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Solar Pv In The Uk


Harry Sacks

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I know of several people that have spent thousands on PV systems to get the feed in tariff that ended in August. Several years ago I studied energy systems as part of my degree, carried out energy audits and surveys for renewable systems.

Solar PV was by far the biggest waste of time at our latitude as production opposed demand.

Discus.

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Several years ago....

Discus.

How many years ago? The price of PV panels has plummeted in the last few years.

Yes PV makes more sense in hot countries where demand is driven a lot by air con to peak at midday. But even in the UK electricity demand at midday is far higher than midnight...

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How many years ago? The price of PV panels has plummeted in the last few years.

Yes PV makes more sense in hot countries where demand is driven a lot by air con to peak at midday. But even in the UK electricity demand at midday is far higher than midnight...

Five years ago. I was thinking more between October and March, rather than day night.

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I know of several people that have spent thousands on PV systems to get the feed in tariff that ended in August. Several years ago I studied energy systems as part of my degree, carried out energy audits and surveys for renewable systems.

Solar PV was by far the biggest waste of time at our latitude as production opposed demand.

Discus.

It only makes sense because of the subsidy. PV not really efficient enough for the UK.

Mind you, it ought to be illegal to build houses without solar water heaters, they work and work well.

Regarding the demand/production thing, at least the gas stations can be turned down a tiny bit when solar PV is adding it's miniscule assistance to the grid, so not all bad.

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It only makes sense because of the subsidy. PV not really efficient enough for the UK.

Mind you, it ought to be illegal to build houses without solar water heaters, they work and work well.

Regarding the demand/production thing, at least the gas stations can be turned down a tiny bit when solar PV is adding it's miniscule assistance to the grid, so not all bad.

Yes, solar thermal has been proven to be very effective.

I'm just wondering how many disappointed punters there will be. The whole PV sale pitch was very reminiscent of double glazing in the 80s. Lots of repeated "facts" and commission grabbing.

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Given that I have a PV system (paid for..), 2.76kWh

Original Price £9k. Price if bought now £5-6k.

Return:

FiT: £1200/y (~570 foir a new system)

Cash paid for grid suply: £40/y

Measured savings on electricity: £220/y

At the original price (£9k for a 2.76kW system) the non-FiT return is ~2.9% (index linked against the cost of electricity). For a new system this would be over 5% - so if you intend to stay in the same house for the next few decades and have cash in the bank, a PV system actually makes some financial sense without the FiT.

With it, our return is c. 16%. With the newer levels of FiTs, it would still be in this ballpark because of the lower installation costs. Note that these numbers are based on the 2012 summer..

PV systems do correlate with day-to-day demand (higher in the daytime). Not great on a seasonal basis, though..

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Given that I have a PV system (paid for..), 2.76kWh

Original Price £9k. Price if bought now £5-6k.

Return:

FiT: £1200/y (~570 foir a new system)

Cash paid for grid suply: £40/y

Measured savings on electricity: £220/y

At the original price (£9k for a 2.76kW system) the non-FiT return is ~2.9% (index linked against the cost of electricity). For a new system this would be over 5% - so if you intend to stay in the same house for the next few decades and have cash in the bank, a PV system actually makes some financial sense without the FiT.

With it, our return is c. 16%. With the newer levels of FiTs, it would still be in this ballpark because of the lower installation costs. Note that these numbers are based on the 2012 summer..

PV systems do correlate with day-to-day demand (higher in the daytime). Not great on a seasonal basis, though..

Why did the installation costs of systems, suddenly halve when the FiT halved?

Or did i imagine that?

I was interested in this, but concluded i might not stay long enough in my place to warrant the outgoings, and my roof is also a bit crap.

It is facing south though.

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Ive got some solar panels on the boat to keep the 12v charged.

Mate has a few more, runs his fridge, tv, microwave etc off them all year. Gas for cooking/heating.

Given most of the stuff in the house these days can be 12/24v driven, surely there must be a case for a bunch of batteries and some dc micro generation?

Or does all the real powersuck come from the washing machine..? Maybe there is scope for just buying new clothes everyday from primark. Less wasted space on wardrobes as well :)

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Ive got some solar panels on the boat to keep the 12v charged.

Mate has a few more, runs his fridge, tv, microwave etc off them all year. Gas for cooking/heating.

Given most of the stuff in the house these days can be 12/24v driven, surely there must be a case for a bunch of batteries and some dc micro generation?

Or does all the real powersuck come from the washing machine..? Maybe there is scope for just buying new clothes everyday from primark. Less wasted space on wardrobes as well :)

What's the boat, Rich? I've got one too, in Greece though.

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Ive got some solar panels on the boat to keep the 12v charged.

Mate has a few more, runs his fridge, tv, microwave etc off them all year. Gas for cooking/heating.

Given most of the stuff in the house these days can be 12/24v driven, surely there must be a case for a bunch of batteries and some dc micro generation?

Or does all the real powersuck come from the washing machine..? Maybe there is scope for just buying new clothes everyday from primark. Less wasted space on wardrobes as well :)

Modern inverters that produce mains power can be very efficient, so not so much to be gained with DC operable kit. The reason solar works for your mate on board a boat is that most of the appliances will be compact / miniature in comparison with standard household variants of those applliances which need much more energy to power them. Also daily use is probably a lot lower on a boat compared to a house and even a small battery bank is enough to store the energy required for less regular use onboard the boat.

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It only makes sense because of the subsidy. PV not really efficient enough for the UK.

Mind you, it ought to be illegal to build houses without solar water heaters, they work and work well.

Regarding the demand/production thing, at least the gas stations can be turned down a tiny bit when solar PV is adding it's miniscule assistance to the grid, so not all bad.

And Ground-coupled heat exchangers.

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You're onto something there. Surely it follows that if the government abolished FiT then solar power would be free!

The cost had been steadily dropping before the lowering of FiTs.. although it did suddenly drop a lot faster afterwards ..

At the rate it is going, in a couple of years they could drop them in favour of 'net metering' - where, effectively, your meter runs backwards when you are generating more than you are consuming. This is still a bit of a subsidy - you get paid at whatever the retail rate is - but it has the advantage of being simple to administer. Under such a system you could easily see an average family drop their electric bill by ~70%.

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Cool. Looks pretty beamy. Are you going to live aboard?

Nope :)

Mostly just toddle up and down the river, hopefully get some camping done.

Plan one day to take a year or 2 and circumnavigate europe, Probably do it in something bigger though.

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