Along with hydro and wind power, solar panels occupy a leading place among the so-called 'green’ energy sources. As a result, available articles about solar panels have grown exponentially in the past years, filling entire books, websites and news segments every day. If you search for 'solar panel’ in Google, you’ll instantly get +25 million results. Yes, solar panels are popular, but what’s the deal with all these information? Who to trust, where to look? Depending on what you’re looking for, this questions can be hard to answer.

To simplify, available information about solar panels can be divided onto three major groups: scientific/academic, news and sales/marketing. This categorization helps a lot when going for a swim into the sea of data out there. For example, let’s say you’re a college student writing an assignment about solar panel efficiency, in other words, looking for scientific articles about solar panels. Since most scientific articles are backed up by well-established institutions (such as universities, labs and research centers), reliable information is quite easy to find, to be validated as such. 

Journalistic articles can be useful too, but keep in mind that they’re not subject to the same controls as scientific papers, which leads to a scenario of less accurate information. Also, some news outlets may not disclose that certain articles are sponsored, which may cause a false sense of security within some readers. 

The third group is the one with the sales/marketing articles. This is, by far, the less reliable one. You’ll often find exaggerated features, inflated numbers and seductive figures within this group. Of course, not every solar panel company does this, but it’s fairly common to find disputable information. In the case you’re looking to go green and install solar panels, look for a mix of information (scientific, journalistic and sales-oriented) and see how things add up. That way, you’ll be getting a balanced perspective. Isn’t that what we all want?