In the last couple of years, we have witnessed the demand for clean energy rise to help combat the effects of climate change. We are lucky to have a variety of renewable energy in Kenya the most popular being solar energy. Solar energy can be used all year round but there are a lot of myths that surround its potential as an energy source. This has negatively affected how people preserve solar energy.
We have highlighted some of the most common solar energy myths
1. Solar panels do not work when it is cloudy or rainy
This is not true. Solar panels can work despite the weather. Advanced solar technology allows solar panels to work effectively all year round despite the weather. Photovoltaic cells do not require sunlight to function, rather they require daylight. To make them even more efficient, they have battery storage to ensure that your power is not interrupted even on days when the weather is not favourable.
2. Solar energy can still power your house when the power goes off
This is true. Your solar system comes with an inverter that usually shuts off electricity generation from the solar panels in case of a power failure. Proper solar systems are set this way because it would be dangerous to still have live wires when the solar system has a problem.
3. Solar energy is expensive
This is false because once you install solar panels, you can generate electricity for years free. The installation cost for solar panels can look expensive but at the end of the day, compared to the stress and turmoil you will experience trying to get connected to the grid. Not to mention the initial cost and the monthly fee possibly for the rest of your life.
4. Solar installation is complicated and needs constant maintenance
This is false. Solar panels are quite easy to install as long as you have good quality products and good technicians with sufficient knowledge of solar installations. If they have had the panels for a while, you will only need to clean the accumulated dirt and debris with soap and water. Solar panels are created to withstand harsh weather conditions such as heavy rains or hail and rarely get damaged.
5. Solar panels can damage your roof
Solar panels do not ruin your roof, instead, they preserve the section of the roof they are placed. In the rare occasions that the roof where the panels are placed needs to be repaired, the panels can easily be taken down and the repairs done. However, it is advisable that before you mount solar on your roof, you ensure there is no damage to that section to avoid later inconveniences.
6. Reselling your home will be more difficult if you have solar panels installed
This is not true. Solar panels will help increase the value of your property. Homeowners are currently looking for ways to make their homes, energy-efficient and installing solar panels is one sure way to be well ahead in this journey. Solar energy is clean, reliable and efficient and any future buyers would be lucky to have a home with pre-installed panels. That means you can increase your price slightly.
7. Solar panel prices are based on the size of your home.
Solar panels are designed to fit the specific needs of a homeowner. The cost of installation will go up or down depending on the size of your house, your power needs and if you want a hybrid system or if solar is your main source of power. Remember, the slope of your roof and access to sunlight are also key factors to consider during installation.
8. Coal is better than solar energy
This statement is false. On the contrary, compared to sources of energy such as coal, solar energy is a very clean source of energy. Coal is responsible for several health issues given the amount of pollution produced. Therefore the more coal we burn in a bid to generate power, the more damage to our environment. Solar does not produce any gas and does not require any mining making it a more favourable source of energy.
9. Solar panels are bad for the environment after their lifetime ends
If the scrap material is disposed of irresponsibly, it can affect the environment. Your solar system has a life span of about 25years after which you can recycle the parts. Some solar companies interested in caring for the environment for the sake of future generations do request that customers contact them for recycling.
The solar energy industry is gaining popularity around the world. With such growth, it is not surprising that there is a lot of backlash from other energy sectors. With such popularity, the few people who are sceptical about taking it up as an energy source come up with myths that can discourage interested parties. We have gone through some of the popular misconceptions and we look forward to more people adopting and taking up solar as their main source of energy.