Energy payback time
“How long does it take solar panels to recuperate the amount of energy taken to construct them?”
Solar panels produce energy in a safe and sustainable manner. However, it also takes energy to create these machines, and many individuals argue that it might take more energy than it is worth. So how can we estimate the time needed for a solar panel module to recuperate its production energy? Well, let’s solve this question by thinking like engineers. We can reason that energy payback time is fundamentally a problem with two variables, the amount of energy it took to create the specific type of module and the amount of energy the module produces over its lifetime. The former is contingent upon the processes involved during construction of the module, and the latter depends upon the geographic location of the module as well as its efficiency. Therefore if know these variables, we can estimate the energy payback time. The energy payback time for solar panels can range from 3.3 years for a monocrystalline panel in Canada and Northern Europe to nearly 8.5 months in California and Africa using thin-filmed photovoltaics! With this data, we can defeat the pseudo-fact that solar PV systems take an enormous amount of time for a return on investment.