A new study has found that the solar power is bearing a loss of over 25 per cent in output due to dust and air pollution in the atmosphere, hinting at one of the serious complications solar energy will face in coming days.
In some parts of the world, the study found that solar output level was cut by over 25% as a result of airborne particles (particulate air pollution) and dust.
India, China and some part in the Middle East have produced the worst results and interestingly these are the countries which have installed the most solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in recent years.
“My colleagues in India were showing off some of their rooftop solar installations, and I was blown away by how dirty the panels were,” commented Michael Bergin, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Duke University and lead author of the study.
“I thought the dirt had to affect their efficiencies, but there weren’t any studies out there estimating the losses. So we put together a comprehensive model to do just that."
The new study was published in a paper Environmental Science & Technology Letters.