The Internet is full of information and news that, on many occasions, the only thing they do is sow doubts and confusion. Although it is true that today we have the possibility of accessing information like never before —and knowing everything that happens anywhere in the world in just a few minutes—, it is also true that due to the amount of content a saturation is produced that, on many occasions, obscures the real information and creates confusion.
The most frequent myths about solar energy
In this article we have compiled the most widespread truths and lies about solar energy, as well as the main myths about solar energy, so that you have no doubts about it. Read on to learn more about them.
Solar PV is expensive
This information is based on the past. It is true that 10 years ago the price of photovoltaic solar panels was very expensive, as well as the installation as a whole. But today, technological advances have considerably lowered costs. In fact, it is estimated that the price of photovoltaic modules has been reduced by approximately 94%. If we extend the comparison to the rest of the renewable energies, such as wind energy, we find that, together with solar energy, these two are the cheapest —as we can see in the report published in 2018 by the International Agency for Renewable Energies (IRENA).
Solar panels only perform in areas with a lot of light
This is another of the myths of solar energy, since the statement does not take into account that there are different types of solar panels and that the efficiency varies between each of them, such as solar panels made with monocrystalline silicon that allow energy to be harnessed to the maximum —although the climate is not the most recommended—. Now, it is true that the more direct the incidence of light and the longer it affects the solar panels, the more energy can be produced.
Renewable energies cannot meet the energy demand
The step towards the energy transition is already taken. At least 1 out of every 4 kW of electricity on the planet is produced by renewable energy. In fact, it is expected that by mid-century two-thirds of electricity will be produced with renewable energies and that 40% of global final energy demand will be covered by electricity —of the latter, 63% will be produced by renewable energies. photovoltaic solar.
Solar energy: myths about the maintenance of photovoltaic panels
One of the most recurrent topics regarding the truths and lies of solar energy is the one that talks about the maintenance of photovoltaic panels. It is a lie that these need very frequent maintenance since photovoltaic solar panels are made with high quality materials that withstand all types of weather conditions. The general maintenance they need is cleaning. That is, remove any dirt that may have accumulated on them at least once a year. To do this, simply wash them with soap and water.
Even if it has snowed, due to the inclination of the solar panels it will not be necessary to remove the snow from them, since it will melt quickly sliding down to the ground.
Solar panels are manufactured using highly polluting processes, so they are harmful to the environment
As several studies and measurements have shown, solar panels generate the energy they need for their production in two years. In addition, its useful life is usually around 25 years. For at least 23 years they will be generating clean and free energy, reducing pollution levels, so they are not harmful to the environment in general terms.
Likewise, the manufacturing process of solar panels is not a very polluting process, since they are made with silicon, aluminum, glass and copper. Protection and safety measures superior to those of obtaining conventional energy are not necessary. Nor should we forget that, once the solar panels exhaust their useful life, their materials can be used up to 95%.
Solar energy: myths about the operation of solar panels at night
Although it is true that solar panels do not work at night, since they need solar radiation to produce and transform energy into electricity, that does not mean that they do not continue to work. There are isolated photovoltaic solar installations that have powerful batteries thanks to which the energy produced throughout the day can be stored and used at night, especially in homes located in places where the general electricity network does not reach.
It takes many years to make the costs of a solar installation profitable
This is another of the myths of solar energy that tend to put back some of the people who are thinking of switching to renewable energies and who, due to ignorance, end up getting confused. The truth is that the amortization of the investment depends on the use you give to the solar panel. For example, if it is a factory or company where consumption is made only during daylight hours, amortization will be covered much sooner. The profitability of this investment depends on the way in which the solar panels are installed, the number of solar panels and the use of energy. According to the opinion of some experts, the average time needed to amortize the investment of solar panels ranges between 7 and 8 years, although this can be reduced if other factors are added to the installation.
Solar energy: myths about solar installations in neighborhood communities
Among the truths and lies about solar energy that are told, you should know that today it is possible to install photovoltaic solar panels in neighboring communities. However, it is not possible in all cases, the available space and solar radiation must be taken into account. In this article we explain more clearly what you have to know to put solar panels in your community.