Do Solar Panels Work in Irish Climate?

John McEvoy
May 31, 2024

Do you wonder if solar panels can work in Ireland's cloudy and rainy climate? Many people worry that the frequent overcast skies might make solar panels ineffective here. The good news is that solar technology has advanced significantly, and solar panels can indeed perform well even in low-light conditions. 

In this blog, we’ll explore how solar panels work in Ireland’s climate, their efficiency in cloudy weather, and the benefits they offer. We'll also discuss key factors to consider before installing solar panels.

Let’s get into the details and discover how solar power can be a great choice for your home or business in Ireland!

Does Ireland’s Climate Affect Solar Panels?

Ireland is known for its mild and often unpredictable weather. The country experiences a mix of sunshine and rain throughout the year.

On average, Ireland gets about 1,100 to 1,300 hours of sunshine annually, which means there are plenty of cloudy days. However, this doesn’t mean that solar panels are ineffective here.

​What is the Impact of Ireland's Climate on Solar Energy?

Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electricity. While they perform best in direct sunlight, they can still generate power on cloudy days. Modern solar panels are designed to capture even diffuse light, which is the light that gets through the clouds.

This means that even in Ireland’s cloudy climate, solar panels can still produce a significant amount of energy. Many people believe that solar panels only work well in sunny regions, but this is a misconception. Solar panels are effective in various climates, including Ireland’s.

How to Choose the Right Solar Panels for Irish Climate?

Choosing the right solar panels for Ireland's unique weather conditions is essential to maximise efficiency and energy production. Here are the key factors to consider:

Types of Solar Panels

There are different types of solar panels to consider: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. 

Monocrystalline panels are the most efficient and perform well in low-light conditions, making them a great choice for Ireland. Polycrystalline panels are slightly less efficient but are still a good option due to their lower cost. Thin-film panels are less common but can be useful in specific installations.

Installation Orientation

The orientation of your solar panels affects how much sunlight they receive. In Ireland, it’s best to install panels facing south to maximise exposure to sunlight throughout the day.

If a south-facing installation isn't possible, southeast or southwest orientations can also work well.

Roof Angle

The angle of your roof plays an important role in the efficiency of solar panels. For optimal performance in Ireland, panels should be installed at an angle between 30 and 40 degrees.

This angle allows panels to capture the maximum amount of sunlight throughout the year.

Roof Type

The type of roof on your home or business can impact the installation process. Solar panels can be installed on most roof types, including tiled, slate, and flat roofs. However, the installation method might vary.

It's important to work with a professional installer who can recommend the best approach for your specific roof type.

Professional Installation

To ensure your solar panels work effectively, it’s important to have them installed by a professional. Experienced installers will know how to position the panels correctly and handle any technical issues that arise.

Proper installation ensures that your solar panels will perform optimally and last for many years.

How Efficient Are Solar Panels in Low-Light Conditions?

Today’s solar panels are much more advanced than those of the past. They are built to be more efficient and can generate electricity even in low-light conditions.

Improvements in technology mean that modern panels can capture and convert more light, even on overcast days. This makes solar panels a viable option for homes and businesses in Ireland.

Types of Panels for Low-Light Conditions

There are specific types of solar panels that perform particularly well in low-light conditions. For example, monocrystalline panels are known for their high efficiency and ability to work well even when the sunlight is not at its peak.

Another option is polycrystalline panels, which also offer good performance in diffuse light. These advancements mean that you can still benefit from solar energy, even if you don’t live in a region with constant sunshine.

What Are the Benefits of Solar Panels in Ireland?

Are you curious about the benefits of installing solar panels in Ireland? Let's explore how solar panels can make a positive impact on your life and the environment.

Environmental Impact

Solar panels help reduce your carbon footprint by generating clean, renewable energy. Using solar power instead of fossil fuels helps combat climate change and contributes to a greener environment.

Economic Savings

Installing solar panels can significantly lower your electricity bills. With the rising cost of energy, having a solar power system can lead to long-term savings, making it a smart financial investment.

