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Solar power misconceptions

Solar energy, provided through various methods of harnessing the power of the sun, is something that interests many eco-conscious homeowners for its ability to cut down on the amount of electricity needed from another source. However, there are certain myths and misconceptions that surround solar power.

* Many people think that a northern climate or an area where there is not a lot of sun is incompatible with solar energy. However, you don't need to live on the equator to benefit from solar energy. Germany is actually the world leader in solar photovoltaic energy with more than 9,000 Megawatts produced, even though Germany is not known for sunny skies or warm temperatures.

* Solar panels and solar collectors are not the same thing. Typically, solar panels immediately turn harnessed sunlight into electricity. Collectors will trap and store sunlight as heat, which can be used later.

* Many people avoid solar energy, feeling it is too expensive. While it can be a big financial investment, there are estimates that the cost of installment is recouped in 1 to 4 years, depending on the panels used. There also may be government incentives for using solar power.