Thu, 5 Jan 2011 20:07:00 GMT
You may or may not have already had solar panels installed, you may be waiting to hear from your installer or still trying to get approved. We are now into the third year where solar panels have been available for free and I predict some exciting things happening in the solar market over the coming year.
When the government announced the cuts in the feed-in tariff it was shortly followed by a slew of offers for cheaper solar pv systems. You can now find 4kW systems being advertised in the sub £10,000 range with decent branded panels and inverters. I have been monitoring prices and there seems to be a trend among some of the installers to try and undercut each other.
If you are thinking of buying your own system 2012 looks to be the year that you will be able to get the same returns by investing in solar that you did pre the government FIT cuts. Do not however rush into making any decisions hastily, make sure you get plenty of quotes and ensure you understand the products and service you are being offered.
One of the effects of the recent government changes in the tariff payments for people investing in their own solar systems has meant that free solar has become a better deal. People who were looking to invest to get a 12% before and are now looking at a 6% return are considering a free system. If you were looking for a quick payback for your solar investment in as little as 6 years but now may be looking at a 12 year payback a free system may be looking more attractive. I'm sure many who are currently retired or close to retirement were looking at solar as a safe investment but would now rather just get free electricity to cut their bill expenditure and use the money for something else.
For all renewable electricity that is generated at home, mostly from solar but also wind and micro-CHP I think we will see better ways to store and use the valuable energy that is generated. Green energy is still more expensive which means that it carries a premium, if you are generating your own green energy it is going to be more valuable than standard electricity. Expect to see this energy being sold back to the grid at a premium.
I have noticed that my bills are much higher than they used to be, in fact consumer bills have risen far quicker than the cost of energy, lucky us. The big energy companies always seem to pass on a magnified increase in prices, cost of oil goes up 10%; the energy companies increase gas and electricity prices 20%. Unfortunately with government in the pockets of big biz this is never going to change, all we can do is try to be more frugal with our home energy usage and always make sure we have the best deal possible.
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