As the world faces a looming climate crisis, solar energy emerges as a beacon of hope, generating green power that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels. However, as the BBC article “Renewable energy: Is it getting too hot for solar panels?” narrates, a tweet by DUP MP Sammy Wilson recently questioned the efficiency of solar panels during the current heatwave in the UK. He claimed that coal power stations had to be started as solar panels had to be taken offline due to the excessive heat. However, reports suggest that it’s not entirely true.
While it is correct that solar panels are less efficient during high temperatures, the reduction in efficiency is relatively small and not the primary reason for coal power stations being started. According to Solar Energy UK, the performance of solar panels on average falls by about 0.34 percentage points per degree when the temperature rises above 25°C.
Solar panels’ output being down around by a quarter whenever temperature increases is expected. Despite the reduction in solar panels’ output as temperatures rise, solar energy still generates a considerable amount of electricity and accounts for a significant portion of the country’s electricity production during peak hours.
The reason why solar energy is still sufficient, even when its output drops, is due to the fact that solar panels still generate a significant amount of power even during less optimal conditions. Although the efficiency of solar panels decreases as temperatures increase, well-designed systems are still able to generate a substantial amount of power during peak daylight hours.
Furthermore, there is an ever-growing number of solar energy installations that are being integrated into the power grid, and their cumulative output overcomes any individual panel’s losses. The availability of large-scale battery storage technology, which is now becoming more cost-effective, also helps to store excess solar energy generated during peak production times so that it can be used when the demand for electricity is high.
There are other factors to be taken into account, which should be addressed. For instance, whenever it’s less windy, the electricity interconnectors are under maintenance, and if temperatures rise, there is increased demand for electricity due to air conditioning. Unfortunately, these factors are beyond the control of renewable energy technology.
Solar Energy Solutions
In the UK, the Climate Change Committee has proposed investing in hydrogen as a means of addressing carbon emissions. Additionally, utilizing low-carbon natural gas via carbon capture technology has been suggested as a complementary strategy to hydrogen.
As renewable energy continues to gain prominence as a source of power generation worldwide, it is becoming increasingly important to address the limitations of clean energy technology to make it more efficient and productive in generating power. In the UK, investment in renewable energy has increased significantly in recent years, with wind and solar power becoming important contributors to the energy mix.
Hydrogen has emerged as a promising energy storage technology, with its ability to store energy for long periods of time and release it when needed. Additionally, hydrogen can be used as a fuel for transportation, replacing fossil fuels.
Another promising technology is carbon capture and storage (CCS), which involves capturing carbon dioxide emissions from industrial processes and storing them underground, where they cannot contribute to global warming.
In conclusion, while solar panels’ efficiency decreases marginally under high temperatures, it is still generating a considerable amount of electricity and is not the primary reason for coal power stations to be initiated. The UK is making considerable progress in its renewable energy targets, but more can be done to improve the technology’s efficiency to make it a more viable source of energy production in the future.
Solar energy is one of the most promising sources of clean energy, with the potential to provide a significant portion of the energy needs of the world. In Massachusetts and surrounding areas, Summit Energy is at the forefront of innovative and effective solar energy installations that provide clean energy to this region and surrounding areas.
At Summit Energy, we have been providing high-quality solar energy solutions for commercial and residential clients in Massachusetts for many years. Our team consists of highly skilled and experienced professionals who are committed to delivering custom-tailored solutions that meet our clients’ specific needs.
Through our advanced solar energy installations, we help our clients reduce their carbon footprint and move towards a more sustainable future. We utilize cutting-edge technologies and techniques to design and install efficient solar panels that make maximum use of available sunlight and generate a significant amount of clean energy. By providing reliable, renewable energy that can be used every day to power homes and businesses, Summit Energy is contributing to the transition to a low-carbon economy. Would you like to take the step into a more sustainable and financially stable lifestyle? Contact us today to schedule a consultation!