How Solar Panels Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

If you are looking for a simple, cost-effective way to reduce your carbon footprint, then look no further than solar panels

Together with the money-saving opportunities, the prospect of clean energy is why more and more solar panels are appearing on the roofs of properties across the UK. If you’re curious to learn more about how solar panels reduce your carbon footprint, read on!

How do solar panels reduce your carbon footprint?

The sun provides enough raw energy in just one hour to power the entire earth for a year. And unlike the fossil fuels commonly used in domestic and business settings, it is clean, renewable energy. 

Solar panels allow us to harness this energy. Using photovoltaic cells, they convert the photons of sunlight into a current of electricity, which is then passed through an inverter to generate an alternating current. This alternating current is the free, renewable energy that can either power your property or be fed into the National Grid. 

As a result, you use fewer fossil fuels, and therefore significantly reduce your carbon footprint

How much do solar panels reduce your carbon footprint?

According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average UK home with a solar PV system installed could reduce carbon emissions by 1.3 to 1.6 tonnes per year. 

To put that into context, 1.3 tonnes of CO2 is roughly the same amount of emissions that come from using 536 gallons of petrol, or charging 607,904 smartphones. 

Over the course of 30 years, a standard solar PV system can be expected to save 39 tons of carbon dioxide. This is equivalent to the amount of CO2 saved from planting 2,365 tree seedlings.  

Do solar panels have a carbon footprint?

Though solar panels don’t produce emissions once installed, the production steps leading to the installation inevitably contain a carbon footprint – from the mining of the metals, to the panel manufacturing process, to the transportation of the finished panels.

However, ever since the inception of solar panels, plenty of work and research has been carried out to improve the carbon efficiency of the manufacturing process. The solar industry has matured a great deal in recent years, and manufacturers have been able to adopt a number of practices that reduce emissions, including the use of more carbon-efficient materials.

Moreover, as renewable energy becomes more common, manufacturers rely less and less on coal to power the production process. This eventually could lead to a future where there are zero carbon emissions in the solar panel manufacturing process.

It’s also worth noting that any carbon debt you acquire from having solar panels installed will be 20 times less than the carbon output of coal-powered electricity sources. So in effect, you’ll completely reduce your emissions by just having solar panels installed. After just three years of use, the panels will have completely neutralised your carbon footprint.     

How to make the most out of your solar panels

One of the great things about solar panels is that, once they’re installed, you don’t really have to worry about them. Solar PV requires very little maintenance and will work its magic even on cloudy days. 

Your system will prioritise using electricity generated from your panels, and it will seamlessly switch to using energy from the National Grid whenever necessary. This means you won’t notice any difference in your electricity supply.

Your solar panels will work alongside your normal energy tariff without you having to notify your energy company. Having said that, you should consider shopping around to make sure you’re getting the best available tariff. 

In terms of your electricity usage, it’s best to use any heavy-duty appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers during the day, as this is when your solar panels are most effective. If you’re usually out during the day, you can take advantage of any inbuilt timers your appliances may have. 

You’ll also have the option to install a solar battery or energy storage system, which can store electricity generated during the day to be used at a separate time. This will help to ensure you’re using as much of your solar energy as possible, thus further reducing your carbon footprint. 

Invest in solar panels today to start reducing your carbon footprint!

Solar panels are undeniably a force for good when it comes to lowering carbon emissions, and by having them installed on your property, you’ll be playing a huge role in the planet-wide quest for sustainability – and saving yourself money on bills in the process!

At MTG, we provide top-quality solar panels to households and businesses across the Midlands. Get in touch today to receive a free quotation! 

Solar Panels Success Stories

All around the world, public support surrounding solar panels is growing. The past decade has seen a drop in price and an increase in production, sparking a great deal of excitement as a result. 

And this excitement is well justified. Considering the Earth receives enough raw energy from the sun in just one hour to power the entire Earth for a year, the planet-saving potential of solar energy is plain to see. All we have to do is scale up our capacity to make the most of that energy.  

While there is still a long way to go, the team at MTG are delighted to be part of a global movement towards a more sustainable future. Households, businesses, and national communities alike have made the switch to solar, each telling their own story of sustainable success.

We have plenty of our own stories to share, but this article is a celebration of solar success stories across the world, great and small. From small households to national projects, here are some shining examples of why we should embrace the power of the sun. 

Residential Solar Panel Success

To kick off the celebrations, let’s trek to a land down under…

The Blighs – Solar holidays

Living quietly beneath the glaring Australian sun, Grant Bligh first considered switching to solar after a door knocker offered to get him some quotes. His interest was piqued, but he wanted to do more research first. 

