Posts Tagged ‘solar power’
With inflation going up again, to record highs, it is the poor old savers who are losing out again. All that lovely money in the bank and it’s just sitting there losing money. But for the savvy, there is a way of not only generating a return of almost 10% on your savings, but also allowing you to look like a Responsible Person as well. But you may have to get your skates on…
Of course, this money making wheeze isn’t a new savings account, or a risky stock market dabble. It is Government supported, though, and is almost as safe as houses, literally. We are talking about renewable energy, particularly solar panels on your roof. Most renewable energy installations at the domestic level are covered by so-called ‘permitted development’ (so they don’t need planning permissions), except in conservation areas or on listed buildings.
The cash benefits of installing solar panels are threefold, you get paid for generating electricity, you get paid for ‘selling’ your surplus electricity back to the grid and you save money on your electricity bills that would otherwise have gone to line the pocket of *.
To put numbers in, www.fitariffs.co.uk calculates the average benefits for an average household.
Based on an average use of 4,500kWh of electricity per year and the installation of 2.5kW of solar PV panels, an average household, for example a three or four bedroom house,could expect:
the electricity generated to pay the homeowner £836 a year tax-free
other electricity costs (eg at night) would be reduced from £450 to £300: saving £150
giving a total benefit of £986 per year
If you think that solar panels cost approximately £10,000-£15,000 to install, that’s a return on investment of up to 9.86% a year. The feed in tariff rates are guaranteed for 25 years, so after you make back your initial outlay cost in years 10 to 15, the rest is pure profit. Over the whole 25 years, then, the average return including the cost of recouping your capital could be as high as 5.9%. Even assuming the higher cost of installation, an average return of 3.86% after deducting the cost of capital is still higher than most savings accounts. And you get to claim Green credentials.
But if you are thinking of joining the green** revolution you may need to get your skates on. Owing to the financial case for going Eco, the take up of solar panels has surprised everyone, including the Government, and it could be that the three year budgeted figures for feed in tariff costs will be surpassed, on current take-up, sometime in 2012. Add to that the disgruntled claims of a certain Middle England newspaper that green taxes are a leading cause of increases in energy bills, owing to the fact that subsidies are paid for, not by Government, but by small increases to everyone’s energy bill, and it looks like the days of the very generous feed in tariff could be numbered.
Currently, the feed in tariff for smaller domestic installations of solar panels on homes that are not new is 43.3p/kWh of electricity and these payments are guaranteed for 25 years. Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change secretary, appeared to confirm tariff-slashing fears when he said last week “It is absolutely right that the department goes on looking at the appropriate levels of subsidies to bring on these important technologies, and that is obviously what we will do.”
Naturally, the fledgling solar power industry is less than impressed at the thought of cuts to the subsidy. Jeremy Leggett, founder of Solarcentury, said: “[This is] the ridiculous spectacle of a government destroying jobs it had only just created to save next to nothing, given the tax paid by those jobholders and the unemployment benefit avoided, merely to pander to a Daily Mail lie machine that has green measures detracting from the national economy rather than adding.” He told the Guardian that he was accusing the nuclear and gas industries of conducting a propaganda war against green energy. No strong feelings then.
But the Government has a difficult line to tightrope across now. Clearly the scheme is benefitting the middle classes (who are going to be the only ones with £10 grand plus in the bank) more than those with lower incomes, but to scrap or reduce the scheme could end up putting solar industry scheme workers back on the dole. Not to mention the environmental shame of mothballing a successful Green scheme. The Government are due to review the scheme, and the tariff rates, in April 2012.
* Insert name of energy supplier here
Time to test your throbbing grey matter once again as we bring you a scintillating combo of bargains and brainteasers in True Or False Friday. By the time we’ve finished with you, you’ll all be walking funny.
For more of the same, but without the true or false bit, visit HotUKDeals.
THE DEAL: A FREE tub of Celebrations when you buy a 20p sharpener.
TRUE OR FALSE? This is the now-discontinued range of Celebrations that contained pieces of boiled ham wrapped in Marmite.
THE DEAL: A solar panel system with free electricity for 25 years and cashback for a £10,000 outlay. Or something like that.
TRUE OR FALSE? The system will only operate if you lie naked on your roof and beckon the sunshine with the recital of an ancient Egyptian sun-limerick.
TRUE OR FALSE? Games featured in the offer include Yellow Cormorant AIDS Patrol, The Beginninners, FireGasm 11.5, Tuna Parade, Return To Ipswich, Alan Kennedy’s Boot Explosion and Oblong Squad.
(deals found by HUKD members magicbeans, rogercat, david_robinson94 and theonlytazman)
In the week when doomsayers predicted that the cost of gas and electricity would shortly rise to a level where it would be cheaper to have liquid platinum piped into your house instead, the government have launched a solar power initiative that could save the lives of millions of penguins and make you some hard cash.
From 1st April, the government will pay new users of solar power for the electricity they generate, even if they use all of it themselves. Obviously, you’ll need an initial outlay for the photovolatiac (PV) solar panels (between £10k-£12k) and a south-facing, obstruction-free roof.
But after that, you’ll be paid 41.3p per kilowatt hour generated, which the government reckon will earn you as much as £900 in payouts, not to mention a saving on your regular bills of about £140. Better still, the payments will be guaranteed for the next 25 years and will be linked to inflation.
Early adopters who have already installed PV panels will also be rewarded, but at a lower rate. As the clever man in The Guardian who we’ve sourced the story from says: “If the government offered to pay you £1,000 a year for the next 25 years, in return for an up-front investment of £12,500, you’d snap it up in a second.” And that, in a nutshell, subject to many, many boxes that you’ll need to tick first, is what you could be getting.
It seems the sun has got his hat on. Hip hip hip hooray! Or something.
We keep having these wars and still we’re no closer to getting the Middle East to play nice and give us good price head. We’ve bribed and bombed and now the bloody stuff is running out.
Well, whilst everyone bites their nails and tries to make some trees die quicker so we can go hill milking for the black stuff, some smart cookies are looking elsewhere for our power. As such, Europe may be getting energy from solar power raped sourced from the Sahara.
A $400bn (£240bn) plan for such a thing moved a step closer to reality today with the formation of a consortium of 12 companies to carry out the work.
The Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII) aims to provide 15% of Europe’s electricity by 2050 or earlier via power lines stretching across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The German-led consortium was brought together by Munich Re and consists of some of country’s biggest engineering and power companies, including Siemens, E.ON, ABB and Deutsche Bank.
You’ll agree that the last sentence may have been the most moving, powerful and riveting paragraphs in the history of the English language.
Here’s the science. The solar technology involved is known as concentrated solar power (CSP). What happens here is, that mirrors are used to concentrate the sun’s rays on a fluid container. The super-heated liquid then drives turbines and makes electrickery!
Desertec is being fawned at by many, including German coalition government of Angela Merkel. Everyone is very giddy because it means the dependency on oil and Russian gas supplies could diminish. Of course, North African governments are going to be up for it as well because it means loads of money.
So that’s the future of our children sorted then… unless we end up going to war with Algeria and Chad or something.
It’s one of those ‘surely someone’s already done that?’ ideas, but apparently not. Until designers Hyun-Joong Jim and Kwang-Seok Jeong got on the scene that is. They’re claiming that the sun’s rays can be converted into enough energy to recharge an mp3 player or mobile phone.
We’re not completely sure about the look of the actual shades – if they can custom-build us a pair like Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera used to wear circa 1973 (right) then we’ll have some.