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Pros and cons of solar panels?

by Janice Heath (follow)
Home (187)      Environment (71)      Saving Money (6)      Sustainability (5)      solar (3)     


solar panels roof


Solar panels seem like a really good idea. Are there any downsides though such as damage by weather? Do they save you money? How often do they need to be replaced? What's your experience with solar panels either fixed or portable?

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I think they can be quite expensive to buy and install, though a lot of places you can get grants to cover some of this cost. There is also an argument against them that says the environmental cost of manufacture is greater than the benefit, so although they seem like a green option they are not really.
On the plus side, everyone I know who has them has saved a lot of money off their electricity bill!
Would the environmental cost of making them actually be greater than their benefit? They can last for decades, so that doesn't sound right to me.

There used to be government grants here in QLD for them but that's gone now, so they are expensive to install but pay for themselves eventually.
Personally, I don't own solar panels, but would very much like to. And, the only con I can see may be the cost t purcahse and install them. I haven't heard that the environmental cost of manufacture outweighs the benefit. And, honestly, that doesn't sound plausible. The manufacture of something that produces no waste and harnesses nothing but the sun's energy has got to impact the environment much less than the clearing of ecosystems, the death of those organisisms within those systems, the degradation of soil and watersystems and the hacking of the earth to extract coal, which is then trasported using steam engines and trucks. Sorry, VerityG, this sounds like a rant! But I'm just thinking a comment like that must've been cookd up by somebody whose livelihood depends on the failure of solar panels.

Moreoever, if you produce enough energy, you can sell it back to the grid. So, while you may be 'forking out' a large sum of money at the beginning, you are very much investing in and for the long term.
by Vee
We have 12 solar panels on our roof and pay ZERO electricity bill - that is quite fantastic. We received a local council grant to cover some of the cost initially, and they are paying themselves off over several years with electricity savings. The only trouble so far has been pruning a nearby tree so that its shadow does not reach the solar panels.
by Lucy
No power bill? That's awesome!
I've only had solar panels for a few months, but so far I like having them. We are producing more electricity than we use so they are going to save us heaps of money. Weather damage could happen, but we don't have any big trees nearby that could fall on them. Reputable solar companies offer warranties and their panels last a long time.
We don't have them so don't really know all the pros and cons. Do like the concept, though.
I'm a plumber an I had too take 2 large panels off roof as they froze an burst never seen it before but they were not covered so customer had to buy new panels

More Pros than cons, I believe they are a great thing to have and can save money and save the Government and local Government the cost of having to build more power stations.
I believe all new subdivisions should have solar to offset the cost of needing to build further power stations.

Farley
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