Myths and Facts

All of us have at least heard of the term, ‘solar power’; but how much do we really know about it? Countless myths surround solar power and to put an end to these misunderstandings, the Clean Energy Council (CEC) released a fact sheet.

Setting the record straight: The CEC on solar PV myths

All of us have at least heard of the term, ‘solar power’; but how much do we really know about it? Countless myths surround solar power and to put an end to these misunderstandings, the Clean Energy Council (CEC) released a fact sheet.

  1. Solar panels are extremely costly.

    The production and installation cost of solar power systems has declined tremendously over the years and the price still continues to drop. The cost of a rooftop solar panel today as compared to fifty years ago is cheaper by 500 times. So we have established
    that solar power cost has gone down immensely in the recent years; but how does it fare, in terms of price, to traditional energy sources such as coal and gas? While solar power cost has been declining, the price of fossil fuels continues to rise.
    Adding up the cost of installation, operation, and maintenance, the cost of the two power sources are almost the same and in just a few years, solar will be the cheaper option.

  2. The reason electricity bills are rising is because of solar subsidies.

    This is untrue since subsidies for local solar power only account to about six percent of typical household electricity bills and this is expected to decrease further in seven years. In reality, the two biggest components of electricity bills are network
    costs (which amount to 40-50% of bills) and generation costs (20-30%).

  3. Solar panels are usually set up poorly.

    The installation of solar panels and inverters in Australia are strictly regulated and all solar installers are qualified electricians and have undergone various trainings regarding solar power systems.

  4. Solar systems are the main reason for expensive grid upgrades.

    The fact, however, is that grid upgrades are compelled by the escalating ‘peak demand’ as the population rises and more electric appliances are being used in particular days of the year. In order to meet this demand, additional infrastructure is being
    built which require huge investments.

  5. Solar panels are costly alternatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    This is untrue because cutting carbon emissions is just an additional advantage of using solar power and must not be compared to other gas emission schemes as its main purpose is to provide electricity.

  6. Solar can’t make a substantial contribution to the energy needs of Australia as it can only produce power during the day.

    Solar is already making great impact and has been proven to help lessen the overall demand for electricity in recent years.

  7. Renewable energy can’t contend with fossil fuels financial wise.

    What most people don’t realize is that the fossil fuel industry is heavily subsidized by the government. In addition, the diverse impacts it cause to the environment and people’s health tops the worth of the electricity it produces.

  8. Most solar panels are from China so only few Australians benefit from the industry.

    While it is true that the majority of solar panels are imported, there are thousands of Australians working in the local solar industry. In 2011, for instance, over 14, 000 solar power jobs has been recorded.

  9. Advancement in solar research is necessary to lower the cost of solar power systems, thus the subsidies from the Australian government doesn’t help.

    Studies show that the primary cause of the decline of solar power cost is not advancement in technology but instead, the increased competition in the market. The assistance coming from the government help build the scale of the industry and in turn impacts
    the level of competition in the market and the cost of local installation of solar power systems.

  10. Only the rich benefit from the green schemes.

    Research show that the utmost fraction of solar installations comprises households with fixed, lesser income.

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