Solar Panels Lifespan/Payback Time

Solar panels feature a lifespan of 25-30 years. The efficiency of solar panels, however, falls about 0.8% every year, meaning that they will operate at 98.4% capacity after 2 years. After 25 years, they will operate at about 82.5%, which manufacturers determine to be a significant decline and thus an end-of-life.

The EPBT (energy payback time) of a renewable product such as a solar panel is crucial for determining whether or not it will actually have a net positive benefit on the environment through its product life cycle. For solar panels, the EPBT is short, thus the panels can easily generate the same amount of energy that went into manufacturing it.

Are Solar Panels a Sustainable Product? – Renewable Energy – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

In 2010, the EPBT for solar panels dropped to 6 months. It must be taken into account that solar panel systems operating in heavy sunlight will produce more energy and complete their EPBT before systems placed in lower-sunlight areas will.

The Environmental Impact of Solar Energy | EnergySage