Posted: Sarah Hancock|April 26th, 2018


Question #7: Are Solar Panels Viable in Cold Climates? Will They Still Work When It's Cloudy/Rainy/Snowy?


Facebook Tweet mail
blog post author image
Written by Sarah Hancock
Sarah Hancock is passionate about green living and sustainability. She frequently writes about renewable energy and manages the Solar blog at

This is the seventh question in a twelve-question series. Please click here to read the introduction, as well as access the other questions in the series. Or, download the printable ebook to view the entire series.

"Yes. Sun exposure is important, so the payback is not as quick, but many cold climate areas have successful solar programs. Very little and this depends on the inverter. Micro inverters tend to work better. A while ago, thin film technology was picking up speed (solyndra) and they worked in cloudy conditions however the price of Crystalline panels came down and they are more efficient." -Teris Pantazes

"Yes. We are in cold, cloudy Massachusetts. What I don't understand is why the entire Southwest hasn't switched over. If we can make it work, it would be so easy for them!" -Shel Horowitz

"Yes - the panels will work in all temperatures - just at a lower efficiency. The panels use daylight to generate, so they will generate some energy but not a huge amount." -Mark Stevenson

"Yes, it works in all climates provided there's adequate space and minimal or no shading" -Geoff Mirkin

"Absolutely. Like any electrical device, solar panels actually perform better under cooler temperatures. Cool, sunny locations can create some of the most efficient output of solar panels. But, solar needs the sun to shine, for the most part. While there is still a measurable output, even under partly cloudy conditions, solar is typically not as effective on rainy days, and snow covered panels will not produce much either." -Greg Reed

"Yes. Yes, but not as effectively as on a bright sunny day." -Julio Daniel Hernandez

"Yes, viability of solar panels is reliant on availability of sun hours. Temperature is not a major factor, however solar panels work better in cooler climates than hotter ones. Panel efficiency actually decreases as temperatures raise too much. Panels will still work in cloudy weather, but not as well as when the sun is directly shining on them." -Matt Stoutenburg

Click here to go on to Question #8: Will Solar Panels Still Generage Power During Grid Blackouts?

Compare the top ranked companies

Find the right company for you.

Sungevity image #1
Sunrun image #2
Elevation Solar image #3
Solar Energy World image #4
Zenernet image #5
Solar in America image #6 View

Learn More About The Top Solar Companies

company logo
#1 Sungevity chevron_right
9.4 Overall Score
company logo
#2 Sunrun chevron_right
9.3 Overall Score
company logo
#3 Elevation Solar chevron_right
8.7 Overall Score

Related Articles

Card image cap
The Ultimate Guide to Solar in Nevada: 201...

Nevada Solar Overview Nevada hasn’t always been most solar-friendly state in the nation; back in 2015, the Public...

Read More
Card image cap
5 Ways to Make Your Office More Environmen...

Guest Post by Steven I. Azizi Every small to large business owner eventually tackles the same problem – clutter an...

Read More
Card image cap
The Ultimate Guide to Solar in Oregon: 201...

Oregon Solar Overview To date, Oregon lawmakers have done a nice job of enacting favorable solar policies in the Beaver...

Read More