The Truth Behind 5 Common Solar Energy Myths
Most of us recognize the importance of solar energy in the mix as we move to cleaner energy sources. Despite this, many misconceptions about solar can still prevent people from considering solar as a serious renewable energy contender. Our solar experts have set out to bust five urban legends and show just why solar energy is a worthwhile choice.
Myth #1: Solar only works when the sun is shining
Fact: Solar energy is a highly reliable source of energy. Most people don’t realize that solar panels collect light, not heat. Solar technology can be effective in virtually any condition, including rainy, cloudy, or snowy days, because some sunlight still reaches the earth. Energy production might drop with less sun; however, the solar modules will continue to operate. Furthermore, solar batteries and other forms of energy storage can collect excess electricity at peak generation times for use when cooler temperatures or cloudier days might reduce capacity.
Another fun fact, solar energy generation is known to improve when the temperatures are low. Solar panels tend to perform best in cold and sunny climates because heat interferes with the conversion of sunlight into electricity. Even cold, sunny winter days generate a comparable level of electricity to what you would get from hot summer days.
Myth #2: Solar is too expensive
Fact: Community solar doesn’t cost a thing and can provide the same solar benefits without rooftop installation costs. By subscribing to a community solar farm, residents can reduce their monthly bills by 10%. Whether you choose rooftop installation or a community solar program, it’s important to note that solar energy costs less to produce than other forms of electricity and that savings are passed along to residents. If you still want rooftop panels, there are several solar financing options that allow you to pay overtime, plus local, state, and federal tax incentives and rebates to offset the costs. Once installed, a solar energy system is easy to maintain and low in cost. Homeowners might even be able to make money by selling excess energy from their solar panels to their local grid. Solar provides a clean energy choice for American households by reducing their carbon footprint while saving money on their electric bills.
Myth #3: Solar is only for people who own their home
Fact: You don’t need to own a home to enjoy the benefits of going solar. If you rent your house or live in an apartment building, subscribing to a community solar program will provide the advantages of solar energy without the financial investment or hassle of installation. Often called shared solar, community solar is a local solar “farm” located off-site where customers subscribe for their share of the total power produced. The solar panels on the farm generate energy which is sent through the electric grid and delivered to subscriber homes by the local utility company. Savings from the project shows up on the subscriber’s utility bill as energy credits. There’s no cost to join and no membership fees. And the best part is anyone can subscribe to community solar – renters, homeowners, small businesses, non-profit organizations, and commercial companies – with no equipment, installation, or long-term contracts.
Myth #4: Solar is not reliable or efficient
Fact: The sun produces an enormous amount of energy—the sunlight that shines on the earth in just one and a half hours has more power than the world consumes in an entire year. As long as the sun exists, its power can be harvested. Solar has proved to be an efficient, consistent, and reliable alternative to fossil fuels. For several decades, it has powered operations from the United States Military, large businesses like Amazon or Target, and rooftops or community solar programs for residents. Solar-generated electricity offers consistent energy production with components that rarely experience failure. Because your system is connected to the electric grid, you will always have access to as much electricity as you need, given the grid is up and running. Plus, technological advancements have increased the efficiency and predictability of tapping into the sun’s power. For example, the innovation of photovoltaic technology allows solar panels to collect solar energy from the sun even during dark and cloudy days. On those days, you’ll still get electricity from the grid as you normally do and won’t notice a difference in your home. Solar is a safe and reliable energy resource that is cleaner and better for the environment than other sources.
Myth #5: Solar farms are not environmentally friendly
Fact: Community solar farms, require a lot of sunny, uninterrupted space for operation. While it’s true that some companies may need to cut down trees and clear land to build community solar projects, many do not. In fact, plenty of community solar companies place high importance on sustainable land-use practices and use otherwise unusable plots of land to host their solar panels. Nautilus actively seeks previously impacted sites, such as retired farmland, marginally productive or unproductive agricultural or grazing lands, recently cut timberlands, or reuse parcels. We also build on brownfield sites and capped and closed landfills. These previously impacted lands often give us the opportunity to improve land conditions while building a solar project. Many states even provide additional financial incentives for developers building projects in these areas. Furthermore, it’s becoming increasingly common for solar companies to build their projects for dual land use. Environmentally friendly practices such as agrivoltaics (growing food under the panels), grazing livestock, or planting pollinator-friendly vegetation enable solar farms to improve the land two-fold.
Now you know the truth behind five solar myths. Solar is a reliable, clean, less costly energy source. Understanding the basics and debunking common myths provides everyone with the facts and encourages more people to join forces in creating a better world.
Are you ready to enjoy solar?
Community solar provides a clean energy choice for American households by reducing their carbon footprint while saving money on their electric bills. Subscribing is simple. All that is needed is five minutes and a utility account. To learn more about how you can go green and keep your green with community solar, go to NautilusSolar.com.