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15 Aug 2023

How long do solar panels last?

Anna Dearden
Home Sector Specialist

How long do solar panels last? For many, this question is a driving force in deciding whether or not to install a solar panel system. After all, why bother if they’ll need replacing in just a short amount of time?

Is it a waste of money? Or could solar panels help you save on your energy bills in the long run?

If you’re considering investing in solar panels, here’s all you need to know about how long solar panels last and what you can do to get the most out of yours.


How long do solar panels last?

Solar panels are a popular choice for those looking to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and save money on energy costs. But how long do solar panels last? The answer may surprise you. 

Despite being outside, where they face wind, rain, and debris, solar panels are designed to withstand the elements and continue to produce electricity for decades. Most solar panels come with a 25-year warranty. However, that doesn’t mean that they’ll stop working after 25 years. In fact, many panels will continue to produce electricity for 40 years or more – making them a durable and long-lasting investment.

Want to learn more about the composition of solar panels? Our homeowner’s guide to how solar panels work explores the technology and materials used in solar panels in more depth.

What’s a solar panel payback period?

The solar panel payback period is the time it takes for a solar panel system to generate enough energy to offset its initial cost. In other words, it’s the point at which the solar panels have “paid for themselves.”

The payback period varies depending on a number of factors. These include the solar panel system size, your local climate, and the amount of sunlight that the panels receive. In general, however, solar panel systems typically have a payback period of between five and ten years.

After the payback period has been reached, the panels will continue to generate free electricity for many years to come. As a result, beyond the payback period, they’re a great way to reduce your outgoings in the future. To put it into context, if your panels last for 30 years, you could enjoy 25 years of free energy!

Anna Dearden
Home Sector Specialist
Combining in-depth research with an interest in all things home improvement, I aim to keep SpotDif readers up to date with interior design trends, renewable energy options, and more.
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