Investing in Solar Panels

In this article we will discuss whether it is good decision to start investing in solar panels in the UAE (and Middle East).

“Invest in a solar panel, start harvesting the sun, help the world get greener and on top of that save on your energy bill”

So far this sounds good. But can you really save on your energy bills?

The answer is that in many countries you already can. If you have the money available solar panels are very good investments with guaranteed payback investment on top of your property.

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Fig: Installation of solar panels on a rooftop (source)

A solar panel costs a certain amount of money, typically the hardware of the panel and invertors and the amount necessary for the installation of the solar panel. You can either invest directly or go for lease and loan structures for solar panel financing.

Why do we call this an investment and no expenditure? Solar panels deliver your solar generated energy directly to your own house and when connected to the energy grid, they can also deliver a surplus of energy (which is not used by you) to the grid, so the energy can be used by other people. There are different systems for compensation for solar energy you provide as customer back to the grid, but the most usual one is called a feed-in system, where you get an amount back equal to a set price for sustainable energy from your supplier (energy savings).

In the UAE, it will soon be also possible to install solar panels for home and small business owners. Currently it is being researched to what feed-in system DEWA would like to adhere to. It is expected in the second half year of 2014 for Dubai to pass legislation on the small scale use of solar panels.

What would it be going to cost you if you would opt for front-up paying for your panels? It can be anything between a couple of 1000 Dollars and 10,000s of Dollars. This is dependent on

–          How many panels you want to place

–          The quality of the panels

–          The quality of the inverter (you have to be able to switch from DC to AC)

Personally, I think this article describes very well how complex the installation can be. You can do it yourself, but you have to know what you are doing. Luckily there are many firms who can do the installation for you, and it makes sense to ask a number of them for a quotation. More companies are also showing up which offer leasing structures for solar panels, which do the solar panel installation for free. Of course for you this will go at expense of your Return on Investment.

Additionally, I would advise to also look at certification and experience of other consumers about the installation qualities of the solar installation companies you are interested in.

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