With conversations surrounding climate change routinely turning into heated debates, a lot of misinformation tends to get spread around. Solar energy systems — and all they do to combat waste — are often at the forefront because they are one of the most familiar forms of renewable energy. For those unsure about whether or not they should install residential solar panels, we’re here to set the record straight! Let’s bust these three common myths regarding solar power.
- Myth: Solar panels do not work well in cold climates. In fact, most solar panels work best in cold, sunny climates: higher temperatures reduce the panels’ efficiency — they end up producing less power from the same amount of light. Cold temperatures, on the other hand, actually increase conductivity, allowing electricity to flow more efficiently.
- Myth: I won’t be living in my home long enough to make my investment back. Depending on where you’re located and what kind of system you have, solar panel arrays typically pay for themselves within six to 15 years. When you throw in state and federal tax credits — not to mention the fact that utility companies will pay you if you produce more energy than you’re consuming –, you’ll be seeing a return on your investment within two to four years.
- Myth: Solar panels can’t operate well in snowy or cloudy conditions. While it’s true that efficiency is reduced in snowy and cloudy weather, they don’t simply stop working. Panels in snowy climates are installed at an angle to help manage snowfall, which takes care of the maintenance and effectiveness all at once. Take Germany: the country gets less than half as much sun as the sunniest city in the U.S., yet it has one of the most successful solar initiatives in the world.
The sun is a limitless source of power, sending 120,000 terawatts of energy through to the Earth every day; that’s 10,000 more than flows through our industrial civilization at any given time! It would be foolish not to take advantage of such an endless source of clean energy, especially when it saves us money in the long run. Solar energy systems allow us to easily reap the benefits of our singular star.