Do Solar Panels Work in Scotland?

Are you thinking about having solar panels installed on your home in Scotland? Scotland isn’t always known for its sunny weather – which is why some people wonder whether solar PV panels are likely to work well so far up north and actually save any money.

If you’ve done any reading into renewable energy recently, you may already know that solar energy and solar panels could help you to save some serious money from your electricity bills, but can a solar panel system in Scotland help you do this?

In this guide, we’re going to look at why installing solar panels in Scotland is still a great idea – and why you should be taking advantage of solar panels and battery storage technology as soon as possible.

Are solar panels effective in Scotland?

The short answer is…Yes. There’s no need for you to worry if you were thinking about getting solar panels installed. It’s a very common misconception that if you don’t get sunny weather, a solar panel system won’t work.

The fact is you won’t need bright sunshine to keep your solar panels running. You are even able to generate solar power from just a few panels on a cloudy day as long as there is daylight.

Of course, sunshine can help when it comes to building up more electricity through solar panels on the national grid.

While the solar energy system is likely to save you more money and pay for itself if you live somewhere bright and sunny, such as on the coast, people tend to misunderstand that solar panels absorb energy through daylight too.

So, yes, you will save more money on electricity if you generate solar energy on the Isle of Wight than in the Outer Hebrides however it’s a myth to say that once you’ve installed solar panels, you won’t make the most of it at all in Scotland. They still absolutely work (we’d be out of business if they didn’t as we’re based here!)

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Why Do People Think Solar Panels are Ineffective in Scotland?

It all falls down to the fact that it can seem duller and rainier in Scotland than in many places. However, it’s fair to say that Scotland still gets its share of the sun, too!

The Met Office’s data on sunshine attainable in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK shows that there are only a few minutes of sunshine difference between the south of England and the north of Scotland each year – and solar capacity is growing.

Therefore, it’s not true that you’ll find a solar panel to be ineffective if you install them in rainy Edinburgh.

Yes – it’s not the same as generating solar energy from somewhere in the Mediterranean, but you’d be seriously impressed by how hard your panels will work to cut through the clouds.

This brings us on to another myth which is that solar panels are only useful in the sunshine.

While they are at their most effective when the sun is shining bright, they are still effective in the winter and on dull days too.

Photons in natural daylight (not just sunlight) are also converted into electricity by the solar panel’s cells. You can find out more about how solar panels work in our guide.

How Long Will It Take Me to Pay Off Solar Panels in Scotland?

One thing many people in Scotland will look for when setting up solar panels is how long it will take to pay off the cost of solar panels initial setup and installation. Essentially, it is all about energy saving – and we must drill down a little further into how much renewable energy will save you over time.

Of course, there are going to be mitigating factors in play, such as the size of your system and which energy panels you use.

As an average, if you have a standard 4kw solar power system, you’ll be able to pay off your panels in around 8-10 years.

This may seem like a long time, but keep in mind that installing solar panels is a long-term endeavour, not a short-term approach. As well as this, solar panels act as a way for you to future-proof your home and reduce your reliance on the unpredictable national grid. Energy prices are likely to continue to rise and you would be saving more energy, and money on your electricity every year. It is also important to note, that currently Scotland have a scheme offering an interest free loan up to £5000.

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Is It Worth Installing Solar Panels in Scotland?

There are clear indications that solar panel technology and installations in general are decreasing in price over the years. You are now likely to be spending 60% to 70% less on a solar panel installation than you would have in 2010.

While the upfront cost of installing solar panels may not seem like worth doing at the point of sale, you really need to look at the bigger picture. With electricity prices rising continuously, you can take control and minimise your reliance on the unpredictable energy market and keep your electricity bills as low as possible.

It is a common myth that, if you live in an area which doesn’t get much in the way of sunshine, you’ll not be able to take advantage of solar power and electricity savings. Thankfully, technology has evolved to such an extent that this is no longer a concern.

In fact, in some cases, too hot weather may result in problems for your solar panels! Therefore, a few overcast days really aren’t going to push you away from saving up renewable power.

With energy prices rising from year to year, it makes sense that more people across the UK are investing in solar, as opposed to hanging onto fossil fuel power generation.

So, if you were ever worried that you wouldn’t be able to save money with solar thanks to living north of the border, now really is the time to put those fears to bed!

Ultimately, providing you do plenty of research and budget accordingly for upfront fees, you will likely find solar to work out handsomely for you in terms of energy saving and cost cutting.

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By Carla Chalmers

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