This post is also available in: Spanish
Solar power in Panama. Electricity can be very expensive so that households and businesses are looking for ways to reduce that bill. Over the last decades alternative sources of energy have become more popular, especially solar power. The prices of the panels have come down, which makes them an attractive proposition for many home owners.
Solar panels are technological dispositives that use solar energy to transform it into usable energy to produce electricity or heat water. There are different types of solar panels but the photovoltaic ones are those utilized to generate electricity. They are made using raw material such as silica.
The solar photovoltaic panels transform solar energy into electric energy to be reused in real time to supply electric consumption for a house (i.e. fridge, illumination, television and normal electric appliances).
The photovoltaic energy can be used independently with a panel and a storage battery or through a bidirectional meter system that links with the energy distribution companies: Ensa, Edemet and Edechi. If you produce more energy that you consume the company will give you credit and you will pay less than before or nothing at all.
Panama has a legislation that allows that any client who installs a small photovoltaic system can interconnect with the network, so there will not be any legal problems.
The independent system on the other hand, is ideal for isolated parts of the country where the electricity network is non existent. In that case a solar panel, a battery to store energy and an inverter will be necessary.
One of the companies that is selling and installing solar photovoltaic panels in Panama is Panasonic Corporation. It is offering panels with photovoltaic conversion of 23.8% (with an opening area of 11.562 square centimetersj, which means that a smaller panel can produce more electricity. The HIT N240 has a 25 years guarantee and has been recently introduced to the country and it is continuing to develop new and more efficient photovoltaic systems.
Recently the National Assembly discussed a bill that gives incentives not only to those companies which produce Solar power in Panama, but enterprises and individuals that install and produce solar energy on their premises. The objective is for the country to become energy independent and for more households to have solar panels which can sell the excess of energy to the electricity companies.
The average solar energy system costs around $2,000 plus maintenance for an average house and the panels are more durable and less intrusive than they used to be. The investment can be recovered in less than three years. Looking at the numbers, it appears to be a very interesting proposition.