The U.S. solar energy industry is booming, with an average annual growth rate of 59% over the last 10 years, and solar electricity accounting for 30% of all U.S. capacity installed in 2017. Looking to the future, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) predicts that by 2021 there will be more than 100 GW of solar installed in the U.S., with annual totals exceeding 15 GW by 2023!
The solar industry has clearly come a long way since its humble beginnings in the 1970s, but despite its growing popularity, there are still many false notions that exist about solar power:
Myth #1: Solar is Expensive and Inaccessible
According to EnergySage, a major turning point in terms of the economics of solar vs. fossil fuels occurred in 2016 when a commercial solar provider in Dubai offered solar electricity for sale at $0.029 cents per kilowatt hour, setting a world record for solar energy cost AND energy cost for all other sources. Today, there are 89 Petawatts (PW) of potential solar energy production available on earth, making solar the world’s most abundant available source of power.
Now it’s easier than ever to go solar, especially with the proliferation of community solar options in a growing number of states. With no money down, no installation hassle or long-term maintenance fees – renters, homeowners, business owners and non-profit organizations can now enjoy solar energy.
Myth #2: Solar Energy Requires More Maintenance Than Traditional Energy Sources
As a community solar participant, your panels are located at an off-site solar farm, meaning you never need to worry about long-term maintenance. For example at CEC, a team of trained solar specialists monitor your panels to ensure the system is running at maximum efficiency. We’ll worry about maintaining your panels so you don’t have to! And, if you’re curious about what your panels are up to, don’t forget that you can even monitor your solar energy production with technology like the MyOwnCleanEnergy portal. This shows real-time energy production, lifetime system performance, environmental benefits and more. Solar energy productivity stats at the click of a button: How low-maintenance is that?!
Myth #3: Solar Panels Don’t Work in Inclement Weather, Like Snow
Did you know that even when solar panels are completely covered with snow, they can still generate electricity? That’s right — solar power is a year-round energy solution and not just ideal for fair weather locations. It’s a common myth that solar panels do not work in the winter…When in fact, according to EnergySage, the cold temperature will typically improve solar panel output (electronics function more efficiently in cold conditions than hot), while the white snow around the array can actually reflect light and help improve PV production.
Myth #4: You Need to Own Your Home to Access Solar Energy
With community solar, the energy generation happens at a nearby solar farm. This means anyone who subscribes – for example homeowners, renters, business owners – benefits from clean, local energy without risking potential roof or property damage or needing to purchase panels.
Myth #5: Solar Energy Only Benefits Homeowners With Installed Panels
Community solar allows the community to benefit from solar energy. By utilizing a clean renewable energy source, participants are offsetting harmful environmental carbons and contributing to a cleaner environment which benefits everyone. Additionally, community solar farms help bring jobs to the local economy, as regional contractors are employed to build each solar arrays.
Don’t forget that if your home has access to solar energy, its value oftentimes increases!
Want to Learn More?
That’s all for this installation of solar power myth busting! We hope you learned something new about the fascinating solar energy industry. If you’re craving additional solar-powered facts, SEIA created a helpful guide for residential consumers who might be contemplating going solar. The guide provides an overview of community solar and even provides suggested questions customers should ask solar companies before signing into a community solar agreement. You can access SEIA’s guide here. Or, to learn more about CEC’s community solar offerings, visit rooflesssolar.com.