Government Incentives

The Irish government offers various incentives and grants to encourage the use of solar energy. These incentives can help reduce the upfront cost of installing solar panels, making it more affordable for homeowners and businesses.

Energy Independence

By generating your own electricity, you become less reliant on the grid. This means you are less affected by energy price fluctuations and power outages, giving you more control over your energy supply.

Increase in Property Value

Homes and businesses with solar panels often see an increase in property value. Solar panels are considered a valuable upgrade, making your property more attractive to potential buyers.

How Can You Overcome Common Challenges with Solar Panels in Ireland?

Now, let's discuss some common challenges you might face with solar panels in Ireland and how to overcome them.

Installation Considerations

Professional installation is crucial for ensuring your solar panels work efficiently. Experts can help you choose the right location for your panels, considering factors like roof orientation and shading.

Proper installation also ensures durability and optimal performance in Ireland's variable weather conditions.

Maintenance and Durability

Solar panels are designed to be low maintenance, but they still require occasional cleaning and inspections.

Addressing concerns about wear and tear, modern panels are built to withstand harsh weather, including heavy rain and wind common in Ireland.

Local Support and Resources

There are many local companies in Ireland specialising in solar panel installation. These companies can provide expert advise and quality service.

For further reading or consultation, you can visit government websites or renewable energy organisations that offer detailed information and support.

Government Incentives and Grants

The Irish government provides financial incentives to encourage the use of solar energy. These incentives can include grants, tax breaks, and other forms of financial assistance, making it easier for homeowners and businesses to invest in solar panels.

Choosing the Right Technology

Selecting the right type of solar panels and technology can make a significant difference in performance.

Researching and choosing panels that are known for their efficiency in low-light conditions, such as monocrystalline or polycrystalline panels, ensures better performance


Solar panels can indeed work well in Ireland’s climate despite the frequent clouds and rain. By choosing the right type of solar panels, ensuring they are installed at the correct angle and orientation, and having a professional installation, you can maximise energy production and enjoy significant savings on your electricity bills.

Real-life examples and performance data show that solar panels are effective renewable energy solution for Irish homes and businesses.

For expert advise and professional installation services, trust HP Roofing to help you use the power of solar energy. Contact HP Roofing today for a greener, more sustainable future tailored specifically for Ireland's unique climate.

Contact us today!

HP Roofing is a team of residential & commercial roofing contractors and solar panel installation experts in Dublin. We offer a wide range of services, from roof repairs and replacements to solar PV installations and maintenance, with quality beyond expectations.
Call HP Roofing 01 453 3366

Frequently Asked Questions

Can solar panels generate enough power in cloudy weather?

Yes, solar panels can still generate electricity on cloudy days. Modern panels are designed to work efficiently even in low-light conditions, typical in Ireland.

How much sunlight do solar panels need to work in Ireland?

Solar panels can work with as little as 1,100 to 1,400 hours of sunlight per year, which is within Ireland's average annual sunlight hours.

Are solar panels a good investment in Ireland?

Yes, solar panels can provide long-term savings on electricity bills and benefit from government incentives, making them a sound investment in Ireland.

How do seasonal changes affect solar panel efficiency in Ireland?

Solar panels produce more electricity during the longer daylight hours in summer, but they are still effective during the winter due to the advancements in solar technology.

Do I need planning permission to install solar panels in Ireland?

In most cases, you don't need planning permission for solar panels on your roof, but it's best to check with local authorities to ensure compliance with regulations.

What types of solar panels are best for Ireland's climate?

Monocrystalline panels are highly efficient in low-light conditions and are ideal for Ireland's climate, while polycrystalline panels are also a good, cost-effective option.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.
Founder @ HPRoofing

The founder of HP Roofing, with years of industry experience, providing top-notch roofing and solar panel services for residential and commercial properties in Dublin, delivering high-quality and customised solutions that combine both aesthetic appeal and durable functionality.