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Solar FAQ: What You Need to Know About Solar Energy

  • July 18th, 2016
  • admin

Question: Is solar energy even relevant?

Absolutely! And now more than ever. With the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, hundreds of countries around the world have committed to reducing their carbon emission output. Solar plays a big role in these reduction goals by swapping sources of carbon-emitting energy like coal and other fossil fuels, which contribute to the warming of the planet, with sources of non-carbon emitting energy. Because solar photovoltaic (PV) systems do not emit carbon pollution, they are a great option for meeting our world’s renewable energy goals.

But solar power isn’t just a good choice for our planet—it’s a good choice for your wallet. When solar first began to enter the energy market, it wasn’t the most economical option. In the early 2000s, not many people were not going solar simply because they couldn’t afford to. Today, this story has changed dramatically. Since 2009, the price of solar power in the U.S. has dropped 70% according to National Geographic, and continues to do so as researchers work hard to make solar modules smarter and smaller. And with the increased demand for solar power, more financing options are available to make solar a reality for your home. Of course, it is always important to consider factors like the location of your home and the direction your roof faces, but more options than ever exist to accommodate solar to your roof.

Question: Why should I care about solar energy?

From the cell phone in your hand to the lights over your head, our modern world runs on electricity. It powers our Netflix addiction, our jobs, and our morning coffee. If you’ve tuned into the news lately, you’ve probably heard so much about climate change and the environmental state of emergency our planet is in that “energy crisis”, “war on oil”, and “global warming” have become buzzwords that simply fade into the background.

But while these words may prompt many to change the channel or continue scrolling through the daily news stories, solar energy offers a real and immediate method of prolonging our energy usage in a way that is significantly less harmful to our planet. There is a finite supply of the fossil fuels we’ve been using while the sun’s energy exists in an infinite supply.

Solar is not the only answer to transitioning to cleaner energy sources—wind power, hydro power, and geothermal energy are just a few of the other renewable energy sources that can offset our carbon emission output. But solar energy is one of the most feasible options for homeowners looking to live more sustainably and save money on their energy bill. A solar PV system can be mounted on your home’s roof, assuming your roof is in good condition, without taking up any additional space on your property. And, depending on your budget and energy consumption, a solar PV installation can meet most or all of your energy needs.

Question: There’s a lot of misinformation out there about solar. How do I know if the information I’m finding legitimate?

As in any subject area, it is always beneficial to consult multiple sources before coming to any conclusions. Are the solar industry data matching up across sources? What kind of discussions are taking place on the affordability of solar? What do other homeowners with solar installations think? These are all important questions to keep in mind when searching for information about solar energy. News sources like the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)Clean Technica, and the U.S. Department of Energy are a few good places to find additional solar information.


Have more questions about solar? Let us know! Email your questions to info@rbisolar.com or tweet us @rbisolarinc. Stay tuned for our next FAQ installment on debunking common solar power myths.