The unfortunate side of being able to access instant information on the go – be it through social media channels or that nifty Google thing – is that there is a lot of misinformation out there. This is commonplace across renewable energy, where detractors and doubters spread many myths (and blatant lies) about solar power. The problem with this is that these misconceptions can be a heavy influence on consumers who don’t know otherwise.
In this article, we outline some of the biggest lies about solar power in Australia that are currently doing the rounds. We’ll aim to debunk them and sort them out from myths and legends to reality.
Myth: Solar panels cause more expensive electricity bills
This is one of the most common solar lies that do the rounds: people claiming to have installed solar power systems but have exceptionally high bills. The bottom line is that modern solar panels are highly effective and there shouldn’t be any case where your electricity bills are unnecessarily high. The only reasonable cause for this would be if your solar system is broken or you suddenly installed a pool (or a few dozen air-conditioners).
Myth: There are too many cons around the cost of solar energy
Essentially, this is a trinity of complaints that are usually found together in the form of grumbles about the cost of solar power system installations. Then there’s the unbelievably common thought that they are no good on cloudy days and that energy storage is too expensive in Australia.
Let’s break down these three claims.
Solar system installations are too expensive: The average cost of installing solar in Australia is $5100, but utilising an expert – like us – can help you get the best possible bang for your buck.
Additionally, there are a number of different incentives in all states and territories, including rebates of up to $1850 and interest-free loans. With the available STCs on offer, you can even claim rebates up to $4000. Even if you do pay full price, the benefits you receive in lower electricity bills means your system will pay itself off within 6 to 10 years.
Panels are no good on a cloudy day: Your solar system will still harvest indirect power from the sun on a cloudy day and rain will clear away dust and dirt to make your system more efficient. Even if there is total darkness during the day, battery storage solutions are available which brings us to…
Energy storage is too expensive: Not anymore. You can get low-profile batteries like the Tesla Powerwall for around $800 per kWh. These prices continue to fall and the technologies continue to improve, plus there is more competition on the market to deliver better solutions.
Myth: Manufacturing a solar panel creates a bigger carbon footprint
This is where we venture into real naysayer territory, where supporters of fossil fuels clutch at straws to discredit the threat of renewable energy. Some think they are clever by saying that the carbon footprint of manufacturing, transport and installing solar panels actually makes them bad for the environment.
Sorry guys, but this is only true very early in the life of a solar panel, and isn’t necessarily the case as time goes on and technology advances. Over the course of its life, a single panel is highly carbon negative and 11 times more efficient than fossil fuels overall. That’s a win in our books.