Solar panels are the renewable, recyclable, sustainable way of producing green energy. When panels reach the end of their 25+ year lifespan, they can be recycled, along with the lithium batteries generally used in an off-grid situation. A true, green energy!
Solar panels aren't truly green.
Since solar panels are used long-term(25+ years) and are recyclable, themselves, they're absolutely green. They don't end up in landfills, and they reduce our dependency on power plants(which are responsible for billions of tons of pollution per year.) The lithium batteries commonly associated with solar panels are also recyclable, but I'm hoping that an even more eco-friendly alternative will be available in the near future(although there are batteries out there with long lifespans.)
They consume and make use of a completely renewable resource, the sun, and turn it into clean energy, causing no pollution, and using no fossil fuels for 25+ years, then are recycled into another 25+ years of service.
There are some non-renewable resources involved in creating solar panels, but compared to traditional methods of fossil fuel consumption and pollution, switching over to sun energy dramatically cuts down the waste, pollution and heavy use of non-renewable sources we use just by flipping a light switch.
According to the EIA, electric power industries are responsible for over a billion tons of carbon dioxide. According to GVEC, solar panel manufacturers produce 20x less carbon pollution than traditional power plants. It takes solar panels less than three years to pay this off. A solar panel will spend the next 22+ years producing energy that required no pollution or fossil fuels.
Lithium batteries aren't green, so solar panels aren't green.
A solar panel pays off the pollution required to manufacture itself in under 3 years, but it will pay for 2, U.S. produced lithium batteries in under one year.
Lithium batteries have an extremely long lifespan(some up to 10 years,) and are recyclable. There's also greener alternatives currently being studied, but without a need for these products there will never be a full switch to a greener method. We're also learning better methods of lithium battery production, thanks to the uptick in electric cars.
While I hope that one day there is a little bit better of an alternative to lithium batteries, if we don't begin a switch a greener method of energy, like solar, there will never be funding into research for a greener method of energy production storage. Of course, manufacturers want to go where the money is.
Solar panels don't work when it's cloudy.
Panels charge anytime there is a ray of sunshine. This could even mean panels will receive a small charge from moonlight. They won't charge as optimally as a sunny day, but they will still charge.
Bad weather will harm solar panels.
General rain and snow will not harm properly installed solar panels. They're pretty tough, in general, but large hail and, of course, acts of God, like tornados, and direct lighting strikes(like if lightning were to strike the panel directly) could potentially harm panels. They're tough, but not indestructible.
In my opinion, this is still a fair trade-off, as power lines nor traditional power companies are 100% reliable either. It wasn't too long ago when Texas had a power crises, causing millions of customers to lose their power in the middle of an ice storm. I linked to Wikipedia because it sums it up in a better, non-political way than most of the news articles surrounding it.
They are expensive.
We're trying to make clean energy accessible, so we've launched solar panels in our store. It is our goal with our store to make sustainability accessible to everyone, so anyone wishing to follow in our footsteps on our self-sufficiency journey can do so. We also carry other producers of green energy, such as wind turbines.
Many choose to purchase solar panels and install independently, but we always recommend having a professional inspect, install and maintain panels.
They won't power large appliances.
It will take more than a few 200W panels to run something like a central heat/air system, but it is not impossible. There are millions of homes completely powered by solar panels. There are even homeowners making money from selling energy they produce back to power companies.
They won't pay off in the long run.
You'll need to do the math on this one, but in our experience, we were paying an average of $200/month for power. For $2,400(one year's worth of power,) we could have purchased 2400 watts of solar panels and spent a little extra for the set-up and batteries, and never paid an electric bill again. Now, we have solar panels, but we could have saved so much money up-front had we went this route.
This guy has been using his solar panels on his home for ten years.
Solar panels will make my property value go down/they're ugly.
We don't currently offer them, but solar panels are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and can be hidden fairly easily. There's even solar panel shingles and flexible solar panels available. They do not need to be installed on rooftops. Many opt to install on barn or shed roofs!
We actually have an independent structure for our solar panels, which, to be clear, I do not think they're ugly to begin with.
I can't move my solar panels, so I don't want to spend the money to install them.
Entire systems can be removed and installed in new homes, the same way they were installed in the first place. The investment could also increase sales value of the home, meaning that it may net enough money to purchase a new system.
Solar panels won't power my home as a back-up generator.
An off-grid solar setup can act as a backup energy source in the event of a power outage. Solar panels can power homes full time, or as a back-up only. A grid-connected solar system will not power a home without batteries(it is dangerous to hook solar panels up directly to a source without a proper setup.)
Thank you so much for reading! Are you considering switching a greener form of energy? Drop your comment, below! Thanks for joining us here, on our journey, and we post every Monday and Wednesday!