14 Pros and Cons of Solar Energy – Must Read Before Buying
Let’s be honest. Who would not love the idea of producing their own energy for free and also reducing their carbon footprint? I want it. However, placing some solar panels on your rooftop is not going to make you energy independent or zeroing your electricity bills. Let’s see what science and debunk some myth.
Pros Solar Panel
Cons Solar Panel
Electricity Bill Savings
Not Energy Independent
Home Value Increase
Not For Low Bills
Affected by Surroundings
The Shockley Limit
Cheap Solar Panel Trap
Disposal Not Ready
Support the Economy
No For Flats
Easy to Monitor
I am an electrical engineer, and despite not having (yet) solar panels myself (still in the process of purchasing my first house!) it is something that I will definitely go for. However, we need to be realistic in terms of expectations and misinformation.
Pros of Solar Energy
The pros of solar energy (or better to call them photovoltaic panels to avoid confusion with thermal solar) by far outweigh the disadvantages in most cases. From the obvious bill saving to even helping your local economy. Let’s check it out.
Solar panels convert the coming light (solar energy or properly called electromagnetic radiation) into electricity. This electricity will replace the one you normally withdraw from the cables that supply your house that you pay to your supplier.
The money saved in the electricity bill is proportional to:
- Surface: the larger the area in your roof (or van) that you cover with a solar panel the larger the bill saving. Double the surface of panel area, double the savings;
- Rooftop orientation: if your roof is south oriented you are going to make the highest savings;
- Weather: sunny winter and summer will make the energy savings massive in the long run;
- Your consumption: if your electricity bills are high, depending on the local incentive in place, you are more likely to have higher savings compared to a lower consumption case;
CO2 Removal (Indirect)
Solar panels do not directly remove CO2, but they do a great job of doing this indirectly. How? Every appliance that is running in your house is using electricity. Even that little red light on your smart TV. If it is ON, it is consuming.
Such energy comes from faraway power plants where fuel (carbon, gas, oil, mainly) is burnt to produce hot water (yes, you read well) and steam. This, expanding in 100+ tons of steel turbine will produce the electricity that, after traveling a few hundred miles, will reach that little red led light on your smart TV.
During the burning process, tons of CO2 are emitted. In the USA only, from government statistics, around 60+ million tons of CO2 are produced. This is an average of around 2 tons CO2 per second! Hence, if you withdraw less energy from the network (by producing your own) you are going to reduce the fuel burnt and, as a consequence, the CO2 emission. How much?
Every kWh of energy that your solar panel produces prevents 1 pound of CO2 in the atmosphere based on the USA as well as some European countries like the UK.
Then, it is sufficient to multiply the yearly energy produced by your potential solar panels (your solar panel provider must give you this information in a free/entry fee assessment) and you know how much you are contributing to reducing your carbon footprint.
Price Protection: Being Out Of The Market
It is quite an obvious statement that a solar panel offers you energy (in kWh remember) but there is more than that that meets the eye. Not only because you are saving money by not buying energy but also because you are (partially) out of the market.
Indeed, as an energy producer, you are not subjected to the energy price fluctuations that all your other neighbors do. The retail electricity energy price in the USA in the last 20 years raised by 56% (from 6.8 to 10.6 p/kWh). This is a massive increase in your energy bill!
Of course, the next 20 years might be different, however, chances are that the energy will get higher and higher. This is not only confirmed historically but it is also inevitable due to the large investment that many governments around the world need to face to adapt their infrastructure to host all those new sources of electricity and large “new appliances” (electric vehicles, electric heat pumps, solar panels, batteries, etc…).
Having a solar panel that produces you a certain amount of kWh makes those kWh every year more valuable because, if you would buy them in the market (suppliers), they will get more and more expensive!
Electricity Where There is None
Wherever you have sun and space you can place solar panels for free energy. This is a massive game-changer for those without electricity (off-grid users).
Are there people off-grid and why?
You might have a field where you want to grow vegetables (a friend of mine does!) but it is so far from the town that there is no electricity. If you ask your network operator you will likely be charged quite a bit for it (tens of thousands of dollars for the “connection costs”). That’s why a solar panel installation can be very handy especially if you do not have massive energy requirements. In such a situation you are likely also to have lots of space.
Another application where solar is a great option for off-grid users is for cleaning water, providing energy to small machines, or using on top of an RV.
