Do Solar PV Panels Work in Ireland?

While we don’t get as much sunshine as we’d like to, other factors help solar PV systems to perform well in Ireland. Some of them might surprise you!

Do Solar Panels Work in Ireland? Electricity From Daylight

Solar PV Panels Work with Daylight as Well as Sunlight

Modern PV panels produce a decent amount of electricity even when the sun isn’t shining. This is because solar PV panels work off daylight, not only sunlight. Better still, prices have come down and PV panels are now more affordable than ever before. Modern, high-powered systems that produce more power with less light are now surprisingly cost-effective.

Irish landscape with sun, clouds and green fields
Scattered sunshine and plenty of daylight in Co Kerry. Image Credit: “Near Healy Pass, Ring of Beara, Ireland” by Darren Shilson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Cool Temperatures are Best

A surprising fact about solar PV panels is that they work best at low temperatures. This means cool Irish temperatures and fresh breezes help to you to get optimal performance from your PV panels. That’s why you may be amazed to find your solar PV system cranking out max power on a cold, clear, frosty morning. Similarly, customers often report that May is one of their best months for solar PV production (a time of year with cooler temperatures than June or July).

Rain Keeps Panels Clean

Think that a desert is the ideal place for solar panels? Think again! In deserts, solar panels can lose 30% of their production to sand and dust that cover the panels and block out light. We don’t have any deserts in Ireland. Instead, our climate brings lots of rain to wash dirt off our panels and keep them clean. Clean Irish panels allow more light in, and more light means more electricity produced.

High Electricity Prices

Unfortunate but true. We have some of the Europe’s most expensive electricity here in Ireland. The upside for solar PV is that every unit of solar power you generate gives you a bigger saving on your electricity bill.

Conclusion

Overall, Ireland’s climate is favourable to solar PV. On top of this, high power prices mean that electricity generated by a solar PV system translates into big savings on your bills. These factors have led to a thriving solar PV industry in Ireland. But are solar panels worth it for you? Read how to weigh up the costs and benefits of solar panels in Ireland.

References

1: Electricity price statistics. Eurostat. https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Electricity_price_statistics

2 thoughts on “Do Solar PV Panels Work in Ireland?”

  1. Hi Dominic,

    How much typical power/ square metre/hour would I expect from a solar panel in UK/Ireland?

    best wishes

    Peter

    Chichester, England

    1. Dominic Ó Gallachóir

      Hi Peter, thanks for the question.

      High efficiency solar PV panels produce anywhere from 0 W per square metre at night to 200 W in full sun. Of course, there is enormous variation depending on the conditions. When you average this out over the year, one square metre of panels will produce around 200 kWh (units) of power every year in Ireland. Production will be a little higher in the South of England and lower in the North of Scotland.

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