Most new solar panels retain 80% production after 30 years

The US Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories has concluded a five-year, early-life solar module degradation study that examined 834 fielded PV modules, representing 13 types from seven manufacturers in three climates.

The report, recently published in Progress in Photovoltaics, studied 23 systems in total. Six of the studied were determined to have degradation rates that will exceed panel warranty limits in the future, while 13 systems demonstrated the ability to extend their lifetime beyond 30 years. “Lifetime” in this study is defined as the amount of time a panel produces electricity above 80% of its beginning-of-life rate.