Renewable energy in the UK has got a huge boost from last year’s introduction of the feed in tariff (FiT). That occurred in April 2010 so coming up on a full year ago, and the increased uptake of renewable energy, in particular solar energy, in the UK has been marked. Indeed, so much so that the government is now talking about cutting back the rate so as to keep the costs under control. This is quite controversial of course, and particularly bad news for the businesses which have been planning to build solar energy parks as Chris Huhne, the minister responsible for overseeing the scheme, has stated that he wants individuals to be able to make use of the feed in tariff more than companies. The companies wanting to produce renewable energy in this way are of course disheartened by this news and hoping that the decision will be reversed, but it might be good for ordinary people who want to have solar panels put on their roof.
Feed in Tariff
Some would argue that if a scheme needs a government tariff in order to become popular then it is not really ready to become commercial. There is plenty of research being done into solar panels, ways of making them more efficient, more powerful, which should eventually make them profitable on their own. To counter this argument of course is the global warming possibility. It has been stated that if we continue on with our current course of burning fossil fuels and releasing copious amounts of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere then the world will warm up beyond its limits and there will be dire consequences. So even though the technology might not be entirely ready to be commercially viable yet, it has to be promoted so that we can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels for our energy needs. In any case, for the moment we do have the feed in tariff, and for those who take advantage of it, it is guaranteed for 25 years at the rate that it has been originally offered.
If this is the first time you have come across the feed in tariff though, then you are probably wondering what it is. Briefly, it is money paid to the generator of renewable energy in the UK which is fed into the national electricity grid. If you have solar panels on your roof then you will of course be the generator of solar energy. This does not mean that you simply send all of the energy that it produces nationally though, the first use of the energy is to your own home. It will be creating energy all through the day though, so you won’t need all of the energy it produces, and for that extra energy you will be paid through the feed in tariff. This means that the whole time the solar panels are on your roof, and the sun is in the sky (even if it is behind clouds) it will be making you money either from the savings to your electricity bill or from the feed in tariff.
Solar Energy UK
The feed in tariff applies to all forms of renewable energy but solar energy has proved the most popular. If you would like to know more about having solar panels put on your roof we can provide you with a free quote at Solar Energy UK and also take you through everything that has to be done to take advantage of the feed in tariff.
There are lots of good reasons to install solar panels. There are plenty of bad reasons to have them installed as well of course. One bad reason to get solar panels would be, for instance, that you think they attract the sun and it will improve the weather over your house. Another bad reason would be because you think they will save you from the end of the world in 2012 (if the world ends, solar panels will be no more use than the roof they will have been installed on). The good news is though, even if you have installed solar panels for bad reasons, you will still get all of the positive benefits from them.
So here are 5 good reasons to have solar panels installed on your roof:
Global Warming. By now most people believe that global warming is going to be a serious problem for this planet unless we do something about it. And most of the problem has been caused by burning fossil fuels, releasing carbon dioxide into the air. Solar panels therefore combat global warming by reducing the demand for non-renewable energy sources.
Pollution. Many people think of global warming being caused by pollution, but carbon dioxide cannot really be considered a pollutant in the atmosphere as plants need it to be able to turn it into oxygen. However fossil fuels do release other pollutants into the air, which then fall to the ground and pollute the earth as well. Therefore by reducing the demand for fossil fuel, solar energy also reduces pollution.
Personal Finances. Although there are plenty of people who take the health of the planet far more seriously than their personal finances, it is something that nobody can afford to ignore. The feed in tariff makes solar energy very attractive as an investment opportunity, as well as being good for the environment. So much so that the government are likely to cut it back soon, so it is best to have solar panels installed as soon as possible in order to take full advantage of it.
The Economy. With more solar panels being produced, this creates more jobs in the green sector, which improves economic conditions. It is also beneficial that this is in an environmentally friendly place in the economy, and not one which is adding to the pollution. Although of course making the solar panels in the first place does expend some energy, but this is more than made up for by its future work.
Rising Energy Prices. This really belongs in the personal finances section, but also deserves a place on its own. With rising energy prices, it means that having solar panels on your roof reducing your energy bills will become even more beneficial.
These are five good reasons to have solar panels installed on your roof. If you would like more information, or a free quote from Solar Energy UK so that you know exactly how much it would cost to have them installed on your roof, then please feel free to get in touch.
