How Long Do Solar Panels Really Last?
The Life Expectancy of Solar Panels
When you’re considering investing in a solar installation, wondering how long home solar panels last is a question that inevitably pops up. To put your mind at ease studies have proven solar panels can last anywhere between 25 to 30 years — or sometimes more.
However, this doesn’t mean the panels on your roof will stop producing electricity after a couple of decades. It just means their energy production will decrease by what solar panel manufacturers consider optimal to meet the average American family’s energy needs.
What Is the Solar Panel Degradation Rate per Year?
Solar energy system degradation rates vary depending on the brand, as well as the climate where they’re installed. The good news is, recent data has shown modern solar systems are outperforming all expectations.
According to an analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), some premium panel manufacturers offer degradation rates as low as 0.3% per year; and while other brands have higher degradation rates of up to 0.8% per year, that’s still a yearly average degradation rate of only 0.5%.
Meaning, even if you get a standard solar panel 25-year warranty period at 0.5% degradation, your solar panels should continue operating at around 88% of their original capacity after this time. Not too shabby at all!