Solar is one of the most popular renewable energy sources in the world. It is a great alternative to fossil fuels and is quickly growing as a reliable source of power. Solar is not only clean, it is also sustainable and is available all year long! But how reliable is solar energy?

This article will explore how reliable and renewable solar panels and solar energy is, and if you can trust it throughout the entire year.

how reliable is solar energy

Is Solar Energy Really Reliable?

Solar is a great source of power because it is renewable and is available....everywhere! This makes it the most reliable source of energy, in comparison to other renewables like wind or hydroelectricity.

Photo of renewable energy

If your PV solar panels are connected to the electricity grid then you will be able to fully rely on the solar energy generated from your system. However, if you are connected and the grid goes down then you should expect your solar panel system to stop producing when the sun goes down, unless you have a backup battery.

Researches at the NREL discovered in a study that new solar panels installed from 2000 onward have a failure rate of 5 out of every 10,000 panels annually.

The SEIA claim "growth in corporate solar demand has been led primarily by declining prices, which have fallen by 63% over the last decade". If some of the largest corporate leaders (Apple, Amazon, Walmart, and Target) can rely and run off solar energy, then so can you!

What If My Solar Panels Fail?

Depending on who or what solar panels you have installed they should be covered under a warranty.

Photo of someone maintaining their solar panels

If your solar panel manufacturer goes bankrupt then the warranty will be null and void. Homeowners should consider purchasing an extended solar panel warranty or insurance to ensure that they'll still be covered in the event of such circumstances.

You should frequently observe your solar panels' condition, and keep track of their efficiency and how much energy they are producing through monitoring software. This will give you an indication on how likely your solar panels are to fail, and the reliability of solar panels will be evident.

In order to keep your solar system running efficiently and without potential failures, it is recommended that you have your photovoltaic PV panels serviced at least once or twice a year.

Is solar energy reliable throughout the entire year?

Solar panels will continue to work throughout the entire year!

Photo of both solar and wind power

The efficiency and solar energy produced will only be reduced if your solar panels are damaged, or if there are bird or critters that may be interfering with the solar system.

Solar panels are even able to function throughout the winter, though it should be noted that the solar energy they produce may be reduced during this period due to shorter days and less sunlight hours.

Solar can even be a reliable source of energy during weather conditions such as hail and even the winter, as long as you maintain your photovoltaic panels.

Is Solar Power Renewable?

Renewable resources are those that can be continuously replaced by natural processes.

Therefore, solar power is a completely renewable energy as all of the energy it does absorb comes from the sun, which makes it one of the cleanest renewable energy resources.

The environmental benefits of solar energy can be extremely powerful!

In fact, no carbon is being emitted when creating the electrical power from solar panels, and the renewable energy will not run out unlike fossil fuels could.

Is Solar Energy Expensive?

As solar power is becoming increasingly popular, the price of purchasing solar systems is beginning to decrease, making them more widely available.

This is thanks to schemes that are being created to help the concerns from low and moderate income communities. These include investments in fully funded programs such as the soft costs.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) there has been a 66% reduction in commercial PV system costs from 2010 to 2018.

Whilst the EIA in 2010 estimated that solar was the most expensive form of electricity, in 2020 they confirmed it is now the cheapest electricity in history.

Is Solar Power A Sustainable Source Of Energy?

Solar is a sustainable source of energy!

Photo of sustainable energy and fossil fuel

It is responsible for only 0.02% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, is created naturally for environment purposes, and it has little dependency on fossil fuels to create it.

Solar power is also sustainable when considering that installing solar panel systems on your roof can last up to 30 years! Depending on how well you look after the energy production system before needing to replace it, which still has an extremely low carbon footprint.

The solar energy generated from the sun to power your home is a great energy source, and is a great investment to becoming more sustainable in your day-to-day life.

What Happens To Solar Panels After 20 Years?

Solar panels usually come with a warranty of 20 years. This is the time that photovoltaic solar cells will likely start to slightly degrade and lose their ability to produce electricity as efficiently as before.

Though, after 20 years it is predicated that the average output energy generated from your solar panel cells will have only reduced by roughly 20%, which is 1% per year (depending on the manufacturer).

Solar panel manufacturers are looking into the production process to find ways of extending the lifespan of your panels output, as well as making them more efficient in order to make your investment last longer.

Even after 20 years, your solar energy will still be reliable!

How To Test The Reliability Of My Solar Panels?

If you are not sure that your PV system will be reliable and able to power your home, you should ensure it is tested with a device designed to monitor the performance!

The Impedance Spectroscopy (or I-V) meter is designed to measure the performance of your solar panels, and to see how much voltage is generated from each cell in the panel when there is no light present.

This is what's known as reverse current.

photo of a man testing the solar panel performance