Solar Panels: Myth & Reality

Solar Panels: Myth & Reality

ME Green Team |

Like everything else that becomes popular, solar panels are subject to a lot of preconceived ideas. Some are myth, some are reality. I've listed them for you in this article.

It's still common to read or hear that photovoltaic panels are anything but environmentally friendly because they're made from rare earths. This is a myth. Ademe confirms it: 95% of solar panels installed in France contain no rare earths. They are mainly produced from silicon, an element obtained from quartz sand. This puts to rest a second common misconception about solar panels: that they can't be recycled. This is a myth. They can be recycled, and France is well advanced in this field. PV CYCLE, the eco-organization approved by the public authorities for the collection and processing of used photovoltaic panels in France, now estimates that 95% of panels are recycled. The remaining 5% are simply lost in the process.

If you've ever heard that solar panels don't produce electricity all the time, then it's true. The first explanation is the need for sunlight. Yes, it makes sense, but electricity is generated by reacting to the sun's rays. This means that in the evening or at night, you won't be able to rely on your panels. And you should also know that your panels will stop producing in the event of a power cut. The only way to counter this is to have a hybrid inverter and a battery with a backup function.

The government wants to encourage the energy transition, and it does so through subsidies. It's true that there are subsidies for solar panels. However, current subsidies for photovoltaic systems do not come close to covering the total cost of an installation. We're talking about 1,200 to 3,000 euros for the self-consumption bonus, the main subsidy, which is calculated according to the power of your installation. If you use our online simulator, we'll calculate this for you and give you an initial estimate of the cost of your future installation.

I should also point out that if you opt for thermal or hybrid solar panels, then you'll be eligible for MaPrimeRénov'. Depending on your income, are you expecting your solar panels to make you completely self-sufficient in electricity? Then you're in for a long wait, because this is a myth, not a reality. Photovoltaic panels enable you to produce part of your electricity consumption, and as we've just seen, they don't work in the evening or at night.

As a result, you'll need another source of electricity. A battery-powered solar system will give you greater autonomy, since you'll be able to store photovoltaic electricity during the day and use it later. But that doesn't mean you'll be totally independent of the grid.

In conclusion, there are many myths and some realities about solar panels. Unfortunately, negative preconceptions about solar panels persist, and that's a shame. Remember that photovoltaic panels are made from non-harmful materials and are 95% recycled. There is a lot of support available to help you equip your home, and when it comes to photovoltaics, the amount isn't very high. And last but not least, remember that solar panels can reduce your electricity bill, but not completely wipe it out, as they don't have the same effect on the environment.

Produce only during the day. If you'd like to learn more about solar energy, take a look at our other resources, which we hope you'll enjoy.

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