The reason skiers get sunburn may also be the reason solar panels work better in snowy environments. According to scientists from St. Lawrence College and Queen’s University, what is known as the albedo effect actually increases a solar panel’s capability of generating electricity, giving more confidence in implementing these energy panels in snowy regions.
Researchers studied how much power generation would decrease in varied amounts of snow cover. Michigan Technological University’s Joshua Pearce claims the benefits snow can provide to solar panels. “Sometimes snow actually helps solar cells,” he says, referring to evidence that the color white can reflect sunlight, providing a more abundant source of energy to solar panels. This research was conducted on the Open Solar Outdoors Test Field which is run at Michigan Tech by Pearce.