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Last updated: 14 December 2018

Is the UK Sunny Enough for Solar Panels to Work?

Despite Its Grey Weather, the UK Is a Good Place to Install Solar Panels

Contrary to what many would think, despite its reputation for having grey and cloudy weather, the UK has more than enough sunlight to power solar panels. It actually gets the same amount of solar radiation as certain areas in France or Spain, which are meant to have more Mediterranean climate. In fact, the UK gets around 60% of the solar radiation found in the Equator and, in some areas in the south, it receives a comparable amount of sunlight to that in Germany, one of the biggest markets for photovoltaics in the world.

Solar -radiation -map -uk

So, the good news is that you don’t necessarily need the sun hitting hard for solar panels to work. Even though they obviously produce more power during a sunny day, they can still produce a considerable amount of energy when the days are cloudy. Solar PVs use light to produce electricity, not heat.

If you are interested in installing a solar PV system in your home in the UK, you can still benefit from the Feed in Tariff before it ends in March 2019. If you act quick enough and submit your applicaiton on or before the deadline, then you can still receive payments for up to 20 years.

Applications for Solar PV Feed in Tariff Close in March

Read our guide on how you can still benefit from the solar PV Feed in Tariff before it ends in March 2019.

What About Wind? More Good News

Although high wind speeds commonly found in the UK could be a concern to anyone wondering about the efficiency of installing solar panels in this area, wind can actually be beneficial for domestic solar panels since it can serve as a cooling mechanism for the PV modules, leading to an increase in their efficiency. 

And...What About Snow?

Shutterstock _133731506

Due to the greenhouse effect and other crazy things on earth which humans have lost control of, weather has become more extreme in every corner of the planet. And yes, United Kingdom is not an exception. Winters in the UK have turned a little more aggressive, bringing heavy snow to large areas of the country every year. This can be a problem for solar panels since it might accelerate their ageing.

But you shouldn’t panic. There’s always a solution. Solar panels should be installed at an angle that maximizes their performance. What is the ideal angle? Don’t worry if you don’t have the answer, there are experts ready to help you with this. For example, you can visit GreenMatch.co.uk to get your quote and you will receive customized information regarding the solar mechanism that best suits your needs.

Going back to snow and solar panels, a bit of snow will easily melt with residue heat from the panel. In this case, you shouldn’t worry at all. If there is more than just a bit of snow, and it doesn’t melt fast, it will unfortunately prevent the panel from working to its full potential. In this case, some hand work is required. A little brushing of the panel as fast as possible is all it takes though. Moreover, if you live in an area where heavy snow is a frequent scenario, there are some kind of treatments that make the panel’s surface slippier making it harder for the snow to accumulate.

The good news is that some snow lying around can in fact increase the panel’s performance by reflecting the sun’s photons back up from the ground.

Read more: How To: Choose a Solar Panel

So Am I Crazy If I Want To Install Solar Panels In The UK?

Not at all! In fact, there were around 230,000 solar power projects in the UK by the end of 2011. The reduction in the cost of photovoltaic and the feed-in-tariff (FIT) introduced in 2010 helped to make this trend more popular. Despite the fact the FIT rate has been recently reduced, you can still make a very reasonable and cost-efficient investment.

So no excuses accepted. Wind, snow, grey sky, nothing of this will beat the solar panels. You should request customized assessment to get the ideal solution for your property. There are different options to choose from and also better ways than other to install the desired equipment. You can get a lot of useful information by visiting GreenMatch.co.uk, where you can also request your quote and get direct information from the best suppliers who will be more than pleased to help you out with your queries and concerns.