Myths and facts about solar panels

In the last 10 years, solar energy has shown the highest growth rates in the global energy industry. However, not everyone likes serious competition for traditional fuels from renewable energy sources. This predictably generates a wave of propaganda and myths, the purpose of which is to convince the inhabitants of the unprofitable and hopelessness of this industry. Today we will briefly talk about the most famous of them. And also we will give real facts about solar panels that refute such myths.

Myth # 1: The production of solar panels takes more energy than they can generate for the entire time of future operation. The same applies to the amount of CO2 emitted during the production process.

Facts: This statement has nothing to do with reality. There are accurate and detailed calculations published in numerous scientific journals. It follows from them that in the process of manufacturing a solar battery with a capacity of 100 to 400 watts, about 40-50 kW of electricity is spent. This means that the reimbursement of energy costs will require less than a week of operation, generating energy from the finished module.

It takes more time to offset CO2 emissions – from several months to a year. But the lifespan of photovoltaic panels is about 25 years. At the same time, conventional fuel plants pollute the atmosphere with emissions throughout their entire service life.

Myth # 2: Solar energy will never be cheaper than traditional energy.

Facts: This myth was widespread about 8-10 years ago, when, without government subsidies, any SES really did not pay off. However, today the cost of “solar kilowatt”, even in far from southern countries like Germany, has already dropped to a competitive level. This leads to a sharp reduction, and in some places a complete cessation of subsidies, although even in this case, solar power plants remain profitable. Even more striking are the facts about solar panels located in the southern and sunny regions. Here, the cost of 1 kW in 2021 is less than 3 cents in California and 1-1.5 cents in the UAE or Morocco.

Myth No. 3: Solar panels will be of no interest to anyone as soon as the myth of “global warming” is refuted.

Facts: This statement contains two internal contradictions at once. Firstly, even if the anthropogenic influence on the climate cannot be proved, the constant reduction in the cost of solar energy will make its use more profitable than any other energy sources. Second, in addition to problems with CO2 emissions, traditional fossil fuels emit about 50 types of carcinogens when burned. Some of them are extremely hazardous to health and cause cardiovascular and oncological diseases, which are especially common in large cities. According to the WHO, more than $ 1.2 trillion is spent on the treatment of such diseases alone worldwide. per year, and the transition to solar energy will be able to reduce this figure by at least an order of magnitude.

Myth No. 4: All photovoltaic manufacturers start to suffer losses.

Facts: This is a classic example of juggling the real facts about solar panels. Some of the oldest manufacturers of photovoltaic modules are really starting to lose profits and leave the market. However, this is because the bulk of their products are panels of old modifications, which are being replaced by modern efficient panels.

Ready-to-use integrated solutions are another rapidly gaining market share. Among the best-known examples are solar roofs, which are ubiquitous in the United States and Europe. Installation of such a roof is significantly less expensive than installing panels on a regular roof, which allows home owners to save thousands of dollars a year on bills.

Finally, third generation translucent solar films are on the way – cheap, easy to manufacture, capable of being embedded in any materials and replacing conventional glass.

Myth No. 5: SPPs will never be able to completely replace TPPs due to the lack of cheap high-capacity batteries.

Facts about solar panels: In part, this statement echoes myth # 2. First, even without batteries, the use of photovoltaic panels often becomes more profitable. And in places where it is impossible to connect to a centralized network, it is the only autonomous source of energy. Secondly, the specific capacity of modern batteries is also growing rapidly, and their price is falling. In the last 5 years alone, huge “super-accumulators” with a capacity of 100 MW and more have already begun to operate in the world or are under construction. The most famous example is the Australian Elon Musk system, which was built in just 100 days and reduced the price of electricity in South Australia by 14 times.