Head of Sales & Operations
Business Development Manager
Solar Tweet Storm: Solar Misconceptions on Twitter
July 19, 2019
In this week’s livestream, we decide to tackle some interesting views and misconceptions people have about solar via Twitter. Patrick and Gordon will do their best to provide an educational approach to some of these confused users on the internet.
Part of our job at Pick My Solar is to help bring more transparency into the solar market. We’ll start with @broyles_me and their belief that both wind turbines and solar panels are part of a “liberal scam.” First off, there is no doubt that both technologies produce power. When you look at the cost of the power generating asset, cost of kilowatt-hours, and the cost of the lifetime of the equipment, it’s a pretty simple calculus. We can concur that the costs are cheaper than utility rates and help produce power at a lower cost. Therefore, there’s no scam.
Are Solar Panels only Viable with Government Subsidies?
It’s quite common that people believe solar panels are only viable with government subsidies. Currently, 20 U.S. states are already at grid parity with utility cost of power with no subsidies whatsoever. Grid parity occurs when an alternative energy source can generate power at a legalized cost of electricity that is less than or equal to the price of power from the electricity grid. When we examine forecasting trends, we can expect that more and more states adopt this concept – with zero subsidies in the next decade. In fact, 42 states are expected to reach this milestone by 2020 operating under business as usual conditions.
Solar customers continue to support grid connection costs. The burden does not carry-on to remaining householders sans solar. In fact, solar customers still rely on the grid. For instance, when the sun goes down, they use net metering to cover costs for their stored solar energy in existing grids. Solar homeowners are still paying their utilities and are still supporting the infrastructure. One important thing to note in @markbf56’s argument regarding government subsidies is the amount of money the country spends on fossil fuel industry subsidies. That amount equates to tens of billions of dollars! Solar with no subsidies is still significantly lower.
Solar in Cold Climates
We can assume that @MedBennett’s neighbor conducted an economic analysis when considering solar panels. This is performed to account for their geographic location and climate conditions. Given this information, we know the system would produce less energy for a few days out of the year. @MedBennett’s neighbor also has the option to add more panels to their system to account for such occasions if they decide they want to account for less production. As long as homeowners conduct a full economic analysis on their annual production, lifetime production, and the total cost of their system, geographic location does not matter.
At the end of the day, when homeowners go solar, they’re locking in lower rates for energy. In fact, the first thing homeowners will notice is a decrease in their monthly electric bills. Although their system may not be 100% offset, these significant savings are one of the primary reasons homeowners decide to go solar.
In this scenario, it seems as though @codebeing may not be fully educated on the value of solar. We don’t blame him! There is a lot of misinformation about the industry, and again, at Pick My Solar, our job is to educate. Regarding @codebeing’s tweet, a 10-year payback period is not abnormal for the “Sunshine State.” Although $75,000 for a system does seem high (we have no context about the system size or amount of panels), he most likely will experience Day 1 savings. In addition, SolarCity has a 20-year warranty, and their performance warranty is 25 years. @codebeing will not need to replace anything as he should be covered.
Be sure to watch the entire video to learn more about the common misconceptions and confusion people have about solar as Patrick and Gordon continue to offer their rebuttals, shed new light on the matters all while offering an educational approach to it all.