Photovoltaic (PV) panels, also known as solar electric panels, convert sunlight directly into electricity. If you are looking for information on solar panels for producing hot water, please see our solar water heating section.
While the UK is not one of the sunniest countries in the world, there is still a lot of solar energy available for us to use: Over the course of a year, a surface of just one square metre receives around 800 kWh (units) in the form of solar energy - that's a quarter of the annual electricity bill of a typical UK household.
Currently, photovoltaic solar electricity is an expensive technology with high up-front capital costs, and often other investments - particulary energy conservation measures - offer better environmental benefits per pound spent. However, the Feed-in tariff (FIT) incentive scheme means that PV can be financially viable in good locations.
You can use our Solar Calculator to find out how well PV panels would perform on your roof.
It is an unobtrusive technology that can be integrated into buildings (and therefore takes up no additional space), makes no noise or pollution, requires almost no maintenance and can generate renewable electricity for a very long time.
Learn more about photovoltaic solar electricity from our Questions and Answers below.
|Are there companies that install PV photoelectric solar panels for free?|
|Can I buy green electricity through the grid using a 'green tariff'?|
|Can I install solar PV slates or tiles that look similar to my existing roof?|
|Can I live off-grid using wind and solar power?|
|Can I store electricity from my solar PV roof or wind turbine in batteries, to use at another time?|
|Can I use electricity from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to power a heat pump?|
|Can I use solar PV panels to heat water?|
|Can off-grid renewable energy systems get feed-in tariff payments?|
|Does a roof-integrated PV array need to be ventilated?|
|How can I find a solar PV installer?|
|How can I pump water using wind or solar power?|
|How long do solar electric PV panels last?|
|How much electricity will a PV roof produce?|
|How much will a domestic PV system cost?|
|How much will a domestic solar PV system earn?|
|Is my home a good site for PV panels?|
|Solar PV calculator|
|What are PV micro inverters and what are their advantages and disadvantages?|
|What is the difference between photovoltaics and solar water heating?|
|What is the energy and carbon payback time for PV panels in the UK?|
|What is the environmental impact of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels?|
|What makes or brands of PV modules offer the best quality|
|What type of PV panels should I go for?|