Before long, he had received a quote from a company that ticked all the right boxes. By November 2018, Grant had a 6.6kW solar PV system installed on his property. All that was left to do was to watch the savings roll in. 

Fast forward a few years, and Grant has happily reported a drop in his electricity bills from $650 to approximately $100 per quarter – and those savings are now going straight into his and his wife’s holiday fund!

You can check out Grant’s full story here

Next up, let’s bring it back closer to home.

The Pagets – A solar win-win

Sure, Australia is a lot hotter than the UK, but that doesn’t mean we benefit any less from solar energy here in cloudy ol’ England.

Take the Pagets, for example, a family of five who live in rural Herefordshire, a place not particularly well-known for its nice weather. Fruit and cider production, yes, but definitely not sunny skies. 

Nonetheless, in the summer of 2015, Mark Paget decided that he and his family ought to do their bit and make the switch to solar. They had a 3.64kWp system installed, consisting of 14 panels which would straight away work their money-saving magic. In the first 12 months, they saved almost £200. 

But that’s not all. In the UK, there is a government Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme that basically rewards solar panel users for any excess energy they generate, paying 11-13p per kWh.

The Pagets were of course eligible for this scheme, and are thus making a nice bit of pocket money every month in addition to their consistent solar savings. As Mark himself commented, “It’s a win-win situation.” 

Take that, Australia! Here’s the full story

Moving on. Domestic success stories are great, but now let’s think a little bigger.

Commercial Solar Panel Success 

It’s always great to hear about businesses and institutions embracing the power and potential of solar panels. Here are a couple of shining examples.

The India Habitat Centre – An Indian Summer

Located in the heart of New Delhi, the India Habitat Centre (IHC) is a real hot-spot of culture, bringing together individuals and institutions from all walks of life.

The IHC was facing a major problem of overloading during peak hours. Being spread across 9 acres, often running multiple events and exhibitions at the same time, the power demands were getting out of hand and the bills were mounting to unsustainable levels. 

Eventually, the people in charge of the IHC decided that solar panels were the way forward to manage the rising popularity of their facilities. In April 2015, after two months of construction, a 250 kWp system was installed on the rooftop. Time to catch some rays!

The yearly reports have spoken of nothing but success. The IHC has saved an average of INR 1.75 million (roughly £17,000) annually, and they have cut down on their CO2 emissions by over 100 tons per year. 

You can read the full project report here.

Ahmarra Door Installations – Opportunity knocks…

Based in Hampshire, UK, Ahmarra door solutions was keen to explore the value of solar PV. They had a lot of roof space to utilise, and after receiving a thorough breakdown of investment costs and expectation of revenue, they barely hesitated with the decision to proceed.

A 240 kWp solar system was promptly installed, and as a result, Ahmarra has enjoyed annual savings of over £26,000 on their electricity bills. The panels are set to pay for themselves in as little as five years, and due to the value-increasing nature of solar panels, it has been projected there will be a profit of £655,790 after 20 years.

Opportunity knocked, and being the door experts they are, Ahmarra welcomed it with open arms – and now they are reaping the rewards. 

You can read the full report here.

Large scale solar success

It’s not just homeowners and businesses that are looking to harvest energy from the sun; entire nations are also committing to make large-scale transitions to solar power…

PV for the People of Peru

For the past decade, the South American nation Peru has been on a mission to provide solar power for the vast majority of its residents. 

The program has been aimed at the poorest people in the country, particularly those who live so remotely that they have no access to the grid. Before the program commenced, roughly half of the Peruvian population lived in poverty, and one-third of the population had literally no access to electricity. 

The Peruvian Government recognised that solar PV had the ability to provide electricity to areas that were too remote for the grid, and therefore it was decided that a large, long-term investment would be made. Through a series of rollouts starting in 2012, they installed thousands of solar panels in the rural areas of Peru, granting free electricity to those who needed it most.

The project is ongoing, but has so far been a success. Hundreds of thousands of Peruvian households now have access to electricity thanks to solar PV.

The Solar Revolution

It’s been estimated that at least 92.7 billion solar panels are in use throughout the world today. That estimation was made about a year ago, so it’s probably way more now. 

Considering that each solar panel produces an average of 500-550 kWh of energy per year, that’s… a lot of power. 

As a planet, we are marching swiftly towards a more sustainable future, and solar PV is confidently leading the charge. 

We’re excited to see what the future holds for solar power!

Now might be the perfect time for you to join the solar revolution. If you live in or close to Nottingham, and want to bask in the power of the sun like many households, businesses and nations are doing across the world, then get in touch with MTG today. 

We’ve been trusted providers of solar panels in Nottingham for over a decade, and have a lot of great stories to tell. Yours could be the next!