It’s Valentine’s day, which as we all know, is all about showing how much we love those we care about the most. Usually this is the person in our lives we most care for, but we should not forget about the planet that makes all life possible. We have to remember to show love for our planet as well, and that means taking care of it, not polluting it with toxic fumes. This is not all just about one day of course, just as we do not love the ones we are close to just for one day. If you do want to show love for your planet though, then generating solar energy buy getting solar panels for your house is the perfect way.
Save the Planet
As we all know, the price for all of our wonderful technological advances is that we need more and more power to be able to run them. Unfortunately that power is usually generated by burning fossil fuels, which in turn releases pollutants into the atmosphere. It also releases carbon dioxide, which is one of the main drivers in global warming. Fortunately though, there is a way to enjoy all of our advances in technology, which vastly increase our quality life, without making our planet pay the price. And of course there is not even any need to be totally altruistic in this endeavour, as if we treat the planet badly eventually it will, with no malicious intent, also treat us badly. Eventually, it might not be inhabitable at all.
When we generate solar energy though, by way of solar panels, we are helping to save the planet. Solar cells do not make any noxious pollutants because the only thing that has to burn to give them energy is the Sun. This makes them a totally clean and sustainable of creating energy, and a great way to show our planet that we love it.
No matter how much we love the planet though, if we do not have the money to be able to do anything about it, then we can do nothing about it. How many people would like to be able to spend Valentine’s day with their loved one in Paris? But how many people can afford to do that? If the money is just not there then there is nothing that we can do. So it might be that you are not able to afford the installation costs, which are admittedly quite considerable for solar panels.
The good news, however, is that if you are able to afford those initial costs, the solar panels will immediately begin to repay you. For one, your energy bills will go down, as much of the electricity you need will be made from solar energy. On top of that though you can add the feed in tariff, which directly pays you for energy that you do not use yourself, and is rather fed back to the national electricity system.
This means that in the long run you are able to not only save the planet, showing your love, but you will be able to do so by saving money. If you would like show the love and get a free quote for solar panels, get in touch with Solar Energy UK today.
Until recently, to invest in solar panels meant that you would have to wait a very long time to see any return, if you saw any at all. Before the feed in tariff was introduced, the only way to “make” money with solar energy was through the savings you made on your electricity bill. Although those are quite substantial, it could still take over twenty years to make this worth the initial investment of having PV cells installed on your roof. Therefore, even people who would have liked to make use of them to do their bit for the environment could not justify the expense financially. After all, solar panels generally have to be replaced after about twenty five years. That has all changed with the introduction of the solar panels though, it now takes less than a decade to pay off the investment, and then you really will be making money from your solar panels.
Feed in Tariff
The reason for this change is the introduction of the Feed in Tariff (FiT) in April last year. It has since been expanded to allow local public bodies, such as local councils, to take advantage of it. There has since been a large increase in the uptake of solar cells as it is no longer just for people committed to changing the way that we produce energy, it is also a good investment for people who are only concerned with making a financial attainment. Of course most people are concerned about both, and are just glad of the opportunity to be able to make use of solar energy.
So what do you have to do to make use of the feed in tariff? You will have to make an application, and there should be no problem with it being accepted. At Solar Energy UK we can help you through the whole process and would be happy to advise on the steps that you have to take if you contact one of our staff. We can also provide you with a free quote as to how much it would cost to have solar panels installed on your property.
How Much Will You Make?
How much you will make by utilizing solar energy will of course depend on how many solar cells you have installed and how good an area you are in for sunlight. There is no need to be concerned if you are not in a particularly sunny part of the UK (you are in good company!), solar cells still work in cloudy conditions as well. If you do happen to live somewhere like Cornwall, however, which receives the most amount of sunlight on average, then your solar panels will create more power.
On average, however, people make about £800 from the feed in tariff annually, and on to that must be added the savings made on your electricity bill. For the first few years, this will all be going towards repaying your investment in the solar panels of course, but after that you will be making profits from it. This means that by the time your solar panels need replacing, you will be able to afford to buy a new set from what you have made from your original PV cells, after which you will still effectively be making pure profits from the solar panels.
