Friday, 10 February 2012

Doubt over solar industry future.

It's hard to imagine a scenario where homeowners would wish to invest in their property and the environment if the proposed changes to the Solar feed-in-tariff are implemented. 

Greg Barker, climate change minister is proposing a  21p tariff applied to solar systems installed on or after March 3 2012. The tariff would fall again in July 2012– to between 13.6p and 16.5p/kWh – and to 12.9p-15.7p/kWh in October 2012, depending on the rate of installations.

Installing PV panels on your roof, along with the relevant infrastructure is a long term investment. Who knows what the future holds for our families needs, and how our savings and investments can meet those demands.
Accepting that installation costs have fallen since the FiT scheme was first introduced, it nevertheless will reach a point where fixed costs are unaffected by technological driven price reduction. A £10,000 installation in 2011 will probably fall by 35% in the 2012. If the 12.9p kWh rate is applied to an average system generating 2,185 kWh each year the income generated would be £281 pa. that's a return on your £6,500 investment of 4.3% each year. Looking on the Internet gives me multiple opportunities to make a 5 year investment for similar interest rates and still have my capital available at the end of term. 
If you factor in replacement inverter costs and the potential for any other maintenance, the case for solar power looks less than rosy.  

The UK's greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2010, the first increase since 2003. Emissions from the residential sector rose by almost 15% from 2009 the statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change showed. If the government is serious about meeting global warming targets, it needs to encourage the alternative energy industry by giving clearly defined targets for manufacturers, installers and consumers. The existing situation where the government is reacting to, rather than driving policy, is a recipe for disaster for all concerned.


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