Are solar panels worth it? — Online Solar Tools
Are solar panels worth it? solar is definitely worth it if we consider its potential to mitigate climate change, save businesses and homes money. Solar energy is good for creating new economic opportunities for businesses and individuals.
However, if we consider answering whether solar is worth from a solar consumer perspective or for someone that is looking to install solar panels; it may or not be worth it based on their geographical location, design of their roof or whether their roof is receiving enough sunlight based on the direction their roof is facing the Sun.
Trees could be blocking their roof from the Sun and hence not receiving enough sunlight to produce solar energy. Also, they may not have enough space on their roof or anywhere outside where they could install their solar panels.
Because the amount of solar energy is reliant on these factors, the question of whether: Are solar panels worth it? may vary based on the above settings and that’s why an assessment is necessary to determine the solar potential and hence the return on investment (ROI) if a solar consumer considers installing solar panels for their building.
Until recently, consumers could not determine this on their own and thanks to online solar tools that have made it possible for online users to determine their solar potential at the click of the mouse and they are able to generate solar potential/savings reports based on the solar irradiation hitting their roof. The technology that makes this happen is called Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR).
Using this technology, companies like EnergySage have developed online solar marketplaces with government support (under the SunShot initiative) to help solar consumers/online users wanting to know whether solar is right for them.
These tools are useful to shed the light for solar consumers on a personalized level as the data collected through LIDAR is site-specific and with just conducting initial research at the beginning, consumers can judge for themselves whether to go solar or not based on the data presented to them. In addition to the solar energy potential information analyzed for them, users are provided with additional information about financing, solar panels cost and a pool of pre-screened solar installers available in their area.
So, the question: Are solar panels worth it? I would say from a policy perspective is “YES” but from an individual perspective, “IT DEPENDS” as you may need to assess your situation first using this technology. Decision online solar tools are free to users and available to online users to help them decide whether it is actually right for them. Where a solar consumer does not have access to such tools, they may contact their local solar installer to have their assessment done for them. You can learn more about these online solar tools by visiting my blog.
I hope this will help to shed some light on the direction in which solar energy is taking. In terms of cost, the price of solar has reduced tremendously and since 2009, solar PV modules prices reduced by almost 80% and it is projected that this price will continue to reduce. For instance, in a recent study, IRENA projected a 59% cost reduction for electricity generated by solar PV by 2025.
This means from a policy perspective, solar will be worth it as it will compete with electricity sourced from coal or even fossil fuels and will reach grid parity in many states or countries around the world which. This is already happening in some countries like Brazil, Uruguay and other countries that have reported to generate solar electricity at costs below 7 US cents/kWh.
From a climate change mitigation perspective, solar energy is definitely worth it as installing solar panels of for instance a 5kW system capacity is like planting 100 trees that can help in cutting back on the level of greenhouse gases currently available in the atmosphere.
A study conducted by Earth Runs investigated a tree-math of solar panels vs trees carbon trade-off and found that a 5,000-watt solar system eliminates 5,760 lbs of CO2 per year. This figure (5,760 pounds) is equivalent or correlates to the carbon absorption capability of more than 100 trees.
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If you are a consumer looking to know whether solar is worth it for you, check with EnergySage that utilize LIDAR technology.