If you are looking to have solar panels installed and you are located anywhere in the UK then Solar Energy UK can help. Whether you want PV (photovoltaic) panels that create electricity by way of solar energy, or solar panels to heat water, we have the expertise to set up the system for you. If you would like more information about solar panels in the UK, please read on.
How Solar Panels Work
To go deep into the science of how solar panels work is not something that is going to be done in this article. You can read the blog posting “How Solar Panels Work” for a more detailed explanation. Here is a general outline of how they work though: solar panels are made up of a number of solar cells, which generate electricity when light hits them. The photon, a particle of light, hitting the solar cells creates an imbalance between the positive and negative sides of the cell, and to correct that imbalance current flows. This is obviously a simplified explanation, but it works as a simple description.
What then happens to the electricity depends on the demand that is present at the time. If you have the solar panels on your roof and you are running electrical appliances that require more energy, the electricity goes to them. If you are not running electrical equipment but the battery that is attached to the system is not full then the energy will go to fill the battery. If the battery is full and you don’t need the electricity for what you are running, however, then the electricity will be diverted to the national grid. At the present time, a feed in tariff (FIT) is in operation, meaning that for this solar energy which you provide you are paid a certain rate.
Financial Incentives for Solar Panels
What has just been described is the financial incentives for solar energy. In the first case, when you need the electricity, the solar panels provides it to you. This means that you save on your electricity from a traditional source. Then, when you do not need the electricity, it is diverted nationally and you get money for that. These two aspects in combination mean that in less than a decade you should have been able to pay off your initial investment. After that time you will actually be generating profits, not just energy, from your solar panels.
Environmental Benefits of Solar Panels
Of course the main reason that most people wish to have solar panels is not to make money. There is nothing wrong with investing in solar panels for a long term return, but it is the environmental benefits which are most attractive to most people. They like the idea of being able to help out the environment, even if it is only a small amount, by using clean energy to power their home. Nor is this limited just to homes as businesses and public bodies can also take advantage of the feed in tariff, leading to long term benefits for the Earth as well as for finances.
Installing Solar Panels
If you would like to know more about having solar panels installed, please feel free to contact Solar Energy UK. We would be happy to provide you with a free quote.
The government has announced that it is going to make changes to the Feed in Tariff scheme (FITS) in order to make sure that the maximum number of home owners are able to take advantage of it. The problem has been that, with FITS being such a good deal, business owners have recognised this and have made steps to profit from it by building large solar energy plants. Since the scheme was only introduced last April, as of yet none have been built yet, but there are several in the works and more seeking permission from councils for the go ahead. The scheme was intended, however, to encourage ordinary people to have solar panels put up on their roofs, with the feed in tariff a financial incentive to do so. It was not created as a way for businesses to make profits.
What’s Wrong With Businesses Profiting from Feed in Tariffs?
But with the economy still trying to recover, what would be so wrong with businesses profiting from feed in tariffs? After all, the environment doesn’t care whether the solar energy is being created by businesses for a profit or by individuals and families to power their home directly. And the solar farms will create employment to build and maintain, benefiting the economy.
- The Economy
Actually, though, those arguments do not hold up very well. The economy is helped just as much by having solar panels installed on lots of different roofs, as it is by having them all built in one place. This creates just as much employment. Also, instead of people having to pay for the energy produced by companies supplying solar energy, if the solar panels are installed themselves, they are actually getting paid for it. This gives the recipient extra spending power which can be used to create extra demand for further products in the economy. In fact then, as well as being better for individuals financially, it is probably also better for the economy if the feed in tariff is mainly used by home owners.
- The Environment
The second point is about the environment. While it is true that in terms of pollution, and its reduction, it does not matter whether the solar energy is produced by individuals or businesses, it does matter to the environment. The environment is more than just the air of course, it is also the ground. When solar cells are put on roofs, they are completely unobtrusive, using space that is not being used for anything else. This is not the case with solar energy farms though. In many cases it is quite appropriate that they are called “farms” because they take up farmland space. This is space that could be used to grow crops, and would instead be used to create solar energy. This may lead to more food being imported from abroad, which could increase the amount of pollution created to do so, and therefore be counter productive.
Precisely what measures the government is going to introduce to make sure that businesses to not use a disproportionate amount of the funds meant for the feed in tariff has not been confirmed, but it is probably a good idea that something is going to be done. If you would like to take advantage of FITS yourself, you can contact Solar Energy UK for a free quote regarding having solar panels installed.
