Setting the solar story straight

With the ability to be rapidly deployed and scaled, featuring powerful output and environmentally friendly practices, solar is the superhero of renewable energy. pv magazine has launched a crusade against the misinformation and myths often spread about photovoltaic technology. It’s called the solar superhero campaign and the weapon of choice used to shatter the PV myths? Super solar facts. Click on the following links to discover more; and spread the word via our infographics.

Myth 1: PV is too expensive

Late last year, Reuters reported that solar PV, "is up to eight times more expensive than conventional forms of power like coal and gas." However, the reality just doesn’t stack up to the rhetoric. The cost of PV has fallen fast and is becoming cheaper by the day.

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Myth 2: PV increases bills

Electricity prices in many parts of the world are increasing. Often on the back of these increases, renewable energy is seen as the main culprit. But is this really the case?

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Myth 3: PV is too inefficient

It is a common criticism hurled at solar PV that solar panels are just too inefficient. However, with the wide range of research taking place, from research institutes, to R&D programs from module makers and equipment suppliers, efficiency is always increasing. In fact, some novel approaches to cell design have overcome barriers, which were previously thought to exist with PV.

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Myth 4: PV doesn't work in cloudy conditions

PV does not stop functioning, just because the skies turn cloudy. The so-called perfect conditions would be blue skies, sunshine, vertical rays on the modules and cool temperatures. PV modules are usually tested at Standard Test Conditions, however real conditions vary largely. Hence, power generated by modules under cloudy conditions is also tested. This is known as low-light condition performance.

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Myth 5: PV can't compete with fossil fuels

It is often said that PV will never compete with fossil fuels or nuclear power. But the cost of PV is falling, and falling fast. Recent figures from industry analysts NPD Solarbuzz showed that module prices fell 46 percent from Q410 to Q411: this trend doesn’t look like it will turn around. The analysts predict a further fall of 29 percent in 2012, moving towards a total decline of between 43 and 53 percent over the next five years.

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Related information

Germany renewable energy infographic

Germany with 100% renewable energy

A model of how Germany would look with 100% renewable energy. Click to enlarge and share it among your family, friends and social networks.

Solar myths infographic

Be a solar superhero and share this solar myth busting infographic! Click to enlarge and share it among your family, friends and social networks.

PV's march to competitiveness