Archive for 'Technology'

Oct 31

DECC have today confirmed the booming solar industries worst fears by publishing their “consultation” on feed in tariff cuts for PV systems.

The table above shows the proposed deep cuts will apply to all new installations completed after the 12th December 2011. This gives customers and installers just 6 weeks to complete any existing contracts at the current rates.What’s more although the proposals are “out for consultation” the changes in tariff levels come into effect before the consultation is due to close on the 23rd December.

David Houston, Director at Chester based PV FIT Ltd, says: “Today’s announcement confirms our worst fears and makes a mockery of the coalitions claims to be behind renewables and their intention to ween people off centralised produced power”.

The proposed domestic tariff levels, which are apparently “out to consultation”, mean a 4kW pv system on an optimum South facing roof will now take 11.3 years to payback, up from 6.5 years under current tariff levels.

“We accept that costs of PV equipment have come down in the 18 months since the FITs were introduces in April 2010. These savings however only translate to a 30% saving on a fully installed system. A knee-jerk 50% cut to FITs is disproportionate and will severely affect investor confidence in a sector which has already seen large PV systems disappear over night due to similar draconian cuts earlier this year” says Houston.

The full details of the comprehensive review for PV FITs consultation can be found on DECC’s website. Other proposed changes include:

Introduce new multi-installation tariff rates for aggregated solar PV schemes i.e. where a single individual or organisation owns or receives FIT payments from more than one PV installation, located on different sites.

a new energy efficiency requirement for FITs for solar PV (see section 3 of consultation for more detail). The new requirement would apply to all new solar PV installations with an eligibility date on or after 1 April 2012 which are attached to or wired to provide electricity to a building.

What next?

Many are predicting a solar gold-rush up to the government’s imposed cut-off point of 12th December, after which solar firms will be left to reassess their offerings. There are likely to be severe job cuts in an industry which has created over 20,000 new jobs in the past year.

David Houston advised,  “PV FIT currently have spare capacity in the lead up to the 12th December. To avoid disappointment you will need to book your installation ASAP – if you haven’t already had a quote we can survey over the phone in 10 minutes and will email a quote same day”.

In the lead up to 12th December PV FIT are offering full installation at following prices:

Call today for your free solar PV quotation on 0344 567 9032 or fill in our free solar survey.

Jun 09

The Government has today announced its decisions on the fast-track consultation for the Feed in Tariffs.

There is no change to the rates proposed in the consultation, meaning Solar PV systems with Total Installed Capacity (TIC) of 50kW and above installed and commissioned after the 1st of August 2011 will now receive:

As we reported in our FIT review article on the 31st May these changes do not affect PV systems below 50kW where tariff levels remain at the higher rates – see: Feed In Tariffs (FIT).

Many in the industry geared up to specialise in large schemes will now be left out in the dark. Although rates of return of 5-8% will still be achievable, many investors have had their fingers burnt, which has also resulted in banks confidence in lending to such schemes being damaged.

If you have a Solar PV scheme below 50kW please contact our team for a free consultation.

May 31

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said a decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022 can make her country a trailblazer in renewable energy.

Mrs Merkel set up a panel to review nuclear power following the crisis at Fukushima in Japan. The crisis, triggered by an earthquake and tsunami in March, led to mass anti-nuclear protests across Germany. The anti-nuclear drive boosted Germany’s Green party, which took control of the Christian Democrat stronghold of Baden-Wuerttemberg, in late March.

Before March’s moratorium on the older power plants, Germany relied on nuclear power for 23% of its energy.

Mrs Merkel said that in its “fundamental” rethink of policy, Germany could set an example for other countries.

“We believe we as a country can be a trailblazer for a new age of renewable energy sources,” the German chancellor was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

“We can be the first major industrialised country that achieves the transition to renewable energy with all the opportunities – for exports, development, technology, jobs – it carries with it.”

See the full BBC article

In comparison, the UK Government completed a similar review into the safety of nuclear power generation following the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. They decided to press ahead with plans to replace older nuclear plants in the UK.

DECC states on their website  “that new nuclear power has a key role to play in the UK’s low-carbon future”. They go on to say” The best way to achieve the energy security and affordability our country needs is through a diverse mix of technologies. No one technology can deliver all”.