Of course, for this off-grid installation (when you are not supplied by anyone else) a battery is a must. You will still not be able to replicate the reliability and consistency of the actual network (if not with great investment and space) but if the option is the total absence of electricity, then solar panels are a great alternative.
Increase The Home Value
I recommend installing solar (more on this later) on the home you own. If you do so, and for any reason, you decide to move after a few years, your house can be sold for definitely a higher price than its real value.
Do you know that, based on research, a house equipped with solar panels can be sold for 13% higher? Hence, if your home is worth $150,000 this means an extra value of $19,500 on average.
A decent size solar panel system is nowadays cheaper than that. Besides, I do not think you are going to sell the house the day after installing the solar panels, especially considering the hassle in choosing, buying, installing, and maintaining them. This will give you time to ripe some of the savings of the solar panels.
As a house buyer, I would be delighted to pay extra for a house retrofitted with a solar panel where all the hard work has been done. I would just open the door and start saving from day zero on the electricity bill.
Many governments around the world are spending an interesting portion of their budget in the renewable sectors creating new jobs. In the solar sector alone, around $1.3 trillion (yes, with a t) have been spent worldwide.
This promotes innovation and so improvement in technology. In the last 10 years, the solar panel efficiency has increased by around 20% (blue lines in this interesting NREL table). Lots of research and design material has been done to achieve such results.
In the future, I definitely expect further improvements. However, for engineering reasons that I will discuss later the efficiency will not rise furthermore (due to some limitations) if not a total technology change is done. Way more likely the innovation will reside with the introduction of new types of solar panels. They will be lower in efficiency, cheaper but the focus will be to integrate them more into your daily life.
How? Have you ever heard of flexible solar panels? Yes, they exist and they are already commercially sold. A great plus for very mobile people in their RVs
What about transparent solar panels? The University of Michigan is pretty known for this on the field.
Their idea is just great! Converting the part of the sunlight we do not see, in energy. The advantage. The solar panel can be used as windows. If this gets reality this can be used everywhere and, even despite not being extremely efficient, their impact can be significant. Imagine producing energy just from your windows.
Countless countries around the world committed, more or less officially, to reduce their carbon footprint. This, at the government level, implies politicians scratching their heads and writing policy that allocates money to householders like us to increase the use of the solar panel. These schemes are the so-called government-incentives.
One of the most famous is the “federal tax Credit”. As discussed by the US Department of Energy, this is a tax credit scheme that can be claimed on a portion of the income taxes for a portion of the cost of the solar panel. You can claim up to 22% of the cost of the installation.
On top of that, you might also find that the state you live in (due to some further legislation they need to obey) might top up the incentive providing even more money to the house owners.
The council of some cities, particularly open-minded and with large budgets, might also decide to provide a further incentive to their citizens.
As this was not enough, there is a swarm of private-based incentives that can (or cannot, depending on the area you live) used at the same time as the others mentioned before. Private companies like utilities (those that sell you the electricity) or solar panel providers (those that sell you the solar panel system) might provide some kind of discount on the solar panel system in exchange (usually) for a fraction of the energy you produced for a certain period.
Which incentive to apply? Very difficult to tell as this strongly depends on the area you live and the time considered (such incentives come and go).
The best place to start is the database of State Incentive for Renewable & Efficiencies. This goes by state based on your zip code. Do not forget to have a chat with your installer, if it operates in your area as definitely know all the laws on the matter. However, be careful that it might have some interest to advertise its own incentive rather than the government ones. So, just watch out.
If you are interested in the topic just drop me a comment below and I can try to help more.
Despite solar panels might look quite they last 25 years, and quite commonly more than 30.
Why does the solar panel last so long? Solar panels are probably the longest-lasting type of renewable generators as they do not have any mechanical moving parts. The only stress they undergo is the one given by the outdoor weather conditions such as rain, snow, wind, heat, and cold.
Regarding mechanical stress, high-quality solar panels are built to resist hail storms, water, and even kids throwing balls at it (to not forget a car on top of them!).
Indeed, when you buy a solar panel system nowadays, it is not uncommon for them to come with a 25 years warranty. This should make you secure that your blue (or black) panels will produce free energy for more than 2 decades.
However, what is their efficiency over the years? Indeed, having a 10 years old solar panel that produces half of the energy is almost useless. Is this the case? No need to worry!
Countless people have tested the “degradation rate” of solar panels and more than 2000 experiments lasting several decades have been performed and brilliantly summarized by the NREL investigation [PDF].
