Even though the concept of using the power of the sun to produce energy is centuries old, how we do it these days is a fairly recent phenomenon.
And our usage of solar power has grown significantly in the U.S. over the past two decades. America now has 97.2 gigawatts of installed solar. That’s compared to 64.2 gigawatts at the end of 2018. In 2008 we had only 0.34 gigawatts.
Our current total is enough to power 18 million average homes. There are now more than 2 million solar panels in use in the 48 contiguous states.
Solar panel installer is considered the fastest growing job in the country. There are now more than 250,000 solar workers. That’s more than the coal, oil and natural gas industries combined.
And a little goes a long way. Solar photovoltaics on just 22,000 square miles of the nation’s land area – about the size of Lake Michigan – could supply enough electricity to power the entire country.
Shouldn’t our solar energy use be higher?
Those are impressive statistics. But solar energy still accounts for only 3 percent of total electricity generation in America.
Why isn’t that percentage higher? One of the reasons is that the start-up costs for going solar can be high.
Solar panels on your roof will probably save you significant amounts of money. But purchasing them and having them installed can be expensive. It may be four years before you make back your investment.
There’s another reason more electricity generation in the U.S. does not yet come from solar energy. Too many people believe myths about solar power. Today I want to take a look at some of those myths.
Myth: Solar panels need sunlight to work
It’s true that solar panels produce more electricity when it’s sunny than when it’s cloudy.
But it’s also true that solar panels generate electrical power in cloudy weather and when temperatures are colder.
Solar panel technology has improved. Panels can work effectively and efficiently even when the sun is not shining brightly.
And when the sun is shining on a cold winter day, they can generate about as much electrical power as on a hot summer day.
Myth: Solar panels are too expensive & require maintenance
Over the past 10 years, the cost of solar panels has gradually dropped as more people install them. In fact, prices for solar panels have decreased by approximately 30 percent during that time.
And incentives in the form of federal and state tax rebates have increased. Homeowners can offset up to 30 percent of a solar purchase. As previously mentioned, solar panels will save you money by reducing your power bills.
Installation of solar panels is a physical and know-how challenge for the average American. But not for a reliable solar company. And the panels are built to withstand harsh weather conditions.
There’s very little maintenance with solar panels. Mainly due to the fact that they have no moving parts. And they can be periodically cleaned with only water. In most parts of the country, rain takes care of that chore.
Myth: Solar panels damage roofs & lower resale value
Actually, the opposite is true. Solar panels are durable. They protect the sections of a roof they cover, extending that roof’s life.
What if a roof section needs to be repaired? That’s easily handled. Solar panels are mounted on a railing system atop a roof instead of being attached to that roof. They can be temporarily removed without a problem.
Sealant is used if there are gaps between the panels and the rooftop. And mounts are protected with a metal covering.
Rather than reducing the value of a home, studies have shown that solar panels actually add to a home’s value. And lead to faster sales.
Myth: Solar panels are bad for the environment
This myth comes from claims that solar panels get tossed in landfills once they stop working.
The reality is they are now built to be recycled. And if they reach a lifespan of 25 to 30 years, it’s going to be quite a while before you have to do that.
In the meantime, solar power is good for the environment. It is a much cleaner form of energy than fossil fuels. Over the lifetime of a rooftop system, many thousands of pounds of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide emissions could be avoided.
Solar power reduces greenhouse gases. That’s one of the reasons so many businesses and homeowners are going solar.
Generator myths debunked
Solar panels may or may not be in your immediate future. In the meantime, there is a way for you to keep your lights and other appliances working when the inevitable power outages occur. And that’s with a generator.
You may have also heard some myths about generators. Such as, they aren’t necessary because power outages are only a temporary inconvenience.
But the fact is, even a short power outage can spoil your refrigerated and frozen food. Food you bought with your hard-earned money.
Blackouts can also cause accidents within a home due to reduced lighting. Excessive heat or cold can cause health issues. Electronics can be damaged. Your stress level can be elevated. And, outages can last for several days, weeks or more.
Why a solar generator is better
Gas-powered generators are dirty, noisy and dangerous. But a portable, solar-powered generator is none of the above.
It’s clean because it does not require fuel. It’s quiet. In fact, you can use it right next to your bed while you sleep.
And it’s safe. There are no dangerous fumes to breathe in. You can charge it through a wall outlet or with the free power of the sun.
Our recommendation here at 4Patriots is the Patriot Power Generator 1800.
>>Learn more about your SOLAR generator here