With so many new technologies competing for your preference in energy sources, it’s easy to be confused or even skeptical about how effective some of them can be. This can be particularly true when it comes to solar power – after all, the idea of harnessing the sun’s rays to power our lives can still sound a little bit like something out of science fiction. But, it’s no longer a dream; in fact, solar power is emerging as an amazingly eco-friendly, sturdy, and cost-effective solution to turn to rather than traditional electricity or fuels. There’s a whole solar industry out there just waiting to be used – and it’s definitely not science fiction.
Still not convinced that solar panels are the right choice to power your home or office? Let’s go through a few common myths and misconceptions and see if we can’t put your mind at ease about the future of solar technology.
Solar power is expensive.
Price is usually the first thing on a person’s mind when considering energy options. And, given that many people tend to visualize high-tech cars and long fields of giant mirrored panels when they think of solar power, it’s no wonder that the average American homeowner might think: “good for millionaires, not for me.” Fortunately, this isn’t the case. According to the World Wildlife Fund, solar panels are currently 80% cheaper than they were in 2008, and once they’re installed (again, at a far cheaper price than many estimate), they’ll continue to save you money.
As an extra bonus, many states offer rebates and incentives for homeowners and business owners who install solar systems. It’s a valuable choice for both you and the environment.
Solar power is ineffective when the sky is clouded over.
Speaking of the environment, another solar power common misconception is that it won’t work unless the sun is out. While it’s true that much of California doesn’t have the kind of cloudy days that you see frequently in states like Washington, you can rest assured that solar panels work just as well in cooler or overcast conditions as they do when it’s bright and sunny outside. Even when the clouds are out, UV rays are still able to penetrate the cloud cover and power solar panels. Also, cool temperatures actually help the panels work more efficiently, so there’s no need to worry about a dip in the thermometer affecting the power.
Need an example? It’s frequently been noted that Germany is a world leader in adapting solar energy within its homes and workplaces, and its climate is far more cold and cloudy than California.
Solar panels are bulky and require a lot of maintenance.
Just as solar panels are far cheaper now than they were only a few years ago, the technology is likewise shifting. Today’s panels are small and sleek, and look very little like the giant, unattractive slabs of the early days. For home decor buffs who may be worried about how solar panels may affect a dwelling’s aesthetics, rest assured that your home or office won’t end up looking like a space-age experiment. Solar Energy helpfully points out that “…systems have become virtually seamless with solar shingles. Solar cells can be combined with slate, metal, fiber-cement, and asphalt roofing” – so there’s no need to install a new roof if you want to put in solar panels.
As for maintenance, you may be surprised to know that for all their high-tech veneer, solar panels do not need much tinkering or cleaning once they’re installed. Plus, many solar electricity programs come with a warranty for parts and labor, so you can rest easy knowing that any needed fixes are covered.
Solar power: superior potential
To sum up, there are more than a few misconceptions about solar power floating around, and it’s worth the time to do more research into why it may be the best energy solution for your home. Solar power is not ineffective or high-maintenance or costly; in fact, it may very well be the future for energy, and it’s definitely a smart choice to power your daily life.
Were you surprised by the truth behind any of these solar energy myths? Let us know in the comments.