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Solar Myths – Common Misconceptions and Prejudices About Sun Energy

Solar Myths – 10 Common Misconceptions and Prejudices About Sun Energy Debunked

Do you want to learn about solar energy myths that persist? Then you've come to the right place! In a world in which we humans are desperately seeking sustainable solutions for the biggest environmental problems of our time the sun stands like a shining ray of hope on the horizon.

This is because, unlike coal, oil and gas, solar power is infinitely available, renewable energy sources and can even be used quite easily on your own roof. Nevertheless, there are some prejudices that prevent many people from investing in a solar or PV system.

In this article, I would therefore like to introduce you to the most common myths surrounding solar energy and refute them logically. You will also learn about its most important benefits. Let's go!

1. "Solar energy is too expensive."

A persistent myth is definitely that the prices for photovoltaic and solar systems are too high. But on the one hand is an investmentwith which the consumer can rely in the long term (by generating and using their own energy and feeding it into the public grid) on save a lot of money in a sustainable way.

On the other hand, the Kcosts for solar energy in recent decades sharply declining. The main reason for this is mass production and technical progress in solar cells. And even if you don't have or can't afford the necessary "small change", solar systems can even be rented without any initial costs.

In addition State funding programs (e.g. from KfW) and/or tax incentives (e.g. VAT exemption) increases the financial attractiveness - and also independence from the energy market. Solar energy is therefore not a costly expense, but a promising investment. Just take a look with the help of of this calculatorhow big your (electricity) savings potential is and what investment costs you can roughly calculate with.

2. "Solar energy is extremely harmful to the environment."

Solar energy is said to be harmful to the environment

The fact that the production of photovoltaic modules destroys the environment is also part of the world of solar energy fairy tales. According to the Federal Environment Agency, solar cells contain no raw materials that are in short supply worldwide or in procurement (neither ecologically nor socially) problematic.1

And amortized after around 1-2 years The energy required for the production, transportation, installation, operation and disposal of photovoltaic systems without battery storage is also reduced.

Not to forget that the consumer's decision in favor of solar technology is the environmentally destructive extraction of coal, oil and gas - and the CO2 emissions that go with it - massively reduced. For example, the Climate protection driven forward (keyword: energy transition) and the Counteracting species extinction be

In addition, solar panels - just like battery storage systems - can be recycle well. The Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG) even obliges manufacturers to take back old modules. Solar energy is therefore neither expensive nor harmful to the environment. Only the ecological damage is expensivethat fossil fuels cause in the long term.

3. "Solar energy doesn't work when the sky is cloudy."

No doubt you've also gotten sunburnt at some point, even though the sky seemed to be covered in clouds all day. In the same way, the solar radiation reaches the solar cells of the PV system even whenwhen the sky is not bright blue.

The performance is then somewhat lower - but electricity is definitely still being generated, so the solar system cannot be accused of being unreliable or only working in summer.

4. "Solar systems are simply not worthwhile in Germany!"

On average, in Germany we can around 1665 hours of sunshine over the entire year enjoy. In 2022, there were even 2024 hours of sunshine. According to the German Weather Service was actually the sunniest year since measurements began - so the trend is sunny.

And Sufficient area is also available in Germany, according to the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), without provoking escalating conflicts with agriculture or nature conservation.2 Accordingly, the conditions in our regions are very good for benefiting from solar energy.

You can find out how worthwhile the investment is for you with this solar calculator*.

Tip: For the highest possible yield, the roof or PV system should be aligned to the south or east-west if possible.

5 "Solar systems increase the risk of fire and are difficult to extinguish in the event of a fire."

For once, this statement is not a misconception, but rather a persistent rumor. Of course, the risk of fire is somewhat higher with electronic technology on the roof than without it. With a professional installation can nip any major worries in the bud.

A team of researchers from the Fraunhofer ISE investigated the fire risks of solar systems between 2011 and 2015. The result? There were actually around 210 fire incidents during this period - and the building was affected in 80 of them. In the end However, only 0.006 percent of the approximately 1.5 million installed photovoltaic systems have a fire.

The risk of fire is therefore very low, especially as the technology is constantly evolving. But even if a fire does break out, the fire department can still extinguish the burning solar modules if necessary. delete without problems. So nobody needs to be afraid of solar energy.

6. "Solar systems require too much maintenance and the roof breaks during installation."

