Solar Myth Vs. Fact: Top 10 Misconceptions about Solar Power

by Ryan Stout, National Solar Developer
February 4, 2022
solar-myths-vs-facts

Solar power has many financial and environmental benefits but does have some misconceptions. To combat this, we've compiled the top 10 MYTHS along with the compelling FACTS about why this energy source continues to grow.

 

Myth #1: Solar is too expensive

Fact: The cost of solar has dropped dramatically over the last two decades making solar more affordable than ever. Electric rates are increasing, so lower solar costs and higher utility rates have improved the return on investment and payback.

Myth #2: Solar panels cause roof damage

Fact: Well-installed solar panels should never cause a roof leak. Engineers consider structural soundness and roof integrity when proposing, designing, and installing an array. Panels are typically mounted on removable skids with weighted ballasts that allow easy removal.

Myth #3: Solar won't work on cloudy days

Fact: Solar panels do work on cloudy days—but not as effective as they would on a sunny day. Expect them to produce 10-25% of their normal power output, depending on the thickness of cloud cover.

Myth #4: Placing solar on land makes it unusable for any other purpose

Fact: Solar panels require space, just as other school infrastructure. Pollinator fields or other agricultural crops can be placed to reclaim the land, including pasture used for grazing sheep.

Myth #5: Solar panels are ugly and bulky

Fact: Solar panels can often be positioned to minimize visual impact. Fence screening can be used on ground mounts, and a rooftop array may be hard to see from the ground.

Myth #6: Solar panels use more energy than they produce over a lifetime

Fact: A National Renewable Energy Laboratory study found that the manufacturing energy cost versus the energy production payback for solar modules is generally less than four years.

Myth #7: Solar requires a lot of maintenance 

Fact: Solar panels have very few moving parts and generally do not require a great deal of maintenance to function reliably. Solar panels do require periodic inspection.

Myth #8: Solar panels are bad for the environment

Fact: Monocrystalline panels do not contain hazardous materials. Panels are made of materials that are recyclable. 

Myth #9: Solar power can cause issues with sensitive electronics

Fact: Solar inverters are designed to monitor, synchronize, and seamlessly switch with utility-provided power eliminating any potential issues.

Myth #10: Solar panels are made out of toxic materials

Fact: Crystalline solar panels are made of sand, silver, and aluminum. EPA allows for crystalline solar panels to be disposed of in landfills, although recycling centers will be able to reuse solar panel materials in the near future.


Meet the Author

 

David DowdellDavid specializes in working with Kentucky public school districts to leverage the streamlined process and funding advantages of Guaranteed Energy Savings Contract (GESC) projects.  These projects enable districts to fix facility problems, save money, improve indoor air quality (IAQ), and optimize learning environments. 

David Dowdell

Business Development Manager

 

Interested in solar? Contact us to get started!

 

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