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The Real Solar Scam – Whistleblower

by Abhishek Gupta

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Solar Scam - Trust the right source

Solar Scam – Trust the right source

Solar energy seems to be surrounded by solar scams misguiding consumers about its use as a replacement for dirtier and more expensive forms of power. Such solar scams are best busted using facts supporting solar electric generation, understanding the scope solar power and communicating the relevance of solar technology. But, you don’t need a diploma to have heard of some of the popular solar scams- solar energy or power is expensive, solar energy panels are ugly, solar electric generation doesn’t work etc etc.

In this blog, we’ll blow the whistle on seven solar scams (one for everyday of the week) and uncover the truth.

Solar Scam Bust 1: Solar is Only Effective in Plentiful Sunshine Areas

While it is true that more sunshine leads to higher generation, solar works remarkably well all over India. What the solar scam artists won’t tell you is that Germany (Which is in Northern Europe) is the world’s largest solar power market. So you don’t need a ton of sun to dramatically reduce your reliance traditional power solutions like grid power or diesel generator. Of course, when you have business in India, your ROI will be even higher. India has more sunny days per year and more solar irradiation per day than Germany. The equation is simple, and it definitely can be expected to work better than it does in the largest solar market in the world. The solar scammers won’t tell you that there are many factors playing a role, such as the presence of a grid, the commercial and industrial price for electricity, your energy usage pattern and many more.

Solar Scam - ROI on solar in India is better than in Germany

Solar Scam – ROI on solar in India is better than in Germany

Solar Scam Bust 2: Solar Power is for a Niche Market

This solar scam is easy to bust. Unlike other forms of energy, solar has the most widely distributed and predictable potential in India. Except at night the sun shines everywhere, everyday albeit at different levels. However the technology can be easily adapted to any situation – major commercial and industrial complexes are often best suited for a captive solar power system, whether they may be in major city centers where power is expensive or in remote areas where power availability is also a problem. In effect, wherever there is a need for clean electricity, solar energy remains a cost-effective and infinitely scalable solution.

Solar Scam Bust 3: Solar Panels Are not Efficient

Because solar panels have become affordable and because the technology is infinitely scalable (you can add as many panels as you want to increase energy output), the term “efficiency” is actually quite misleading. But in fact, solar panels are actually quite efficient – many remote and bustling commercial and industrial complexes are relying on solar energy more and more. And the technology is only getting better, with new breakthroughs emerging every day. Smart and careful businesses get their feet wet and use solar power to offset their electricity bills and eliminate their reliance on the DG sets. In this way, they make their use power more cost efficient over the long run.

Solar Scam Bust 4: Solar Is Unreliable on Cloudy Days

If you’ve ever driven on an overcast day, you already realize that clouds do not block out the sun’s rays. You can still see without a torch can’t you? Although the energy output under a grey sky is not as strong as on sunny days, your solar power system will continue to generate electricity. Of course at night sun indeed is not shining at all. However this is also when commercial and industrial complexes use the least amount of energy, and with proper battery storage or grid connections, you can enjoy continuous power even when the sun is set. On the bright side when the requirement is the most the system produces the most power.

Solar Scam - They still generate on cloudy days

Solar Scam – They still generate on cloudy days

Solar Scam Bust 5: Solar Can Never Actually Power India

We don’t have to tell you which solar scam artists are saying this. While solar energy’s current contribution in Indian energy mix is small this percentage is growing at an unprecedented rate. As the technology becomes more widespread and countries across the globe shift their power needs from dirtier forms of energy, solar will become the dominant technology on the planet. Besides, solar energy’s current use is not an accurate reflection of its ultimate potential. After all, just 20 years ago cell phone devices and users accounted for only a miniscule fraction of India’s telecom pie and do we have to tell you the scene now?

Solar Scam Bust 6: Solar Installation is ugly and Space Hogging

Of course, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, but proponents of this solar scam don’t like to compare solar installations with otherwise bare, brown or black rooftops. Solar panels on rooftops are unmistakable – some view them as aesthetic reminders of sustainability and proud announcements of cost control while others view them as ugly distractions. Solar scammers don’t give other forms of energy the same criticisms since they are located outside public view, but one look at a coal-burning power station would generate really negative reaction to the smog and pollution it produced. Regarding space hogging, this is blatantly false. A solar power installation in a small desert area in Rajasthan can supply all of India’s current electricity needs. Most commercial and industrial complexes have enough rooftop space to substantially replace their tradition power solutions with solar.

Solar Scam - Coal plants are not pleasant look at

Solar Scam – Coal plants are not pleasant look at

Solar Scam Bust 7: Solar Panels Are Unreliable and Require Maintenance

The most perplexing solar scam is that solar systems are unreliable and need constant maintenance. In fact reliability and low maintenance if one of the USPs of Solar. What the solar scam artists won’t tell you is that solar power solutions have no moving parts and are actually more reliable than most current forms of energy. The solar panels can last several decades with minimal cleaning and upkeep. The vast majority of businesses in India are first-time buyers who want their businesses outfitted with new solar power solutions that will produce reliable maintenance free power for decades.

Why Solar Scam Whistle-blowing Today Makes Sense

Although these solar scams will likely continue to spread for a number of years, the long-term potential of the technology is undeniable. Solar energy is already affordable, efficient, sustainable, and user-friendly, and it will only become more of all of the above. Not adopting solar will be like getting stuck with the parcel in passing-the-parcel (Remember the game you played as a kid?). Except this time, your business might be at stake. As more businesses wake up to solar’s innumerable benefits, the demand for reliable, integrated solution companies will also grow as opposed to the solar scamming grey-market. Of course this is just the beginning.

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  • admin

    Yes, there is a lot of mis-information,mostly because of fly-by-night traders flooding the market with grey-market items, put together in a sub-optimal solution.

  • Hi Energy People

    great article! thanks!

  • Gerald Falbel

    The biggest scam in the above article is what is unmentioned. Solar Thermal is up to 6 times more efficient in generating energy (equivalent watts) than photovoltaics (.70 % for solar thermal vs. 15% for photovoltaics) Moreover, electrical energy cannot be economically stored, since off-grid storage requires batteries, which have finite life and are very expensive. Solar thermal energy can be inexpensively stored in water tanks, which have no finite life.

  • Jason Wysczk

    I wonder why the defensiveness, the article doesn’t seem to say anything negative about solar thermal, although one only needs to get started…