Do Solar Panels Work in Scotland?

Are you thinking about having solar panels installed for your Scotland home in the near future? Scotland isn’t always known for its sunny weather – which is why some people wonder whether or not solar PV panels are likely to work well so far up north.

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

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

Are solar panels effective in Scotland?

The answer is…Yes. There’s no need for you to worry if you were thinking about getting solar panels installed. It’s actually a pretty 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 be able to generate solar power from a few panels on a relatively 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.

Therefore, it’s perhaps safe to say that you’re going to save more money on electricity if you generate solar energy on the Isle of Wight than in the Outer Hebrides.

But, it’s a myth to say that once you’ve installed solar panels, you won’t make the most of it up in Scotland. They still absolutely work (we’d be out of business if they didn’t as we’re based here!)

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 gets its share of the sun, too!

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

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.

Which 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 absolutely effective in the winter and on dull days too.

Photons in natural daylight (not just sunlight) are also converted into electricity by the solar panels 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 have to drill down a little further into how much renewable energy will actually save you over time.

As a result of money that you could generate through the feed in tariff and the FIT scheme, studies show that it is likely to take the average household in Aberdeen around a year longer than a household in Bristol to make back money they spend on a 4kw solar power system.

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

Therefore, on average, assuming you have a standard 4kw solar power system, you’ll be able to pay off your panels in the space of 7 to 8 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. Therefore, you’re likely to keep saving energy, and money on your electricity, if you continue to use your solar energy in Scotland for years beyond this.

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. Therefore, compared to rates in 2010, for example, you’re now likely to be spending 60% to 70% less on outright installation at home.

Therefore, while the outright upfront cost of installing solar panels just to bring down the cost of electricity bills over time may not seem like worth doing at the point of sale, you really need to look at the bigger picture.

Factors such as the feed in tariff will help people such as average home owners make back money they would otherwise be casting away on regular energy rates.

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.

Are Solar Panels Good for Scottish Businesses?

It’s not just homes across the north of the UK which are making use of solar power. It’s quickly emerging that there are more and more companies taking advantage of the trends and sustainability, too.

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.

Peter Chalmers

"Took Care Of Everything!"

John Boyd, Aberfoyle, Stirling.

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