8 Myths about Solar Energy - Debunked!

At SunContract, one of our primary goals is to ensure our customers have the information they need to make educated decisions about their investments in renewable energy. While there are a lot of resources available both online and offline, it can be overwhelming to navigate, and some of it is just straight up inaccurate!

We are surrounded by a plethora of renewable energies, especially solar, which has the potential to be used almost all year round. And while this is true, there is still also quite a bit of skepticism surrounding the benefits gained from solar energy. In today’s blog post, we tackle some of the most common myths about solar. Which brings us to:

Myth #1: Solar power plants stop working during cold weather

Fact: Solar plants do produce more energy over the summer months when there are more hours of daylight. However, even on the least sunny days, solar plants can still produce around a third of their maximum output; mostly enough to power your household appliances throughout the day.

Winter rain and winds do not affect the output of solar and can actually help to keep the panels clean and free of debris. In fact, lower temperatures actually help raise the efficiency of the modules. Snow is also not as limiting a factor for solar plants as one might think. When snow is falling it is usually quite cloudy which can somewhat reduce solar output. However, once the snow has settled, it provides very few problems for solar plants. As the plants are typically mounted at an angle and retain some warmth, so any snow that settles on them should melt and slide off quickly.

Myth #2: Solar power plants are bad for the environment after their lifetime is used up

Fact:Actually, solar plants are built to keep the module efficiency over 80% even after 25 years, so its true lifetime can be anywhere between 30 and 50 years. However, once they reach an economic lifetime, which we estimate to be about 30 years, solar plants can be recycled. Recycling solar plants can only be effective if the materials used to build them are able to be used again, 30 or so years later. So let’s take a look at the components of a solar plant:

  • Silicon solar cells
  • Metal framing of Aluminum 
  • Becksheets foil
  • Internal and external wires
  • Tempered Glass

Right away, it’s clear that many of the core components of solar plants can be recycled on their own. Additionally, all standard quality manufacturers are members of PV Cycle – an organisation that handles the waste management of PVs. These manufacturers have already paid for module recycling so it’s free of charge when needed.

Myth #3: Reselling your home will be harder with solar plants

Fact: Actually, solar plants are a selling point for most home buyers. Solar plants enhance the property value of your home since they can lower or eventually eliminate utility bills and allow the homeowner to take advantage of money-saving tax rebates and credits. Many studies have found that homes with solar plants actually sell faster than homes without solar plants.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, homes with solar plants sell 20% faster and for 17% more than those without.

Myth #4: Solar energy will still power my home during a power outage

Fact: The answer is simple. If you are living on the grid and then power goes out, the grid system also goes out. Solar power will not serve as a backup generator. This happens so as to protect utility repairmen working to restore power. If electricity is backfed while utility repairmen are working on the lines, it could be dangerous or even fatal. As a result, your inverter knows that the grid has been shut off and shuts off the electricity generation that is driven from solar plants.

Myth #5: Solar energy is too costly and is not economically viable

Fact: Actually, if we look at figures from 2009 to 2018, investments in solar plants have generally been on the rise as they are becoming more affordable. Their average costs have fallen significantly over the last decade. Globally, it is actually cheaper to produce electricity from solar energy than it is from coal.Fact: Actually, if we look at figures from 2009 to 2019, investments in solar plants have generally been on the rise as they are becoming more affordable. Their average costs have fallen significantly over the last decade, solar modules have fallen from more than 2 to 0.2 EUR/kWp, about 10 times lower today. Globally, solar power in the last 2 years has become the cheapest energy source, so it is very viable and economically affordable not only for small consumers but also for big industrial consumers and solar parks for commercial purposes.

Myth #6: 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 service provider. For a household installation, it takes one to two days to complete the installation. When it comes to their maintenance, solar plants mainly need to be visually inspected once per year. 20% of the installations also need to be cleaned once per every 1-2 years with water to remove any accumulated dust or debris that has been trapped on them. Solar plants are constructed in a way that allows them to withstand harsh weather, including hailstones.

Myth #7: Solar power plants will cause leakages and damage to your roof

Fact: Many property owners worry about damaging their roof when installing a solar panel system. When solar power plants are installed, they have very little, if any, direct contact with the actual roof. This is because the solar panel rack is installed directly onto the roof and the solar plants fit into the rack. Additionally, special hooks are used which separate the solar rack mounting systems from the roof.

And when the rack is fitted onto the roof, every nook and cranny is filled with a waterproof silicone and reinforced to ensure that not a single droplet of water can get into your house. Also, because the plants cover such a large surface area of the roof, it can actually be seen as protecting your roof from the elements rather than damaging it. And therefore allowing you to save more money on both electricity and roof maintenance.

Myth #8: If we can use clean coal, there’s no point in going solar

Fact: Solar power is still a much cleaner form of energy than “clean coal” because coal isn’t really clean. Coal is one of the dirtiest fossil fuels and its mining is responsible for a number of health problems. 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.

Our efforts should not be focused on incremental investment into old technology like coal, or even gas as a bridge fuel, but into removing the barriers to rapid electrification, the acceleration of renewables and transforming the grid with energy storage.

If you’re interested in installing a solar plant for your home, business or industrial facility, and you would like to know more about your renewable energy options, the SunContract team is here for you! Our service is simple and obligation-free. Just sign up on the platform and send us an inquiry. 

In the meantime, you can also join our network of community members to stay updated on all SunContract project developments and promotions.

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