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You’ve bought into the idea of ​​generating electricity through solar means, now what? Naturally, any homeowner or business interested in photovoltaics wants to know how long these panels will really last. Since solar modules have no moving parts, they can actually last quite a while. Solar panel manufacturers typically issue a 20- or 25-year warranty on the panels, but most installers say they can last 40+ years with proper care.

Andy Black, one of the leading experts and instructors in solar financial analysis, recently published his report on the lifespan of solar panels. Analysis of it showed that the first solar panels made some 40 years ago still generate power at about 80% of their original power. From that study combined with his other analysis, he concluded that most solar panels will lose about half a percent a year in efficiency.

This new information should impact how homeowners and businesses look at a solar investment. If you spread the investment over 30 years (or 40 years) instead of 20 years, the return on investment is much more substantial. In this way, those who invest in solar energy can feel more confident that they are making the right decision.

Although the solar array in your home may not be worth as much as new panels with the same wattage 25 years from now, it should have paid for itself many times over and will continue to produce free energy for your home. There is no reason to buy new panels if the ones you already have still produce enough power for your needs.

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