Germany’s announcement questions this rationale as their intention is to “plug the energy gap” with renewables and improved energy efficiency, rather than nuclear. Germany currently depends on nuclear for 23% of it’s electricity, where nuclear makes up only 18% of the UK’s energy mix.

The question on most people’s lips will likely be “If Germany can do it why can’t the UK?”

May 18

UK sets legally binding targets to halve emissions by 2025 in path towards 80 per cent cuts by middle of the century.

Following on from figures recommended by the Committee on Climate Change, the energy secretary proposes 50% emissions reduction target (above 1990 levels) for the 2023 – 2027 period, which will place the UK on course to deliver the 2050 target of 80%.
Announcing the “next, historic step” in the Coalition’s green agenda, Chris Huhne said “there need not be a tension between green and growth.”
Included in the proposal is a clause which sees the UK review its performance against other EU Member States in 2014, which could provide a way for Government to change its position. See the DECC press release.
According to BusinessGreen, the move proved controversial within the Cabinet, with concerns about how legally binding targets beyond 2020 may damage the UK economy.
May 13

We hope you have enjoyed the recent spell of great weather across the UK. Our customers certainly have, and we have been inundated with positive feedback regarding the performance of their PV systems. To celebrate we are pleased to offer £200 discount for any new orders received by the end of May.

Mrs Tuckers energy generated (17th - 20th April 2011)

Our May offer is available to all existing and new enquirers…

  • If you already have a quotation and it has expired please contact us to confirm pricing before sending your order.
  • If you haven’t yet had a quotation all you need to do is complete a telephone survey – only taking 20 minutes – and we then email your quotation.

We only offer top brand equipment and high quality solar inverters with built in web monitoring as standard, giving you peace of mind that your PV system is working as it should be.

Here’s how Mrs Tucker’s 3.675 kW, 15 x Sharp 245Wp panels, has performed since her system was installed and commissioned on the 17th April:

Mrs Tuckers FIT earnings (17th - 20th April 2011)

Mrs Tucker says:
“I would like to thank you (PV FIT Ltd) for all the help and support you have given me over the past couple of months while I contemplated the roof panels. Not many firms would have replied so quickly to my emails and explained everything as clearly as you did.
At the moment the Nedap programme tells me that I have made £6.65 since it started operating so that is a good beginning!”
May 06

UN-commissioned report predicts 77 per cent of energy could come from renewable sources, but only if the right policies are adopted.

The full scale of the growth potential enjoyed by the global renewable energy industry has been underlined today with the release of a major new UN-commissioned report, which predicts that renewable sources could provide up to 77 per cent of the world’s energy by 2050.

The final version of the long-awaited Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (PDF) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was released earlier today at an event in Abu Dhabi.

“With consistent climate and energy policy support, renewable energy sources can contribute substantially to human well-being by sustainably supplying energy and stabilising the climate,” said professor Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chairman of Working Group III, at the report launch. “However, the substantial increase of renewables is technically and politically very challenging.”

Shares of energy sources in total global primary energy supply in 2008

The report concludes that concerted policy efforts could result in the rapid rollout of renewable energy technologies, although the proportion of renewable energy will increase even without enabling policies.

It also predicts that the emergence of renewables as the dominant energy source could lead to cumulative greenhouse gas savings equivalent to 220 to 560 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide between 2010 and 2050.

The cuts delivered through this could play a major role in ensuring that concentrations of greenhouse gases remain below 450 parts per million, and that this could be sufficient to limit average global temperature rises to below two degrees centigrade.

Read the full Business Green article

Apr 29

Solar systems account for over 28,000, with 11,000 installed in the first three months of 2011

Government figures released today show a record 11,314 PV systems fitted over the first three months of 2011, despite the perceived threat to feed-in tariff levels posed by the government’s early review.

In total, 30,140 renewable energy systems have been installed over the past year, representing 111MW of capacity. Just over 26MW of the 111MW was from the non-domestic sector.

But although 111MW represents an increase of almost two-thirds on the 67.9MW in place at the end of 2010, and over double the amount fitted after the first six months, this amounts to around 0.1 per cent of the UK’s total electricity generation.

The government’s review does not seem to have affected take up rates for household solar, but the fact that payment rates for larger PV projects are likely to be slashed could explain why only one has come online to date.