One of the points made against solar energy has been that it is not very efficient. That is, for all the energy it receives from the sun, it only converts a small percentage of it into useful electrical energy. This has meant that to create a significant amount of electricity from solar panels, you need quite a few of them. Hence the large solar arrays in the desert. Of course, if all you own is a house (not a desert) then you can’t fit lots of solar panels on there, so you really need each one to be creating a significant amount of energy. While the ones currently available do a pretty good job, next month, what are considered to be the most energy efficient solar cells in the world will be commercially available in the UK.
Energy Efficient Solar Panels
These energy efficient solar panels are produced by SANYO, and are part of their HIT series. The new ones to the UK market are the N series, which includes the N 220SE10, the most efficient of solar cells. To those not familiar with the typical energy efficiency conversion rates of solar cells, it might not seem impressive that these new solar panels will have an energy efficiency of 21.6%. But for a commercial product, that is actually very high. Clearly there is much room for improvement in the future, but at the current time this is the best possible, and is quite a bit better than the standard solar panels at present.
Energy Efficiency Benefits
Everybody knows that being efficient is good. Whether in terms of energy, finances or sports, being efficient is always a good thing. But what are the specific benefits of having solar panels that are energy efficient? Put simply, it means that more energy is being produced per square footage of solar panel than before. If you are having solar panels installed on your roof, where space is of course limited, this is of particular advantage. It means that when you are using a lot of energy in your home, the solar panels will be able to take care of more of it. It also means that when you are not using the energy, you will be getting more money from the feed in tariff because you will be providing more money.
Feed in Tariff
The big news about the new energy efficient solar panels is that they have recently been approved, and have been give MCS accreditation. This means that they can be used in conjunction with the feed in tariff system. This is the government scheme which has made solar energy so popular recently, as it means it takes a lot less time to pay off the initial investment, and after that you are actually profiting financially from your solar panels.
If you want to get involved with solar energy, you can do so by having solar panels put on your roof. From March 2011 you will have the possibility of having these new, energy efficient solar panels installed to take full advantage of the space you have available. For more information and to get a free quote, please feel free to contact Solar Energy UK.
One of the considerations about solar energy in the UK has to be how well it will work, considering the fact that it is not the sunniest region of the world. Fortunately, then, solar cells in cloudy weather still work. In fact the only time that solar cells are not generating electricity is at night. That is not to say that the intensity of sunlight does not have any effect on the solar panels, they do work better when the sun is out and it is shining brightly. That is why Cornwall is a particularly popular site for solar energy, it has the most amount of sunshine annually in the UK.
How Solar Panels Work
Solar panels are made out of a number of solar cells, and they work by converting solar energy into electrical energy. The solar energy comes in the form of photons, particles of light. So just as it is still light during the day even when there is cloud cover, solar panels are still getting the photons. The photons might not have as much energy in them as they would when there is a clear sky but the solar cells can still use them. This means that solar panels are creating energy all day, every day.
The question which arises, though, is whether solar panels are a good investment considering the fact that it is cloudy much of the time in the UK. As has already been stated, it doesn’t matter if it is cloudy, solar cells still generate electricity. In fact, so much energy is created that you won’t end up using it all. The energy that is not used on your property is transferred to the national grid, and for this you are paid by the government by way of the feed in tariff. This means that you are not making money just from the savings on your electric bill, but you are also getting money for the energy that you don’t use. Instead of taking two decades to pay off the initial investment, with the feed in tariff it takes under a decade. This is still a somewhat long term investment, therefore, but the feed in tariff is guaranteed for at least 25 years, and the rate stays the same as it is first offered at. Having solar panels installed is quite expensive, but the investment more than pays for itself over time.
If you own a house, then in all likelihood you will be able to get solar panels installed. Sometimes there are planning permission issues if you live in a conservation area, but for most people there is no problem with having solar panels installed. If you would like to do this, and get involved in saving the earth and saving money, you can contact Solar Energy for UK for more information and a free quote. We can take you through everything that needs to be done, and if you decide to have the work carried out, we install the solar panels, as well as the whole system throughout your house. Please feel free to get in touch, and get involved with solar energy today.