Solar Panel Savings: What to Expect

Introduction


With the increasing global awareness of the effects of climate change and global warming, more people are turning towards solar energy which now has become the cheapest form of electricity and also the cheapest solution, for now, to turn away from fossil fuels. Solar panels aren’t just good for the environment – you can benefit from serious savings over the lifetime of your solar panel system. On average installations on solar panels can be quite expensive but will benefit in the long run. The amount saved will depend on several factors but the local electricity rates play an important role in how much can solar save you.

Ground Mounted Solar Panels

How much can solar panels save on electricity bills ?


To determine how much, they can save on electricity bills; you must first calculate how much you are currently spending on electricity every year. It should be kept in mind that if the utility prices fluctuate then so could the amount of savings. Similarly, if the energy consumption changes so do the savings. One thing that is often misunderstood is that with the installation of solar panels, your electric bill will go away entirely. This is not necessarily true. As long as it is gird connected you will always receive an electric bill. This is because a policy called net metering will let you send excess energy or that is not used immediately back to the grid in exchange for credit. This allows you to draw more energy at night but not pay any extra money, as long as you draw back the same amount or less than you provided to the grid. Even though you may receive an electric bill, it may simply indicate how many credits you have. In case of excess credits, this will be rolled over to the next month. Regardless, installing solar panels will lower your monthly bill charges and, in some cases, may eliminate your bills. With increasing investment opportunities available in today’s day and age, it’s easy to be doubtful of new products that promise to save a lot of money. Solar panels are no different – saving money by reducing your electric bill is one of the main appeals and selling points for solar as a product and home upgrade.

Incentives


Incentives are offered by the government for installing solar panels. For example, in 2017 the German parliament approved a special additional tariff between €0.022/kWh to €0.038/kWh which will be granted to tenants with PV systems on larger apartment houses. This gives the possibility for tenants to sell power to their landlords, provided that the landlord is located in the same building or nearby.

Environmental benefits


Solar panels work by capturing sunlight and turning them into electricity. They don’t produce any form of harmful emissions that contribute to global warming at all. It can even reduce your carbon footprint by 80% in one year. The US-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimated that solar power produces lifetime emissions of 40g CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour. A study published by Nature Energy was more optimistic, with estimated emissions below 21 g CO2/ kWh which is actually better when compared to the amount generated by fossil fuels coal power plants produce over 1,000 g CO2/ kWh, and even Coal power is generally above 700 g CO2 / kWh. Natural gas generation is less polluting, with emissions above 400 g CO2 / kWh. For example, a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. A 6KW solar system helps o reducing 6.3 metric tons of carbon emissions per year. This means it can comfortably offset the emissions produced by one vehicle in a year.

Energy Payback for PV


The term Energy payback refers to how long the installed system has to operate to offset the CO2 emissions that went into the making of the system in the first place. the idea that PV cannot pay back its energy investment is simply a myth. Based on the models and data examined by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Energy payback estimates for rooftop PV systems in USA is 4 years for systems using current multicrystalline-silicon PV modules, 3 years for current thin-film modules, 2 years for anticipated multicrystalline modules, and 1 year for anticipated thin-film modules.

How Much CO2 and Pollution Does PV Avoid?


According to the data examined by NREL on average, producing 1,000 kWh of electricity with solar power reduces emissions by nearly 8 pounds of SO2, 5 pounds of NO2, and more than 1,400 pounds of CO2. For a projected 28 years, the clean energy production by roof top solar panels for a 2-year energy payback which meets half of the household’s electricity use would cut down conventional powerplant CO2 emission of 100 tonnes.

Net Clean Energy Payoff

It can be seen that solar energy is a wise investment with many environmental benefits. If you are living in an area where there is more sunlight, with high energy rates, and can afford to have that initial investment in solar power then don’t hesitate to do it. It is worth installing solar panels for the good of the environment and the money. So if you decide to install solar panels in your home you can search for incentives also you don’t necessarily have to buy them you can lease them too.

AFSHIN BAKHTIARI

AE Solar Senior Engineer



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