Solar is relatively a new concept in the Indian homes. On one hand, people are excited about installing renewable source of energy at their roof top while on the other hand there are some myths and misconceptions in the mind of the
Indian people which are stopping them in adopting solar as a new alternate source of energy. I have met & inquired people, about the use of solar energy, around the state and clear their misunderstanding about this energy source, made them aware about its benefits as the new alternate source of energy. I am going to summarize this post by clearing the myths and apprehensions about the solar energy.
Myth-1: The solar energy is not cost effective and its payback is too far
The cost effectiveness of this technology was a dream 15 years back. Since then, the solar panel prices has fallen from $7/watt in 2000 to $0.3/watt in 2015, making the solar energy electricity generation as a feasible source of energy. Please see the price chart below:
In India, the average payback period of the residential off-grid solar power system is around 9 years and it is without including any incentive and the subsidy provided by the government. Taking into account of the life of the solar panels as 25 years, the payback period is quite attractive and the average cost of solar roof is effective too.
Myth 2: It is difficult to understand the solar technology
What I can say that it is one of the simplest technologies to understand and operate in your houses. You do not need any kind of wire to connect source (sun) with destination (your panels) unlike in any other conventional sources of energy. It works on the simple principle of conversion of the solar energy into electricity; when the sun light falls on the surface of the silicon solar cells, they generate electricity.
One can easily understand the functions of all the components of the solar power system: solar panels, solar inverter, solar batteries (for backup) and solar charge controller within few hours of practical training.
Myth 3: The solar panels require more space to accommodate
The area required by solar panels is very much justified by the amount of electricity they produce for the house hold consumption. You can choose the correct size of the solar panel for your roof. Generally, the 110 square feet of the area on your roof can accommodate the solar panels to generate 1kilo watt of electricity. A 2 KW system can be accommodated in less than 220 sq. feet of area which is an average room size of the Indian rooms. So, if you are living in a two room set with sufficient amount of solar radiations falling on your rooftop then you can definitely consider the option of installing solar power system.
Myth 4: Your solar power system requires heavy & costly maintenance
The solar panels last for 25 years and the other components like solar charge controller and the inverter are electronic nature which require very little or no maintenance. The off-grid solar power system requires an average annual maintenance cost of 0.5%-1% of the total cost of the system. Let’s say that your 1 KW solar power system costs you 67,000, then your annual maintenance cost would be in between 0.5%-1% of Rs. 67,000 or Rs. Rs.335- Rs.670, which is very minimal and well accepted.
Myth 5: Solar panels do not generate much electricity during winters
This is for your kind information that the output of the solar panels depends on the amount of the solar radiations falling on their surface. You will be surprised to know that solar panels actually perform better in the colder weather as compared to the hot & humid weather. The solar radiation is the abundant source of energy which is available at free of cost.
Myth 6: Solar energy is not reliable
It is the only source of renewable energy, as compared to other renewable sources like wind energy, geo-thermal energy, which is the most reliable. It is available to all of us free of cost and you need not to harness or store it. Just place a solar panel under the sun light and you start getting the d.c. electricity for your consumption. Our sun is a middle aged yellow dwarf star and will burn and provide us the energy for another 5 billion years while on the other hand the fossils fuels are expected to last for few hundred years from now. If I can rely on petrol to run my car then why not on solar energy to run my household electrical appliances.
Myth 7: Solar panels can damage my roof and are not aesthetic in nature
The installation of the solar panels does not require re-engineering of your roof. These can be fitted & installed on iron frames by with nuts & bolts using the drilling machine. Moreover, you can make a pattern of the panels to look aesthetically good. Nowadays, the solar panels are sleek, light weight and well finished and when installed properly enhances the look of your house.
Myth 8: The solar is feasible on the large scale and is not feasible for the residential use
Moreover, the Indian government is offering incentives and the benefits for those owners who install solar system at their rooftop. You can also add the Net-metering feature with your solar power system.
Myth 9: You need to keep changing the position of solar panels with the position of sun
It is true that the rotation of earth around its own axis and the revolution around the sun keeps its position changing relative to the sun which results in the variation in the intensity falling on the surface of the solar panels. You can determine the optimum angle and the orientation of the solar panels with respect to the sun and then fix your solar panels. At this optimum position, they receive the maximum amount of the sunlight and produce the optimum output.
Myth 10: The solar panel prices are falling, I will install it later as it will be a cheaper bet
Come on! the Indian household grid electricity prices are rising at an average annual rate of 5%. The amount you are saving by not buying solar roof is compensated by the extra amount you are paying for the increased electricity prices. When you are using solar energy, you are actually contributing in preserving the environment, saving every month and generating your own electricity. A early adoption of solar power as an alternate source of energy will give you a head-start to understand the nuances of this technology which will let you implement & avail its benefits in the full swing in the near future.
I have busted the popular myths about the solar energy to clear the doubts in the mind of the Indian residential owners. It is necessary to promote the use of the renewable energy like solar energy for the widespread adoption of this energy in India.
Your solar roof is the mobile electricity station
You know that you can dismantle the whole solar power system and can re-install to another roof if for some reason you are planning to shift to another location. By adopting solar as a source of energy, you become an independent electricity generator.
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