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TheBigBean

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About TheBigBean

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  1. No over as in regarding. He also had concerns regarding heating. Specifically to with the number of boilers when there is communal heating. Lack of back-up boilers, not large enough boilers etc.
  2. I spoke to an "expert" yesterday who thinks that many of the new build flats that have been sold off-plan have under-provisioned the lifts, because they are expensive and no one looks at that when buying off-plan. The result is that residents may have 10 min waits at busy times which he thinks will drive down the rental value, and probably the resale value too. He also has concerns over heating. Anyway, I thought it was an interesting point.
  3. The current system is quite sensible from the point of view of the country as the taxation is deferred. Therefore when some people draw their pensions later in life they will pay enough tax to cover their state pension which reduces the ponzi element of the state pension. Clearly governments only look at the short term though. The government should really crack down on the 25% lump sum tax free element, but that is the core Tory vote. It would be nice to see this swapped for a slightly higher relief for lower earners. I expect removing tax relief for higher rate payers will substantially reduce the amount of contributions made, but only time will tell.
  4. There's lots of factors that drive the deployment of solar panels and power price forecasts are one of them. Subsidies though are basically the largest factor - arguably the only real factor.
  5. Panel price is completely independent of oil price - the largest single drop in price was in 2011. Since then it has been in steady decline, but not all of that is panel price.
  6. Widely publicised to justify minimum panel prices on imports into the EU. Those minimum panel prices still apply. Whether or not the allegations are true, without a market to sell to China would not be producing solar panels.
  7. You continue to receive FIT payments for the next 20 / 25 years and repay your costs. This change only applies to future installations.
  8. No, it hasn't been invented yet. The EU wide subsidies have had the hoped for impact though by dramatically bringing down the cost of renewable production. The UK could have selfishly stood on the sidelines and offered no subsidy while other countries brought down the price of production, but that was the whole point of the climate change agreement that all countries would try to reach 20% or whatever the target is by 2020.
  9. Storage is the holy grail of technologies, but it simply isn't there yet. There are many ideas and many technologies, but all of them are currently too expensive. Germany has a market in installing solar panels and batteries, but this is not a financially sensible thing to do - it is mostly done by people who have a desire to be green. The most recent estimate of battery provided household electricity I received was in the region of 18p per kWh. It is therefore cheaper to run a diesel generator. I have seen ideas floated of using the salt mines to store compressed air, but it is all uncertain technology at the moment. When batteries are viable we will see a lot winning the capacity market auctions. It is close, but I don't think it has happened.
  10. I think China might be pollition related, but I'm not sure. The main world hot spots are Chile, South Africa and SW US and these all have booming solar industries.
  11. At the moment, at the power station level, it is not viable without subsidy, and it is more expensive than wind. Howerver, it is hard to compare it with other technologies as every form of production is subsidised in some fashion so wholesale power prices reflect these subsidies. The greatest difficulty with wind / solar is that production fluctuates, so other forms receive a subsidy for producing electricity on demand. At the local small scale level it depends on the cost of the grid transmission as to whether or not it is viable. If the consumer pays 12p/kWh then to be financially viable the cost of production needs to be less than 12p/kWh. Whether this is true depends on a number of factors, not least the cost of capital. Whilst solar power stations in the UK can be built which produce electricity for less than 12p/kWh, I doubt a small scale roof-top installation would manage this. That said, if you are off grid or on Sark or somehwere and pay 35p/kWh, then solar is definitely viable.
  12. Here is a map of the solar irradiance around the world for those that our interested.
  13. It is viable in countries with a lot more sun. Irridiance in this country is around 1000 whereas in some countries it is way over 2000. Therefore, you get more than twice as much production for the same outlay.
  14. I went to a meeting for work a few years ago where a valuation company predicted it. They had the benefit of seeing the massive increase in sales to Asia first hand. Naturally, armed with this expert opinion, I decided they must be wrong so chose not to buy.
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