Across the UK, more and more roofs have solar panels set up on them. Solar energy has become more available in recent years and therefore much more popular, with homeowners all over the UK, as people are keen to use a more environmentally friendly form of power and save money in the long term as well. In fact, in terms of Watt per Capita, the UK is ranked 8th in Europe in 2019 representing an increase of ~150% compared to 2014.

Solar panels work by converting the energy from sunlight into electricity, which can then be used to power your home. Across the UK, you’ll get the most kilowatt hours (kWh) generated between April and September, but you’ll see the benefits all year round, as solar panels can work even on cloudy days. However, a key question that is always being asked is whether with notoriously cloudy and wet weather in the United Kingdom, is it a good location to install solar panels?

Well the surprising facts indicate that with a fix-angle PV system, in Southern UK you’ll be able to generate approximately similar kWh on average per year as in countries in mainland Europe. For example, in Kent in the South East of the UK you’ll be able to generate approximately 4,271.1 kWh, on average per year, as compared to the Netherlands where the output generated is approximately 4,387.02 kWh, on average per year. Below, is a table with approximate kWh output generated on average per year in different countries in Europe and cities in Southern UK:

Country/City Expected average annual output (kWh)
Belgium 4,364.23
France 4,761.28
Germany 4,454.47
Netherlands 4,387.02
London 4,005.96
Southampton 4,152.93
Cornwall 4,144.38
Kent 4,271.10

You may be wondering how to go about getting solar panels installed by someone reliable. At Otovo, we make this as easy as possible by matching you with a vetted expert installer in your local area. They’ll find a way to make the most of your budget and maximize sunlight.

Wondering about the cost? Simply enter your postcode in the box below and we’ll provide you with a tailored quote. This will help you see how much installation might cost, as well as the amount of energy you could generate where you live.

The benefits of investing in solar

  • Reduce your energy bills. Use the electricity converted by your solar panels instead of paying for a traditional tariff.
  • Make a solid long-term investment. Solar panels can last over 30 years if cleaned and maintained regularly, so you’ll be able to enjoy reduced energy costs and get a return on your investment.
  • Take a significant step towards a greener way of life. Many of us want to play our part in protecting the planet but aren’t sure how we can help. Installing solar panels makes a big difference.
Discover how much you can save

Solar panels FAQ

How does my energy supplier know how much excess electricity I’m producing?

Most energy suppliers will ask that you have a smart meter installed, which sends readings every half an hour to keep an accurate record of your energy usage. The meter can also help you see when your solar panels generate the most electricity, so you can use your devices accordingly.

How do solar panels work?

Solar panels use photovoltaic cells to absorb the photons (particles of energy) from sunlight, then convert it into electricity. This is direct current (DC) electricity. Since most homes use alternating current (AC) electricity, solar panels use an inverter to change it so it can be used.

How many solar panels do I need?

The number of panels needed will be different for each home, and will also depend on whether you choose standard panels, premium panels, or performance+ panels, and whether or not you add a battery to your setup. We’ll work with you to create an installation customized to your property so you can maximize the energy you get from your solar panels.

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