11 Solar Energy Mythbusters
Care2, February 6, 2015
Don’t think solar works for you? You could be wrong! A lot of myths swirl around solar energy that prevent people from making a well-informed decision about whether it’s right for them. PURE Energies, an NRG Home Solar Company, tackled 10 of the biggest myths about solar energy that you SHOULDN’T believe. I’ve added one of my own, because it’s the one that initially most got in my way when I was thinking about going solar.
Myth 1 – I should wait until solar technology gets more efficient. Solar technology actually hasn’t changed much since the 1960s. In fact, it’s one of the most stable technologies we can use. That, plus the 30 percent federal solar tax credit and many state incentive programs, make solar a technology worth installing right now.
Myth 2 – Solar doesn’t work when it’s cool, cloudy or foggy. Solar panels still produce significant energy when it’s foggy, chilly, or overcast. Surprising fact: solar panels on a rooftop in cool and foggy San Francisco produce only one percent less electricity than those on a rooftop in hot, sunny Sacramento.
Myth 3 – I can store excess solar energy in batteries. Most modern solar panel systems are connected to the local utility company’s electricity grid, the one you’re probably already using. Homeowners usually install solar systems that feed whatever power they don’t use back into this grid through a system called net metering. The utility company credits you for that power. If you need extra power from the utility grid, you can tap into it, but it probably won’t cost you anything because your solar system already fed so much energy into the system. Storing solar power in a battery is possible, but expensive. It would be more cost-effective to install an independent generator if you’re worried about your power going out. However, the power usually doesn’t go out very often!