The global energy crisis is a current problem of the planet, which over the years is taking on ever-increasing proportions. The consumption of natural resources, wars, manipulation of energy prices or environmental protection are just some of the reasons for research and a massive switch to alternative and sustainable sources of electricity.
One such source is solar energy, which is converted into electricity thanks to solar panels. Over the years, these devices have become recognized as very practical, achieving benefits even in micro settings, i.e. private households. That is why their sales in the world have been growing many times in recent years, and the upward trend is noticeable in all developed countries.
What are the advantages of installing solar panels?
The advantages of installing solar panels are numerous:
- Observed in the long run, solar panels significantly reduce electricity costs
- After installing the solar panels, maintaining the system requires minimal effort
- Solar panels are an environmentally friendly and sustainable form of electricity production
- The production of electricity by solar panels is independent of social, political and economic circumstances
- By producing more electricity than we need, we contribute to strengthening the local power grid, which can produce certain benefits
- Houses and apartments powered by solar energy have a significantly higher value on the real estate market
The "bad" side of solar panels
The use of solar panels also has its limiting factors:
- The production of electricity by solar panels is largely dependent on the geographical location of the object, i.e. its exposure to sunlight, and in connection with that, the time of day, climatic and meteorological conditions.
- The efficiency of solar panels largely depends on the type and slope of the roof on which they are installed
- We cannot do the installation of solar panels on our own, it must be done by professionals
- The purchase and installation of solar panels initially represents a large investment
- From the aspect of aesthetics, solar panels are not a particularly nice detail on the house
- The rules for depositing and recycling solar panels in Serbia are still not regulated
Despite all the advantages, the cost-effectiveness of installing solar panels is relative and is not guaranteed, and an adequate and precise calculation should be done by an expert.
How to calculate the profitability of solar panels?
It is interesting that we can make a rough estimate of profitability ourselves, based on the available data on electricity consumption and data on the price and performance of devices that are transparently presented on their websites by companies that install solar panels .
If we assume that the average consumption of electricity in households is about 460 kWh, a median price of kWh in Europe is about 0,2€, and assume that in most homes a third of that consumption is realized in a lower tariff (so-called "cheap" electricity), we arrive at an average amount of the electricity bill of about 92€ per month.
If by average consumption we mean the daily use of LED bulbs, televisions with LED screens, constant operation of the refrigerator and occasional use of various devices with a power of up to 3000W, our small solar power plant should have a capacity of at least 1.5 - 2 kWh. This supply of electricity can easily be provided by 6 solar panels with a power of 290W, the price of which, with all the accompanying equipment, is approximately 3000 euros.
Assuming that the slope and exposure of the roof are appropriate (oriented in the south-southwest direction, at an angle of about 30°) and that they allow maximum sunlight for the panels, such a power plant should produce about 313 kWh per month, which represents about 68% of current consumption. Converted into money, the solar panels in this example save as much as 62,5€ in the monthly bill.
If we know the cost of this investment and are aware of the figure we can save on a monthly basis, it is easy to conclude that the return on investment can be achieved in approximately 10 years or less. This is certainly not a short period, but taking into account the continuous increase in the price of electricity on the one hand, and the possibility of state subsidies on the other, the conclusion is that the installation of solar panels definitely makes sense. With a good analysis of all the factors that affect the efficiency of these devices, the installation of solar panels in the long run can be one of the best investments for the household.
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