Just like with any new technology, rumours, out dated information and a lack of understanding can quickly take hold, resulting in scepticism and hesitance for adopters. Solar power is a great example of a technology that has seen its fair share of misinformation in the market over the years, which we aim to address in this post by highlighting some solar power facts and myths.
Increasingly, more people are turning to solar energy to help reduce their impact on the environment, save them money in the long run or it simply offers the most practical solution for a requirement. Solar energy is seen by many as a way for us to live in harmony with our environment.
What’s more is that that the technologies used to drive solar energy innovations have come a long way in recent years, with advancements seen in virtually every area of aspects green, making it more affordable, more effective and easier to use than ever before.
Keep reading to learn more about solar energy and to help change your perspective on this underutilised renewable technology and inspire you.
1. Solar power does not work in cloudy or snowy weather – MYTH
Whilst anything that blocks a solar panel’s access to light will interfere with its energy output, it is a myth that solar energy is not suitable for snowy weather. There are a range of options available that help to minimise issues that snow can present.
Products such as semi-flexible solar panels allow for innovative installations that can help negate settling snow’s impact.
Contrary to popular belief, solar panels also work in cloudy, cold and even rainy environments. In fact, it is well known that solar cells perform better in cooler environments compared to warmer ones.
Countries where cloud, the cold and mild but frequent rain are an issue, such as the UK, Italy and Germany have efficient solar power systems, with Germany actually being one of the world’s leaders in the production of solar power. You can find more solar power facts and statistics by country on the IRENA website.
2. Solar energy is expensive – MYTH
In fact, solar energy has never been more affordable.
According to data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the global average price of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, measured at US$ per Watt has decreased from 4.88 $/W in the year 2000 to 0.41 $/W in 2018 then 0.38 $/W in 2019.
Compare this with a typical cost of coal-fired energy, which in 2018 was 0.6 – 1.43 $/W according to Lazard’s latest annual Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE 12.0) and you can begin to understand why solar is coming out on top.
|Energy source||Cost $/W in 2018|
|Solar photovoltaic (PV) modules||0.41|
Someone who uses solar power on their caravan, motorhome or campervan for example, can see some improvements in the life of their leisure batteries and can help keep it topped up during winter storage which is especially useful for vehicles used seasonally.
3. Installing solar panels is too complicated – MYTH
As with any spending decision, a degree of research is advised to ensure that you have the products required to do what you want to do. Of course there is a learning curve to converting to solar, but it doesn’t need to be complicated.
In fact, you have a wide range of options open to you at every step of the process with solar.
Forums, social media groups and video tutorials on the internet offer a wealth of information, advice and support to help you along your way.
If you’re interested, there are also many websites that provide solar power facts, news and commentary on the future of the market, informing your purchasing decisions further.
However, with the right budget, you only need to learn as much as you want – there are many professional contractors available for hire in your area to assist with the installation. We recommend you only work with specialists who carry the relevant licenses and accreditations for your region.
4. Solar panels cause a lot of damage – MYTH
Solar panels can actually help to protect surfaces by protecting them from sunlight – and, depending on the installation, they may even help to protect the surface against other elemental wear or damage.
In the event of damage or malfunction, solar panels can be removed and replaced easily if mounted rather than fitted directly down to the surface.
Whilst sealant may be used to fill gaps in between the surface and the panel, this can be removed by a professional.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to mounting your solar panel and it largely depends on the surface you are looking to mount on.
However, there are mounting options available that cause minimal damage.
5: Solar panels are bad for the environment after their lifecycle ends – MYTH
Arguably one of the best solar power facts on this list.
Whilst the lifespans of solar panels vary drastically depending on a range of factors, the industry is in agreement that a panel can last between 25-50 years before decommissioning.
In 2021 we already have established recycling options, as some of the older solar panel technologies from the past 2 decades begin to fail.
As this market develops over the next 2 decades, there is no telling what recycling solutions will develop for solar panels, not to mention the business and employment opportunities. Using data from IRENA, Greenmatch estimate the production of 60 million new solar panels from recycling old ones by 2030, and a staggering 2 billion by 2050.
The solar panels of today will surely become the solar panels of the future, reemerging as ‘double green’ products by serving both as a source of renewable energy and being able to be reused after their lifecycles end.