The sun provides more than the warmth and bright light that make South Carolina such an excellent place to live. It also offers the opportunity to harness a boundless source of energy. And, despite the claims of those who insist that traditional forms of energy – oil and natural gas – are the best ways to heat and cool buildings and keep our computers, appliances and other electronics up and running, solar energy has become a viable option for businesses across the country and around the world. So what are the theories the naysayers are spreading, and why are they wrong?

Let’s take a look.

The expense doesn’t justify the investment.

Not true, especially for commercial customers. The more solar energy you use, the less expensive it becomes. But there are other issues to consider as well. For example, the investment tax credit allows you to save potentially thousands of dollars by deducting 26% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes, and there is no cap on the value of the deduction. You can claim an additional 25% in tax credits from the state of South Carolina. Also, you’ll be able to write off the depreciation on your solar energy panels, and you might even be able to sell your excess energy to your local utility company.

Solar panels don’t work on cloudy days.

Another myth. According to Craig Knowlton, vice president of business development with Alder Energy Systems, solar panels are most effective in bright sunlight. Still, they get the job done on cloudy days as well. He pointed out that Germany, which isn’t known for its warm sunny days, uses more solar energy than any other country in the world and that there’s “tons of solar” in New England, which enjoys far fewer sunny days than the Palmetto State.

“Every place on the planet has enough sunlight to use solar power,” he said. Maintenance is a problem for buildings with solar panels.

A false statement. Once they are installed, solar panels require very little maintenance. There are no moving parts and no motors, a good rain will clean them, and they will easily stand the test of time for 25 to 30 years. “They just sit there and soak up the sun,” Knowlton said.

Using batteries to store your solar energy is prohibitively expensive. Just another myth. Many solar energy systems don’t have batteries, which means the energy they produce must be used right away or sold back to the grid. If you do have batteries, you can store the energy and use it during peak demand hours. In the past, batteries were expensive, but Knowlton pointed out that over the last five years, their price has dropped by 10% to 12% annually. And, if batteries are part of your system, your building will have some power during emergencies.
Are you interested in using solar energy to power your commercial building? Even during the current COVID-19 pandemic, Alder Energy Systems is open for business and – with all the proper COVID-19 protocols in place – ready to show you how to reduce your operating expenses. To learn more, visit or call 843-388-5493.