Knowing The Solar Energy Facts, Debunking The Myths



Solar energy facts sometimes have a very tough time fighting through all the lies, myths and misinformation that inexorably surround this rewarding alternative clean-energy source. Many of these untruths come simply from someone who is uneducated, and stating something they heard from a “knowledgeable source” or relative, cousin's brother or next door neighbor's sister's fiancé who “is a contractor you know.”

Sometimes they are outright lies that are intentionally bandied about as facts by the carbon-dioxide-emitting, coal-burning, atmosphere-stifling gas and electric industries that have so much to lose if the truth about solar energy were ever known on a wide-scale, grass-roots level. Solar facts are just as readily researchable and provable as the statement that 2 + 2 = 4. But we have all seen politicians, industry accountants and business bigwigs tell us that 2 + 2 is only 4 when it suits their purposes. (Enron was one of the largest energy producing companies in the world. Funny how their accountants proved our point here!)

The shame is that when solar facts are laid out in a sensible, very easily confirmed manner, more Americans do not take the next logical step to improve the air they breathe and the money they are allowed to keep by employing even the simplest of solar power plans in their lives. Much of it is fear of change, and that is as natural as the day is long. We already have a roof over our heads, we have paid for our utilities in a certain manner for our entire lives, and our parents paid the same way before us, so why change?

The fact is that this change may soon be necessitated, and not voluntary. How much carbon dioxide, smoke, smog and pollution are too much? Have we already gone too far in our wonton rape of natural resources to leave much more than a barely survivable habitat for future generations? Solar energy facts need to be spread far and wide, and each one of us has a duty to look long and hard at our own behavior, and see where we can implement even the smallest positive change.

One of the most important solar energy facts to understand regards size. In the 1980's, a massive array of expensive, inefficient solar collectors was needed to produce any noticeable amount of usable energy that could be harnessed for residential use. But the fact is that incredible technological advances now allow for a solar collector area as small as 10 feet by 10 feet to power most of the needs of the average single family American home.

Another of the most disputed solar energy facts revolves around pricing. Contrary to popular opinion/myth, an inter-tie whole-house solar power system that runs virtually maintenance and cost-free for 25+ years after initial investment can cost as little as $15,000 to $20,000. Finance this through a home mortgage loan at 6% to 8% and your savings every month far and away pay for the loan, creating a self-cannibalizing loan that actually performs better each year as energy rates go up!

But probably the coolest of the solar energy facts is the incredible versatility of this amazing technology. Used to power everything from a simple $5 garden light to a $50,000 car, from easy-to-install solar security lights to time-consuming whole-house inter-tie systems, there is an area of entry suitable for everyone. You don't have to feel forced to go all the way or not at all. Start off slow, see the benefits firsthand, and then ramp up your efforts as you see fit. But above all else, base your decisions on solar energy facts, not fables


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