The Benefits of Solar Panels During the Winter in Ireland

Joe Brennan
Feb 21, 2024

Do you think that solar panels are only useful in the summer months? Do you believe that Ireland’s cloudy and rainy weather makes solar energy impractical and inefficient? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be surprised to learn that solar panels can actually provide many benefits during the winter in Ireland

This blog will explain how solar panels work in the winter, what advantages they offer, and why you should consider installing them in your home or business. So, let’s get into it!

How Solar Panels Work in the Winter?

Solar panels are devices that convert sunlight into electricity. They do not need direct sunlight or high temperatures to function. They can work with diffuse or indirect sunlight, which is available even on cloudy or overcast days. In fact, solar panels can perform better in cooler conditions, as high temperatures can reduce their efficiency and output.

Solar panels are also designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, such as snow, wind, and rain. They have protective coatings and frames that prevent water damage and corrosion. They are also tilted at an angle that allows snow to slide off easily. If there is any snow accumulation on the panels, it can be easily removed with a soft brush or a broom.

Solar panels can also benefit from the reflection of sunlight from the snow. This can increase the amount of light that reaches the panels and boost their performance. This effect is known as the albedo effect, and it can enhance solar energy production by up to 10% in the winter months.

The Advantages of Solar Panels in the Winter

Solar panels can provide many benefits during the winter in Ireland. Here are some of the main ones:

Reduced electricity bills

Solar panels can help you save money on your electricity bills by generating your own clean and renewable energy. You can use this energy to power your appliances, heating, and lighting. 

You can also store the excess energy in batteries or sell it back to the grid for a feed-in tariff. This way, you can reduce your dependence on fossil fuels and lower your carbon footprint.

Increased energy security

Solar panels can also increase your energy security and reliability. You do not have to worry about power outages, blackouts, or price fluctuations caused by the demand and supply of conventional energy sources. You can have a constant and stable supply of electricity from your solar panels, even when the grid is down or unstable.

Improved home value

Solar panels can also improve the value and attractiveness of your home. They can make your home more energy-efficient, eco-friendly, and modern. They can also increase your home’s BER rating, which is a measure of how energy-efficient your home is. A higher BER rating can increase your home’s resale value and appeal to potential buyers.

Reduced greenhouse gas emissions

Solar panels can help you reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. By using solar energy, you can avoid emitting carbon dioxide and other harmful gases that are produced by burning fossil fuels. According to the SEAI, a typical solar PV system can save up to 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Increased self-reliance

Solar panels can also increase your self-reliance and independence. You do not have to rely on imported energy sources, such as oil, gas, or coal, which can be subject to geopolitical and economic uncertainties. You can produce your own energy from a local and abundant source, the sun, and have more control over your energy consumption and costs.

Enhanced comfort and health

Solar panels can also enhance your comfort and health during the winter. You can use solar energy to heat your water, your home, or your pool. This can improve your thermal comfort and reduce the risk of dampness, mould, and respiratory problems. You can also enjoy the benefits of natural light, which can boost your mood, productivity, and well-being.

Eligibility for green certifications

Solar panels can also make your home or business eligible for green certifications, such as the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or the BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). 

These are internationally recognised standards that measure the environmental performance and sustainability of buildings. Having a green certification can increase your reputation, credibility, and competitiveness in the market.

Support for the green economy

Solar panels can also support the green economy and create jobs in Ireland. By installing solar panels, you can contribute to the growth and development of the renewable energy sector, which is one of the key pillars of the government’s Climate Action Plan. You can also support the local solar industry, which employs thousands of people across the country.


Solar panels are not only beneficial in the summer but also in the winter. They can work with the available sunlight in Ireland, even on cloudy or rainy days. They can also provide many advantages, such as reduced electricity bills, increased energy security, and improved home value. Moreover, you may benefit from the incentives and support available in Ireland. 

If you are interested in installing solar panels for your home or business, contact us to get a customised quote and a professional installation service. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you go solar.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do solar panels work efficiently during the winter in Ireland?

Yes, solar panels do work during winter in Ireland. Their efficiency isn't solely dependent on temperature but on sunlight exposure. Shorter days and lower sun angles can reduce output, but panels still generate electricity on sunny days and can perform more efficiently in cooler temperatures.

Can solar panels produce enough energy during Ireland's cloudy winters?

Solar panels can still produce energy on cloudy days, though at a reduced rate compared to sunny days. Modern solar panels are designed to capture diffuse sunlight, making them viable in Ireland's often overcast winter conditions.

Are there any financial benefits to installing solar panels in Ireland during the winter?

Installing solar panels can lead to financial savings on electricity bills year-round, including winter, by reducing reliance on the grid. Additionally, Ireland offers various grants and incentives for solar installation, enhancing the financial benefits.

How do shorter daylight hours in the winter affect solar energy production?

Shorter daylight hours in the winter result in less solar energy production compared to the summer. However, the energy produced can still significantly contribute to household energy needs, especially with efficient energy use and storage solutions.

What maintenance do solar panels require in the winter?

Solar panels require minimal maintenance. In winter, it's important to keep them free of snow and debris to maximise sunlight exposure. Most panels are installed at an angle that helps snow slide off.

Is there a difference in the type of solar panel that works best in Irish winters?

While all solar panels can work in Irish winters, monocrystalline panels are known for their higher efficiency in low-light conditions, potentially offering better performance during the overcast winter months.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.
Author Fahad Zahid
Founder @ Going Solar

Joe Brennan, the founder of Going Solar, is dedicated to making solar power mainstream in Ireland and meet SEAI objectives. With a focus on affordability and sustainability, he is bringing renewable energy solutions to homes, reducing costs & environmental impact.