Myth and Reality: Getting the Facts Straight About Solar Energy
There are a couple of ideas about solar energy that are not entirely accurate, and have a lot to do with the fact that we are still knee deep in conventional energy production via fossil fuels and natural gas.
The primary issue at hand is how we shift our minds away from what we have become accustomed to, and therefore start offering our support, even if just philosophical, to the alternative of solar energy.
Myth #1: Solar Energy is Too Expensive
This is a tough one to dismiss because we live in a world of short term economic plans. When we think about solar energy, and going green in general, we have to change the way we look at economics. Going solar is a long term plan, with long term savings. However, the actual installation of a solar energy system on your home or business can be a high initial investment.
The best way around this is by heavily researching the different installation companies out there, and aggressively price comparing. I would even go so far as to get a representative out to your property for an estimate, and then negotiate the price of the job to get it lower.
The other option you can take is to install the solar energy system yourself. This takes some skill and know-how, and you may even need to take some solar energy courses at the local college. At that point it is a matter of buying the solar panels that work for your home and your budget, and possibly enlisting some friends to assist you with the installation. While this might be cheaper out of pocket, it could end up being costly in terms of your time.
Keep in mind, though, that the savings in the long term are going to more than counter your initial cost of installation. The sun has a shelf life of billions of years, and therefore we can legitimately accept it as a truly sustainable energy source. This stands in stark contrast to the limited availability of fossil fuels and natural gas.
Myth #2: Solar Panels Look Ugly
Many homeowners are concerned that solar panels will lower the aesthetic value of their home, and therefore affect the price should they need to sell. The reality, though, is that solar panels on your home actually make the house look more modern and efficient, thereby increasing its value. Since the initial cost and long term savings are already covered by having them on your home, potential buyers will most likely find the property more desirable than others.
The author is a green enthusiast, and writes about solar power at Neat Solar Energy.