Due to aging, a reduction in efficiency of 1% per year can be expected for solar panels.
Is this important? Well, 30 years means a drop of 30% compared to the very first one. Hence, if your panel used to have an efficiency of 20% (high average) then, at its 30th birthday, it will be 14% (100-30=70% of 20%).
If you consider the average price at which USA citizens are buying electricity raised by more than 50% in the last 20 years, then I would say that you are still saving quite a bit of money even with a 30 years old panel.
This is quite obvious. Once you have a roof in a sunny location, you can produce energy as long as your house is standing. However, this might not be true.
Indeed, in the area, I live the building expansion is quite rapid and over the last few years, I saw giant buildings appearing from nowhere. This can be a problem for your investment if they cast shadows on your solar panel.
However, if you live a bit on the outskirts of the city and you own the land (or a large garden ) around your house, this is a very remote possibility.
This is another advantage despite not many people talking about it. Electrically wise solar panel systems are quite simple. It is mainly a plug and plays.
Hence, if for any reason, you decide to install a smaller amount of solar panels (just half of your roof) and then you want to expand by adding more, this is possible. However, it is something that I do not recommend.
Indeed, planning wise, it is better to allocate the solar panels for the maximum available space from the start. If this is not done properly the few initial panels might be centered on the roof preventing other panels to be placed around them.
Moreover, new panels, even if they fit perfectly around the old ones, might require a new inverter. Two inverters are more expensive than a single larger one making the overall system more expensive (as also you will have two installation costs). Finally, you might end up with two monitoring systems if you use a different solar provider.
So, the option is available, but it is something I would not go for.
This is related to how this type of renewable generator works. Long story short, a solar panel moves electrons (invisible particles if you are not familiar with them) thanks to the solar energy received.
Hence, the panels themself do not make any noise. However, if you are planning to have a solar panel yourself, or you already have it, you know that the solar panels are not the only component you have to take care of.
Indeed, you also have the inverter. This can create a very subtle noise due to its fan in action when it gets to hoot. However, these are comparable to your computer fan, so very quiet if you do not stand too close to it. Besides, the inverter is usually not close to your living room, bedroom, so solar panels are extremely quiet devices.
Help The Local Economy (and Beyond)
The investment you make for a solar panel is fuelling the economy in a large variety of ways beyond what you can imagine. The key components in the solar panel production chain are:
- Material Producers: these are often located in other countries such as China as the main producer nowadays of silica (the most important material in solar panels);
- Transport (USA): these are the fleet of people responsible for transporting the raw material such as silica, metal through tracks within the country;
- Manufacturer (USA – local): involved in assembling the raw material to create the solar panel. Those are generally USA-based if you buy top quality solar panels. This might be even located in your area;
- Vendor (USA – local): This is the local company that usually buy the solar panels from the manufacturer and take the agreement to sell in the area where you live;
- Installer (USA – local): These people might be part of the vendor company or subcontractors. These are part of your local community as they are responsible for the area.
This implies that there are more than 300 thousand people in the USA working in some part of the solar sector chain.
So, when you buy a solar panel system, you are helping, indirectly, all those workers, mainly USA based.
Solar panels are the renewable generation with the lowest maintenance level (by far).
I had a chat with a few solar panel house owners and many of them told me that they spent years without any maintenance. All were limited to removing some snow from the panel or spraying some water on top to remove dust/pollen after a windy day in spring.
The main problem that a solar panel might have is that the monitoring software needs a reset. This can be done by disconnecting and reconnecting the solar panels (and monitoring system) through a switch usually located outside;
The only component might need replacement before the 25 years might be the inverter. In this case, it might have a warranty of 10 years indicating that you might need to buy another one within the lifespan of your solar panel system.
Solar panels, nowadays, come almost by default with a monitoring system that allows you to know in real-time how much your panel is producing. This system needs an extra piece of equipment that comes in a separate metal/plastic box on the wall (in addition to the ones for the switches and the inverter).
The capability of the monitoring system changes from manufacturer to manufacture. However, you will be generally able to check:
- How much your solar panel system is producing. This might be even at a single panel level. This is important to check if there is any problem. If a panel is producing way less than the others something might be on top of it might broken;
- Check the daily or even hourly production for any day in the past. This is very important if you want to project how much energy you are going to save. This figure indeed remain constant year after year;
Such monitoring data is accessible online through your laptop or even (sometimes) a phone app.
