton of energy.
In fact solar panels actually work better in slightly cooler temperatures, since starting from around 90 degrees Fahrenheit the solar panel efficiency starts to fall, meaning that the panels are producing less renewable energy. And clouds and fog also doesn’t affect the panels that much, because there is still daylight that the panels can use to produce electricity. Just makes sure that your panels are free of snow and ice, since light can’t really penetrate a thick coat of snow or ice, and you should be able to enjoy the benefits of solar energy anywhere you live.
Information about the author: Arthur Smith is the main editor of LEDwatcher.com, an independent blog on all things renewable energy, solar power and efficient lighting. In his years of working in solar and lighting industries he has seen first hand how solar panels and LED lighting can improve peoples lives, which is why he now works towards educating people on alternative energy resources and lighting related topics.