For the full article see Business Green

PV FIT Ltd can assist with any domestic or commercial solar pv project up to 5okW in output, which will not be affected by the likely cuts to tariff levels expected for systems above 50kW.

In order to get a quotation all you need to do is fill in your details on our quick form, or call us on 0844 567 9032 and we will contact you to complete a free solar survey.

Apr 18

PV FIT were pleased to attend the Cheshire Greener Futures Show at Reaseheath College on Friday 15th April.

Dave Houston, PV FIT’s Managing Director, delivered a 30 minute Q&A session on Generating electricity and an income from the sun using Solar PV, which proved to be very popular amongst those attending.

As a result of this interest we’ve attached a copy of the presentation slides to this post. The presentation offers a brief overview of photovoltaics, how they work, levels of income you can expect from the feed in tariff and ways you can fund an installation.

Dave says “We have access to a portfolio of lenders whom are interested in funding renewable energy projects, especially solar PV, for commercial customers in Private and Public sectors including councils, HA’s and colleges. In some cases it is possible to achieve cash flow neutral/positive funding, where the FIT income services the repayments over the full term of the loan, which takes away the main stumbling block in finding capital to fund a photovoltaic installation in the first place”.

For more information on how much a solar PV system will cost and the finances options available please call us on 0844 567 9032 or email info@pvfit.co.uk

Delegates were also interested in the Carbon footprint of photovoltaics, as many believed that PV panels only repay the Carbon emitted in their production of a long period of time.

Whereas Carbon is emitted in production of photovoltaics, the general consensus from a number of different studies suggests a Carbon Payback term of 3 years. We’ve attached a comparison by Colin Bankier and Steve Gale, first published on Energy Bulletin, of a number of studies and reports into PV energy payback which may be of further interest.


Apr 08

PV FIT are pleased to offer the excellent Siliken pv modules were recognised as the best in Photon  2010 Laboratory test.

On average the Siliken modules were shown to generate 5.9% more power than the average value of all the modules studied, and 12.4% more than the minimum value recorded. This is impressive as the list of participants includes manufacturers such as Sharp, BP Solar, Kyocera and Schott.

Siliken modules are manufactured in Spain, and are members of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), and PV Cycle, an association whose goal is to implement the photovoltaic industry’s commitment to set up a voluntary take back and recycling programme for end-of-life-modules and to take responsibility for PV modules throughout their entire value chain.

Other key features of  Silken branded modules are a 10 year manufacturing defects warranty, plus performance guarantees of 90% for 10 years and 80% for 25 years.

Contact us today for your free solar survey.

Jan 11

The BBC reported today that E.ON were the 5th of the big 6 energy suppliers to raise their gas and electricity costs this Winter.

E.ON say they had “no option” other than increasing their rates for gas by 3% and electricity by 9%, due to the rising wholesale cost of energy.

A typical dual fuel customer will see their annual bill increase by £62 following the price rises, according to calculations by price comparison website Uswitch.com.

“As an energy consumer myself I am not surprised by this latest announcement regarding fuel price increases. Coupled with spending cuts and wage freezes, these fuel price rises are putting even more strain on household and business purse strings, and it is only likely to get worse in the future” says David Houston, Managing Director of Chester based solar energy installers PV FIT Ltd.

One way that energy consumers can protect themselves against escalating costs in by investing in a solar photovoltaic system. Thanks to the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme, launched in April 2010, consumers now get paid an above market rate the the renewable electricity that they generate.

A 4kW system on a South facing roof can offer income and savings of £1600+ per year, which can be more if your property is in South. For householders, this offers a tax free income, which is linked to inflation and guaranteed by the Government for 25 years, equivalent to 10-12% annual return on your capital investment.

A PV FIT system usually takes 1-2 days to install, and consists of:

  • 10-20 solar panels mounted on your roof
  • a solar inverter located in your loft
  • and a cable which drops down to your consumer unit (fuse box) which is connected to your mains supply – enabling you to sell any excess energy back to the grid

You can also keep track of your PV FIT systems performance through your own web page which records how much power you have generated, and more importantly how much you have earned!

PV Fit Ltd are a nationwide MCS approved installers so call or now on 0844 567 9032 for your free 20 minute solar survey, or pop your details in our solar survey form and we will get in touch.

Source: Read the full BBC article