Cons of Solar Energy
Solar energy is great, no doubt about this. However, as an engineer and half scientist (I still have my Ph.D. somewhere!) I need to be thorough in my discussion. So time to face the limitations.
Your Roof Matter
If you believed that just having a roof was enough to install a solar panel and enjoy free energy, well, you need to consider it twice.
The orientation of your roof imposes the orientation of the solar panel lying on it. If you live in the USA (then above the equator) your panels should be south oriented. If you are unlucky to have a north-oriented house the solar panel can be still installed. However, they are going to be less profitable and you might need a few more years before they pay back themselves.
Just to make an example, a north-west (azimuth of 135 degrees for the expert) facing solar panel (assuming the ideal inclination) produces around 40% less energy compared to its south-facing counterpart (number coming out by playing with PVGIS, a good software I use to quantify the benefits of a PV installation).
NREL report [PDF] indeed clearly claims that panels installed “facing northwest through northeast should not be installed”. I totally agree.
The Myth of Energy Independence
I read quite a few people discussing the advantage of being energy independent. However, be careful. This is very likely not the case. Not because I do not believe it is not going to happen (something I am aiming for as well) but because in a normal house cannot be achieved with a solar panel system alone. Indeed, even if you have a massive roof, in a sunny town, your solar panel system will not be able to provide all the energy you need when you need it.
Indeed, first, you need a battery to provide energy when there is no sun (at night and on a cloudy day). Second, what about the size? You will very likely need your roof and your whole garden. What about when your solar panel does not work?
Energy independence can be reached. However, it is so much more than having a large solar panel. You need a diversity of energy resources such as wind (some friends of mine have even small hydro as they live close to small rivers).
You need backup and you also need a mind shift. The way you use electricity should be more disciplined (higher use when it is more abundant) as nowadays, we can withdraw as much as we can, whenever we can, without thinking.
This something kind of obvious but sometimes its consequences get forgotten. The solar panel system (at least the most regular one) has panels that are individually screwed (through a frame) to the roof of your house. Hence, you cannot move them.
If you decide to sell your house, the solar panels you paid for are going to stay with your old properties and you need to go through the same process again in the new property.
Hence, I would go through the buying process of a solar panel system only if I am sure I am going to stay in a given property for at least 10 years.
This for many people is a key factor in deciding whether or not going for a solar panel on their roof. Indeed, this is a system that costs thousands of USD dollars, not a small investment.
Remember though, it is very likely that the price you have in mind, if you did not do some research already, is an overestimation. This is because the price of a solar panel is dropping constantly year after year.
As discussed in an IRENA report [PDF] a reduction of 74% in total installed costs of a solar PV model was observed between 2010 and 2018 alone.
Why did the cost of solar panels drop so much? The number of solar panels units produced in the last 10 years grew exponentially by many folds due to government incentives all over the world. Solar panels became a mass-produced product. Dozens of different manufacturers over the years improved their production process to reduce the price and have a larger market share. This drove a positive price drop spiral over the years.
However, I personally would not expect a further 70% decrease in price in the next 10 years. This technology is likely to reach a plateau due to some not changeable cost of material and production.
Not Worth if You Pay Low Bills
The average American has a bill of around USD$115 per month as discussed in this government report [PDF].
This number can vary depending on the place you live (if you use gas or electricity to warm your house) and the season you are considering. In winter expect a higher bill, not only for heating but also because we tend to spend more time indoors looking for entertainment that inevitably comes from your TV, computer (or nice 3D reality system helmet).
However, what if your bill is already low, let’s say on the $40-50 per month? In this case, I would not opt for a solar system as the reduction in the energy bill will be minimal. In this special case, the main revenue source comes from the price of the energy injected into the network.
In this case, you need to dig into the offer and incentives available. If the energy you inject into the network from the solar panel is paid at least the same amount of the energy you normally pay in your bill (check the cost per kWh, on average is 13c per kWh) then the solar panel is still a very profitable option. The more valued is the energy you inject into the network compared to the one that you produce, the more lucrative can be a solar system.
You also need to check the way the payment is done. If the extra cash you make by selling your energy comes in the form of a bill discount, I would definitely stay away. Why? Because you pay so little electricity, likely, you are not going to use all those credits, especially if they have an “expiration date” (you need to check the incentive). What is going to happen in 10 years from now, when you will have thousands of dollars in credit with a yearly bill of 500 dollars or so? Again, another thing to look at.
