Getting your own solar is awesome, right? We also do think so! Finally, you have your own solar rooftop and is excited to enjoy its benefits (yey!), but there are some expectations with solar energy that you must keep in mind. To help in setting more realistic expectations, we compiled some commonly-encountered assumptions about solar.
#1. The ROI you know (or what your installer told you) might not be realistic
Solar is a very intermittent source of energy. As such, computing the return-of-investment is based on averages and prior data gathered over the years. This might not be true for the years to come as you inch towards your computed ROI. Expect to see a longer ROI for your solar but at least you have a back-up energy system for your home.
#2. Solar energy alone cannot (fully) support you
Going off-grid to be fully independent from fossil fuels is a very difficult thing to achieve. For one, the weather is very unpredictable and you will always have a limited amount of area you can put solar cells. Yes, you may use batteries, but this comes with a downside of larger cost, almost doubling the cost of your system if you go grid-tied. So the reality is you will still have to look for other energy sources especially at night when there is no more sun to generate your clean energy.
#3. Solar PV = clean energy
To some extent, this statement is not fully true since to generate one solar panel, you would need to power the manufacturing plant, power the transportation system to deliver the goods you ordered and mine the raw materials. All of which utilizes fossil fuels as it is the most reliable energy source for these activities. So for each solar PV you install, it entails a certain amount of carbon emission. Though eventually, if you can use your solar PV to their full lifespan of 20 to 30 years, you eventually offset these carbon emissions in producing these solar cells by using energy that were not generated by burning fossil fuels.
#4. Warranties won’t entirely save you from the hassle
Yes, your installer or supplier provided you with a warranty but usually since these installers and suppliers buy these overseas, replacing your inverter or solar panel might take a lot of time. So you might have a system that is not even producing any electricity for days or even months, depending on how responsive your installer/supplier is. So make sure that you look for trusted installers/suppliers to save you the hassle of contacting them for updates and leaving you with a non-working system.