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Debunking Myths about Solar Energy

Solar panels in EssexContrary to what you might have heard, solar energy is a reliable and viable source of power. Even with the increasing popularity of solar panels, there are still many myths about solar energy which need to be debunked.

Myth 1: Solar Energy is Expensive

Not true! Actually, solar power is cheaper than both coal and nuclear power.

Firstly, the negative impacts of burning fossil fuels for energy, such as water pollution, climate change and human health problems, result in a huge amount of hidden costs. Solar power doesn’t cause any of these problems.

Secondly, non-renewable energy has input costs. For instance, you need to buy or mine coal for a power plant to generate electricity. Renewable solar energy, on the other hand, has no input costs. Sunlight is free after all.

Myth 2: Solar Panels Can’t Provide 24/7 Electricity

Also known as: there’s not enough sunshine in the UK. Not true!

Solar panels don’t actually need direct sunlight to work. Though they might be up to 50% more effective with strong rays, solar panels are still able to generate enough energy from cloudy skies. Not convinced? Germany are the world’s leading solar power producer, and you can’t say that they’re known for their tropical weather!

Myth 3: Installing Solar Power is Complicated

Not true! Most solar companies can sort that for you.

Once you have a quote for solar panels, which is free from most companies, they can answer all your installation questions. Companies providing solar power, like us, can take care of permits, inspections and all that paperwork before installing the panels on your roof or elsewhere for you. No need to worry!

Myth 4: Solar Power Doesn’t Really Work

Not true! It’s already working in countries around the world:

  • Germany: Renewable energy accounts for 25% of  Germany’s electricity and they are aiming for 80% renewable energy by 2050.
  • Spain: Spain is the world leader in solar thermal power (CSP). In 2012, Spain had a capacity of 1GW, which is 65% of the totally installed CSP capacity in the world.
  • China: Solar power and wind power generated 104 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in China in 2012.

Myth 5: It’s too Early to get Solar Power, it Still Needs Improving

Not true! Solar power is not a new technology any more.

Solar power technology is actually over 100 years old. The difference between then and now, is that solar power is now viable. Solar power technology has developed massively in terms of efficiency and cost reduction. In fact, now is the perfect time to invest in solar power!

Now these terrible myths have been debunked, are you thinking about switching to solar energy?

Solar PV - Ground Mounted

Why is Renewable Energy Needed?

solar PV panelsThe world is dependent on fossil fuels for it’s energy supply. Currently, fossil fuels account for 80% of the world’s energy consumption. However, fossil fuels take millions of years to form and our reserves are depleting rapidly. This means that fossil fuels are non-renewable resources and society needs to find an alternative energy supply.

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is energy which comes from a natural source and is not depleted when used. Renewable energies include wind, wave and solar power. In the UK, we have copious amounts of wind and waves, and a little bit of sunshine, available to us. Why not make the most of that? The UK is currently making good progress with more people wanting to install solar panels on their roofs and wind farms being set up around the country.

There are many reasons for society to switch to renewable forms of energy.

Fossil Fuels are a Finite Resource

Fossil fuels are running out fast. Unfortunately, the world’s infrastructure is reliant on fossil fuels. They power electricity plants, heat our homes and provide fuel for our cars. Eventually, fossil fuels will run out entirely or become too expensive for people to afford. But you can’t change energy resources overnight! Switching to renewable energy takes time.

Fossil Fuels Contribute to Climate Change

Research shows that burning fossil fuels contributes to climate change, often referred to as ‘global warming.’ Though there is still more research to be done, we know that releasing so much carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere is causing severe weather problems. These include melting polar ice caps, wildfires in the USA and heat waves across Europe and in India.

Scientists are saying that to avoid catastrophic changes to the planet, we must start reducing greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels in the next 10 years…

Renewable Energy is Better for the Environment

Fossil fuels not only cause climate change, but are also damaging the environment through land, water and air pollution. An example of this is air pollution caused by burning coal. Burning coal releases fine particles that can cause respiratory health problems if they are inhaled. These pollutants become part of the water cycle and create acid rain, which pollutes water, ruins land and corrodes buildings.

Arguably, renewable energy sources also affect the environment. For instance, wind turbines can impact migrating birds and dams can disrupt ecology of surrounding areas. However, the negative impacts are far less than those of fossil fuels and renewable energy is undoubtedly better for the environment overall.

Renewable Energy makes Economic Sense

Renewable energy not only makes environmental sense, but also economic sense. By switching 70% of the planet’s electricity production to renewable alternatives, Greenpeace estimates the world’s economy would save $180 billion per year.

The renewable energy industry is increasing employment opportunities worldwide and is gaining a lot of investment. In Germany, renewable energy accounts for a quarter of the nation’s energy consumption. As a result, renewable energy industries have created 380,000 new jobs. In the USA, solar power workers currently outnumber coal miners.

Renewable Energy can be Self-Sufficient

Currently, people are no control of their energy supply. They can chose which company to purchase their electricity from, but they have no means of creating their own energy supply. With renewable energy systems, people can have complete control.

The average person is able to buy their own solar thermal panels or an air source heat pump for their own home. Being in complete control of your energy means that you are not affected by changes in price or shortages from electricity or gas companies. In fact, installing solar panels can shave £223 off your annual electricity bill. With renewable energy, you can be entirely self-sufficient.

Renewable Energy is the Future

Renewable energy is the only way forward. There are many benefits of switching to renewable sources, primarily the fact that non-renewable energy sources will run out and there won’t be any other option. Renewable energy will never run out, and will therefore be able to supply our children and their children with the energy they need.