Finally, but not least, your supplier must be able to provide a second meter to monitor the energy you produce into the network. If this is not the case (more on this later) then your investment might be affected.
Weather Dependent and Intermittent
This looks quite an obvious disadvantage. At night time your panel produces zero and on cloudy day way less than normal. However, there should be no uncertainty from your side whether a solar system is economically convenient or not because of the weather in your area.
Even though we are still pretty bad at predicting the weather even the day after, we have plenty of satellites and weather stations. There are tons of available (often free) data on every area you can think of (including yours) regarding how much sun it gets every year. This is more than enough to understand how many kilowatt-hours (kWh, the energy that you are going to save) and so how much your bill is going to be reduced.
Of course, this estimation might not match what is going to happen, but in a year, I would not expect a difference of more than 15% from it.
Such estimation comes from the company providing the panel. If you do not believe them you can always use a great tool called PVGIS (probably the same solar company selling you the panel is using). It is free and for everyone.
Another thing to remember
A cloudy day does not mean zero energy production. Your solar panels will still produce energy even in a dense cloud-covered sky. How much depends on how thick and dark are the clouds. On average, on a very cloudy day, a solar panel can still produce at least 10% of the energy it produces on a clear sky day (more details on this academic study).
Your Surroundings Matter
No matter how sunny or how large your roof is. If you are surrounded by large trees, other buildings, or anything that can cast a shadow, then you need to reconsider or abandon your solar panel project.
What you need to look at, on a sunny day, is how much shadow and when it is cast on your roof. If only a portion of your roof is interesting, then go ahead by avoiding that area. If you can move what is casting the shadow without massive expenditure, that I would consider this option.
If more than half of the roof is covered in shadow (especially from 10 am to 2 pm), then I would probably not consider the project or opt for a smaller solar installation size.
This something that should not stop you at all from having a solar panel. Indeed, despite not being impossible, roof damage caused by solar panels are rare and only due to bad installation procedure.
The installation might slightly vary depending on the roof but in general, the installer will drill the roof in several points. This will allow you to fix on it a couple of long and thin metal track supports where a row of the panel will be slide in. During this drilling, you will have the chance that water can come through the holes during heaving rain if not properly sealed.
Moreover, check the tiles after the work is done, when the installer is still there! It is not uncommon for installers to break them. How they behave in this situation depends on how they agreed on the installation contract.
The Shockley Limit
I guess that none mentioned this to you before. This is something that none talks about.
Independently from the amount of research and money spent, the current solar panel technology will never reach an efficiency higher than 31%. In real life, likely no higher than 28-29%.
Hence, one century from now, the current solar panel technology, if still around, cannot convert more than a third of the solar energy into electricity. It is still an impressive amount, but forget an efficiency of 100% (or even 40%).
This is the famous Shockley–Queisser limit that caps the amount of solar energy that can be converted into electricity. This is a heavy physics concept (proven) that is based on how solar panels work. This is a quantum limit of the photovoltaic effect (here for some hardcore physics [PDF]).
No For Flats
If you own or live in a flat having a solar panel, unfortunately, is not an option as the roof is usually communal (or, more often than not, you don’t have permission to place anything on it).
Another alternative, although I never did it, is to use your balcony. You can create a small roof and place some 1-2 modules on top. Of course, this will be the equivalent of a few hundred watts only of power. However, it can be profitable if your balcony is south oriented in a very sunny area. You can also get creative by leveraging your balcony better. This is also likely to be a DIY project as not many installers will be able to do it.
Here one warning is necessary: be careful about the “appearance” of the block of flats. At least in my area, it is required to ask permission from the council (even if you own the flat) to introduce types of structural changes that might alter the look and uniformity of the building. Hence, ask your neighbor or friends in your local area if altering the balcony with a small roof is such a type of change that might trigger problems.
Cheap Solar Panel Trap
For almost everything in existence, you can find a cheap version and an expensive one. From a pair of shoes to a pizza margarita. The same applies to solar panels. However, cheap solar panels are something that I would avoid altogether especially for the installation cost.
True, you save money, but only at first. Indeed, they will last way less than branded ones (check the warranty and avoid anything below 25 years). Replacing them will again require a new installation cost (remember, you need also to consider the price to dismantle them) that overall it will likely cost you more than buying a good quality one from the start.
Also “playing around” by removing and replacing panels and supports (if different from the ones of the initial manufacturer) implies more stress for the roof and potential higher damage.
