Experts Pick: Are Solar Panels Worth It?

Solar power is intended to be a sophisticated option to our dual issues of high energy expenses and climate change. However, it looks like the technology has actually been on the verge of a breakthrough for years, offering neither sophistication neither much of a remedy along the road, thanks in huge part bulky equipment and complicated rates. So it’s reasonable to ask yourself: Is solar actually ready for show time?

Well, a great deal has actually changed over the last few years. Solar isn’t simply for hippies and scholastic disputes any longer. Panels are appearing on the roofs of residences across the country while assisting to power everything from road lights and speed traps to buses and spacecraft. Solar ability has actually increased by approximately 58% annually since 2010, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, as its expense has actually dropped by approximately two-thirds. Solar-panel installments are likewise anticipated to double over the next 2 years.

Nevertheless, there’s a large distinction between increased usage and mainstream adoption. And the average customer’s greatest obstacles to access are an absence of knowledge with the item along with inquiries over just how much, if anything, solar panelists can anticipate to conserve in both the short and long-term. Besides, nobody intends to make a years-long dedication when a much better alternative is nearby.

With that in mind, we assembled a panel of leading specialists in the areas of ecological scientific research, consumer studies, economics and energy policy to assist in linking the dots for you and your budget. We asked one basic concern– “are solar panels worth it?”– and got a wealth of informative reactions that come down to 9 Yes ballots, 3 Maybes and no straight-out Nos. You can meet these specialists and have a look at their total remarks listed below. This will certainly inform you every little thing you require to learn about whether solar panels are a great financial investment.


Yes, Solar Panels Save Money



  “Let’s start by agreeing that we as a society must shift off fossil fuels in a big way and soon. Humans simply can no longer afford to add gigatons of carbon dioxide to our atmosphere each year. On that there is no debate. So then the question becomes if solar panels are the right solution for a homeowner to participate directly in this global shift. The answer to this question is resoundingly ‘yes,’ and the proof just keeps growing. For one thing, the price of electricity continues to climb both here and around the world, and the cost of solar energy systems continues to fall. Once almost inconceivable, solar energy is now cheaper than grid electricity in some places, and clearly it is a matter of time before that is true in most places.”

Seth B. Darling // Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory

“In 2012, [Massachusetts] taxpayers spent about $261 to subsidize a megawatt of electricity from solar panels. This was about equal to the $303 saved by each megawatt of electricity generated by solar panels. This comparison indicates that ratepayers got their money’s worth. And the investment looks like a bargain when we consider the environmental benefits of solar panels. So from this perspective, yes solar panels are worth it!”

Robert K. Kaufmann // Professor, Boston University

“Since the ‘fuel’ for solar panels is free, the vast majority of the costs are in the capital investment of the system. Fortunately, there are many solar companies that will install and maintain a solar system for little or no up-front cost and provide you the electricity at a fixed rate over the system’s lifetime, which is generally 20 years or more. No more worries about utility rate increases. The bonus here is that you are doing your part to reduce the impacts on the planet by generating clean electricity.”

Carol J. Dollard // Energy Engineer, Colorado State University

“Yes, solar panels are worth it. They save money on electricity bills while cutting back on emissions harmful to both humans and the environment. And lest you think your climate is not sunny enough, remember Germany, with a climate similar to Seattle or Anchorage, leads the world in installed solar capacity. We’d all be better off if individuals would take this opportunity to save more money.”

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