The Biggest Misconceptions about Solar Energy

The Biggest Misconceptions about Solar Energy

Solar energy pays off only when it's sunny? There are some fallacies about this kind of energy - it makes more sense, as critics say.

Error 1: Solar energy can only produce electricity

Sunbeams provide light and heat. Both energies can be used. For single-family homes, the benefits of heat energy are particularly high. Few people are aware that the demand for heat energy in residential buildings is greater than for electrical energy.

Misconception 2: Solar energy plants pay off only in the south

This statement is not true. Of course, the yield in the south is higher than in the north, but even in northern Hamburg there are an average of 1,487 hours of sunshine per year. According to estimates, up to 50 percent of energy can be saved by solar heating.

Error 3: Solar thermal energy is not suitable for heating in winter

On sunny winter days, solar systems provide sufficient heat even during frosty weather. In combination with heat accumulators and a sensible heating system, a solar system lowers heating costs even in winter.

Over the year, the plants always pay off, as in the transitional period and in summer as a rule overheating is superfluous and hot water is always required

Error 4: Solar storage is expensive

Expensive are only accumulators to store electricity. A heat storage, which stores the solar heat for the evening, is cheap and today belongs to any modern heating system that uses solar thermal. As a rule, they consist of a supply of water in an insulated vessel.

Error 5: Photovoltaics far inferior to solar collectors

Those who only compare the efficiencies come to this conclusion. A solar collector exploits 80 percent of the available solar energy under optimum conditions, while a photovoltaic module can achieve a maximum of 15 percent. But the latter can use even the energy that is contained in diffused sunlight, while the collectors do not deliver any energy under these light conditions. In addition, thermal and electrical energies can not be compared. Electricity can, for example, be transported over long distances.

Misconception 6: The production of solar cells costs more energy than they save later

This argument is absolutely not correct. Investigations have shown that photovoltaic plants generate the energy they used to produce in less than a year.

Misconception 7: There is no subsidy for solar installations

The fact is that some subsidies have been dropped. But there are still state subsidies from the BAFA funds for solar collectors, which serve the hot water and space heating. In addition, KfW funds and, in some cases, regional subsidies are available.

Misconception 8: Solar cells without storage are useless

Decentralized storage in accumulators is expensive and inconvenient. It makes more sense to use the electricity generated to a large extent, for example, by running washing machines and dishwashers when a lot of electricity is being generated.

Incidentally, feeding into the power grids and central storage makes sense. In addition to pumped-storage power plants, capacitors, flywheel storage units and compressed-air storage power plants are in operation for this purpose.

Installing a photovoltaic system: what does it cost?

We answer these and many other questions in the price radar relating to photovoltaic systems.

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