Cheap solar might only be a good idea in case you use them on RV. In this case, having a solar panel that lasts 5 yeast is not that bad. However, cheap panels have also lower efficiency, something that I would not recommend for an RV as you might have already little anyway.
No doubt that a good quality solar panel can last 30 years or more as discussed before with a little decrease in performance. However, it is not eternal. At some point, you need to get rid of it.
This is a problem. Indeed, solar panels are classified as e-waste. They have a significant fraction of hazardous material (cadmium, lead, copper, etc…) and in the USA, as for now, there is not a sufficiently developed infrastructure [PDF report] in place to handle the future demand. This is going to be a massive issue when the first wave of old solar panels we hit the market 20 years from now.
There is no national program for solar system recycling. This means in simple words that many broken solar panels end up in landfills. This has pushed some states such as Washington, California to develop their own solar panel recycling policies. These first pioneers are very important as they lay down the way for other states to follow
Batteries For Independence: Expensive
Having batteries is not necessary to make full use of your solar panels. The majority of homeowners do not have any installed and they are very happy with their solar panels
The only case I do retain important on having batteries with your solar system is when you aim to grid-independency. This identifies the trend of those that, for one reason or another, aim to not use grid electricity. It is a very noble purpose, as you are reducing to zero your carbon footprint related to your electricity consumption. This is also needed for those that live in remote areas.
However, this is only possible with batteries that store the excess energy to use when the sun is not shining. The problem with batteries is that they are extremely expensive. At the moment, the easiest plug-and-play alternative for house owners is the Tesla PowerWall that alone easily costs more than the whole solar panel system.
I do believe battery prices will drop. But this might take a while and it will happen quite abruptly. The problem is that scientists and engineers did not find another way to store energy more efficiently (and economically viable) than the very old Lithium-Ion (despite course some improvements).
Better If You Own The House
Installing a solar panel system on the roof of a house that lasts more than 30 years is definitely a permanent change like creating a small room. Would you do it in a house you do not own? Probably not, and for a good reason.
First, all your effort will remain with the landlord if you did not agree to some kind of share expenses or if you do not stay at least 10-15 years to have the money through bill savings. This is a very long time.
Second, this is a structural change for which you need to ask permission from your landlord. Despite having a solar panel as discussed before does increase the value of the property, many landlords cannot be bothered with having them. It is a hassle also in terms of documentation especially if you ask them through a contract (as you should) to share part of the expenses based on how long you are going to stay in the property.
Hence, despite not being impossible, just avoid it and find a way to have your own house. It is not worth the effort in my opinion.
This came to me as a surprise, to be honest.
Indeed, a friend of mine (Anna) is quite disappointed with her solar system as she will not be able to take advantage of one of the most common incentives (she lives in Texas) called “net metering”. In simple words this is the possibility, provided by the electricity supplier (this is the company whose name appears in your electricity bills), to inject the excess generation of the solar panel in the grid and buy it at later stages when needed. This happens when the solar panel produces more energy than you are consuming (a sunny Wednesday morning while you are in the office).
Due to this inability of the supplier (that needs to install a special meter) Anna, she is losing money, especially during summertime. At the moment she might be thinking of changing suppliers but again, this is a hassle you want to avoid.
This, more than a disadvantage, is one of the main reasons why so many do not jump on this opportunity. Solar panels are a great system that for many of you is very likely to be a viable option. Besides, in the USA as well around the world, there are still financial incentives (despite being less lucrative than before) that allows them to rip out even more benefits from this system.
I do believe that 5, max 10 years from now, such financial advantages will not be in place.
However, it is an overwhelming process given also the high capital expenditure. You are spending close to a grant anyway. Just take one step at a time starting from having a consultation with some local professionals for some quotes. Have a chat with people that already have it.
There are ways to save money (like installing the system yourself) but it is something I do not recommend, especially if you do not have the experience.
It was a long read but I hope the main points to let you understand the basics of the solar panel system have been laid out. Here some key takeaways
- Solar panels are a good investment given the ability to provide free energy for more than 2 decades, their low maintenance, the absence of noise, and the large variety of federal, city-based financial schemes available;
- Solar panels require a large roof and sunny area to make the most of it and are the most convenient when the owner has a medium/high electricity bill;
- A solar panel system is expensive, mainly due to the panel itself and the inverter;
- Solar panels have a negative carbon footprint, especially considering their long lifetime