Myths of Solar Power

Jul 07, 2009

Solar power is a viable source for significant energy use for both home and industry alike. There are many supporters of the sunshine energy source, but not all people agree that it is the way to go when it comes to energy production. Many of their thoughts are based on various thoughts or ideas that have proven to be myths or unreasonable conclusions.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, here are some of the most common myths about solar energy.

SOLAR ENERGY CANNOT PROVIDE ANY SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF ENERGY FOR THE U.S. OR WORLD WIDE NEEDS.

PV technology can supply much more energy than one would expect. The solar energy resource in a 100-mile-square area of Nevada could supply the U.S. with all its electricity using modestly efficient commercial PV modules.

Ideally, you would want to distribute these same PV systems throughout the U.S. Vacant lots, fields, and rooftops could be used. These systems could also be built on the estimated five million abandoned industrial sites in our nation’s cities, could supply 90 percent of America’s current electricity.

SOLAR ELECTRICITY CAN DO EVERYTHING AND NOW!

This is not possible. Solar electricity can become a major player in the big scheme of the energy producing world, but the industry just simply does not have the capacity to meet all demands right now. But if proper investments are made now and sustained, solar power could become a significant source of power in the next few decades.

PHOTOVOLTAICS CANNOT SIGNIFICANTLY OFFSET ENVIRONMENTAL EMISSIONS.

PV systems produce no atmospheric emissions or greenhouse gases. The fossil-fueled generated electricity produces nitrogen oxides, sulfar oxides and carbon dioxide. All which are harmful to the environment.

SOLAR POWER IS A POLLUTING INDUSTRY.

On the contrary, the PV Industry does produce some chemicals and toxic materials during the semiconductor processing, but the electricity generating portion produces no toxins which is the clear winner comparatively speaking with fossil-fuel generated electricity.

PHOTOVOLTAICS IS ONLY A SMALL INDUSTRY APPEALING ONLY TO TREE-HUGGING, SMALL NICHE MARKETS.

This is a real, big business operation; one that is growing by more than 35 percent per year over the past two years. The U.S. based industry is approaching the $1 billion per year mark and provides 25,000 jobs currently. Those numbers are expected to grow by ten times by 2025.

THE COST OF PRODUCING SOLAR ELECTRICITY IS TOO EXPENSIVE AND WILL NEVER COMPETE WITH THE FOSSIL-FUEL INDUSTRY ON COST.

The cost of producing the PV modules has fallen drastically over the past 30 years. This causes the electricity cost to drop as well. In states where incentives are in place, electricity prices are even more affordable.

ALL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT HAS BEEN DONE. THIS IS WHERE THE INDUSTRY ENDS.

This is not at all true, as with any industry there is constantly new research and discoveries being made every day. The manufacturing of solar energy is still in its infancy and there is a lot that remains to be discovered.

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