Solar systems do not require maintenance

It goes without saying that a solar thermal system must be regularly checked and maintained. If only to to prevent yield losses and electronic damage. If the maintenance obligation is not taken seriously as a consumer, the insurance company may not pay out in the event of damage.

But we are talking about solar energy myths here! In the end, the maintenance effort is not nearly as massive as many pessimists expect. It's only advisable to sign a maintenance contract with a specialist company you trust and to have about every 4 years to have a check carried out. You can sit back and relax.

And you don't have to worry about the roof being damaged when installing the PV system. The only important thing is that you have a Experienced specialist company who will select the mounting system for the solar technology to suit the roof pitch and roof structure. Ultimately, installation is neither complicated nor time-consuming.

7. "Solar systems have a short service life and their performance declines quickly."

Another stubborn misconception is that the performance of solar cells declines after just a few years, meaning that further investment is required relatively quickly. According to Fraunhofer ISE, the average service life of solar systems is at about 25-30 years.

Until then, the yield decreases due to the slight drop in efficiency by only about 0.5 percent per year off. Ultimately, even after three decades - a time when the investment has of course long since been amortized (takes around 10-11 years) - the output is still 80 percent. And if the performance is lower, you can usually still rely on the Manufacturer's warranty on the solar system appointed.

8. "Solar energy cannot be stored and generates too little energy."

And here we already have the next Solar energy A prejudice that has long since been consigned to the history books, as the technical possibilities are developing extremely rapidly. Nowadays, together with the photovoltaic system, you can also install a Battery storage install.

The combination allows Store excess energy during the day and use it laterwhen the sun is not shining.

The Consumer advice center statesthat Battery storage for private households now often worthwhile - and that this can increase both self-consumption and the degree of self-sufficiency. However, it is important not to choose a storage tank that is too large and, if necessary, to plan for sufficient space in the utility room.

9. "With small roof areas or as a tenant, I have no chance of getting solar power."

In addition to the typical solar myths, there is also the misconception that small systems are not worthwhile. Of course there are Any fixed costs during assemblyThe more solar cells there are on the roof, the more they pay off. Nevertheless, it can be worth investing in a solar system even with small roof areas. Especially if your household has a very high energy consumption - or if you want to reduce the power consumption of your Sustainable garden shed want to cover.

Incidentally, you also have the chance to use solar power if you live in rented accommodation. Don't underestimate the fact that there are also Financially (and ecologically) advantageous for landlords is when tenants generate green electricity from renewable sources. It is worthwhile for all sides to discuss the topic and the opportunities together.

10. "PV systems on the roof are ugly."

Solar systems on the roof are not ugly

When all other arguments have been refuted, opponents of solar energy like to pull out their secret weapon in discussions: the appearance of solar systems. Of course it is Matter of taste - and, as we all know, you can argue about that.

But on the one hand the design of PV technology is constantly evolving - For example, there are already solar roof tiles that make the system much less conspicuous. On the other hand, with classic PV panels, in my opinion, an even arrangement without gaps creates a fairly harmonious end result, futuristic overall picture on the roof of the house.

However, the fact that solar systems are (possibly) ugly should not be a problem given the incredibly long list of ecological and financial benefits. only a supporting role play.

Putting aside solar energy myths, seeing the opportunities and seizing them!

To allow change, to discard outdated beliefs and live more sustainablyit is extremely important to address existing prejudices and misconceptions about solar energy.

Here today, I have presented the biggest myths and debunked them one by one so that you have a clear view of the opportunities that a solar or PV system on your own roof offers you. Check directly now with this solar calculator*how worthwhile the investment would be for you.

With relatively simple means you can then (even without acquisition costs!) Save a lot of money in the long term and your Drastically reduce our ecological footprint.

"People with a sunny character find it much easier to jump over their own shadows."

Ernst Ferstl (more at Sun quotes)

I really hope that I have been able to shed some light on the subject with this article 😉

Do you have any questions, tips or your own experiences with solar technology that you would like to share? Then I look forward to your comment!

Stay open and environmentally friendly,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: Generating electricity sustainably is one thing. Reducing your own energy consumption is another. How you effectively save electricity in everyday lifeI will therefore explain this to you next in the linked article.


  1. L. Storch; Norddeutscher Rundfunk: How harmful are solar cells to the environment? (as of 26.09.2021), available at [20.02.2024]. ↩︎
  2. H. Wirth (Fraunhofer
    ISE): Current facts on photovoltaics in Germany, version dated 16.1.2024, available at, available at [20.02.2024]. ↩︎
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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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