We’ll be the first to tell you about how fantastic solar power is for the environment. But are there any circumstances where solar panels and battery storage can be bad for the environment? And how do you avoid the pitfall of buying a bad solar system for the environment?
There are huge benefits to the environment of buying solar. You create your own electricity from a renewable energy source – sunlight. Your panels and inverters will convert the sun’s energy to be used in the home. On top of that, any excess energy you generate is fed back into the grid for others to use instead of any fossil fuels. The increase in the generation of renewable energy means that less coal-powered energy is required to power our homes.
Waste From Low-Quality Solar
In our experience and from other industry experts, there is a growing problem with the components of a solar power system once they die. With a whopping 2 million homes now powered by solar in Australia, (CEC, Dec 2018), the country is well on its way to becoming a solar powerhouse. But with so many panels with limited lifetimes, we will also need to find a solution to the growing waste problem.
The quality of a solar panel makes a huge difference when it comes to a panel’s longevity. A mid-range panel will often have a lifespan of only 10 years. Top-quality panels from LG have a product warranty of 25 years – a full 15 years longer than most other panels on the market. For every one LG panel that ends up in landfill, there are almost 3 times as many panels from the cheaper brands. Panels from the better brands can be reused and resold on websites such as eBay and GumTree, however, the cheaper panels are bound to end up in landfill within a handful of years.
Inverter technology varies significantly across the market. Depending on which system you choose, you can anticipate when you will need to replace it. A traditional String Inverter will typically be warranted for 10 years, but with the cheaper systems (<$4500) you can expect to replace that inverter 2 or even 3 times within that 10 year period. Whether your original installer is around to help is an important thing to consider when choosing installers! When considering a cheaper solar system, it might cost less on the front end, however, both you and the planet can suffer after just a handful of years.
If you are looking for a system to last the length of the lifetime of the top quality LG panels, the Enphase microinverters are your only choice. With no moving parts and exceptional performance in hot Australian conditions, the Enphase technology is the longest-lasting inverter technology on the market. It is the kind of system you install once and have for decades. Put simply, this system is better for the environment than anything else.
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