How Much Energy Is Used to Create a Solar Panel?

Everyone likes to save energy, but few people know how much energy they actually use. If you’re looking to lower your energy consumption and reduce your carbon footprint, it might be worth looking into alternative energy sources, like solar power.

Just how much energy does it take to create a solar panel system and how sustainable is it? Let’s take a look.

Raw Materials

When we talk about creating a solar panel, the first thing that comes to mind is raw materials. All solar panels have four layers:

  • A base layer made of thin plastic films or glass
  • Solar cells
  • A top layer made of the same material as the base layer
  • A final protective layer

Each of the layers has a different role to play. The base layer is an insulating layer and keeps solar radiation from penetrating the structure of the solar cell. The bottom protective layer protects the solar cells from dust, moisture, and damage. The top layer provides protection against shock, moisture, and more.

To put it simply, the more layers there are, the more material and the more profit the manufacturer makes. To create a five-layer solar panel, five layers of polyethylene film are required, along with a copper sheet for the negative electrode. The layer of copper is extremely thin and makes up only around 2% of the entire panel.


As much as we’d like to believe that robots can do all the work in the manufacturing of solar panels, the fact is that a considerable amount of labor is required for their creation. For example, around 30 minutes of labor are needed just to put one of those four-layer panels together. That’s a lot of work for a small amount of electricity. In general, putting a solar panel system together takes around two to three hours of work per day, or around 20 to 30 hours per week. Unfortunately, that’s not including the time needed to actually install the system. The labor cost for installing a typical residential system is around $500 (USD), but that could be less once you factor in the value of the tools and the cost of the labor to install them.


How sustainable is solar energy and how much does it contribute to a society’s efforts in reducing its carbon footprint? Let’s take a look. The good news is that solar energy is more than capable of contributing a lot to a sustainable future. If we look at the amount of electricity produced by the sun, we can easily see how it could power all of our homes for free. If we also take into account how much less carbon dioxide is emitted when we use solar energy, we’re definitely shifting towards a more sustainable future. However, as we’ve already seen, solar energy isn’t free. In fact, it costs around three to four times as much as traditional energy to produce. This makes it a bit more costly for the average person, which is why most people don’t think about it as an option yet. If you’re interested in going green, you might want to look into the possibility of generating your own energy. With a photovoltaic array, you’ll be able to produce enough electricity to power all of your home appliances. The panels come in different sizes and shapes, so you can easily find one that will fit perfectly on your roof.

To be able to produce more electricity, you need more sun. The more sun you have, the more electricity you can produce and the more sustainable your energy source will be. If you live in a region that gets a lot of sunlight, it’s definitely worth looking into what solar energy has to offer. In some places, it could be the only way to go. In some regions, it simply makes more sense to generate your own energy than to rely on large power plants that are far from you.


The final cost of a solar panel system is usually based on several factors, like the size and the type of panel you choose. For example, the bigger the better up to a point. If you have a large roof, you might want to go for a couple of small panels rather than one large one. The cost of the raw materials, the labor to install the system, and the sustainability of the energy source all factor into the total cost of a solar panel system. If you’re interested in generating your own energy and save money in the process, it’s worth looking into the different types of solar panels that are out there. Some companies are trying to make solar energy more accessible to the average person by selling cheaper versions of standard panels. With those panels, the labor cost is usually taken care of by the company that sells them. This reduces the total cost of ownership for the consumer. However, at the end of the day, cheaper doesn’t always mean better.

To put it simply, the more people who buy in, the more the industry can grow. With more people generating their own clean energy, the world can easily shift towards a more sustainable future. Buying a solar panel system is the easy part. Installing it on your roof is a bit more complex but isn’t that hard. In some places, it can even be done by the average person with some basic tools. For those looking to go green and be more sustainable, solar energy might be the answer. It’s a versatile and reliable source of energy that costs less to maintain than traditional forms of energy. If you have the ability to generate your own energy, it simply makes sense to do so. You’ll be doing your bit to save the planet and reduce your carbon footprint while still being able to power your home.

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