News about free solar panels, the feed-in tariff and the solar photovoltaic industry in the UK. We cover news stories for those interested in installing solar on a residential house, a farm or a commercial or industrial building. We try to publish news stories about the world of solar photovoltaics that would not normally have broad enough interest to reach the mainstream news channels.
The announcement today, October 31 2011, by the Department for Energy and Climate Change sees the launch of Phase 1 of a review of the feed-in tariff scheme. The initial shock announcement will see a proposed cut in the current rate of about half. The changes are likely to take effect from for new installations on or after 12 December 2011 but will not affect the higher rate installations already existing before this date.
People who live in smaller rural communities have been missing out on the benefits that sunlight can bring to generate free energy. Villages and small towns can be located in protected areas such as national parks were the restrictions are stricter. Recently however the national park authorities have relaxed their rules to allow homeowners to install renewable technologies such as solar panels.
SolarVentus now offer free solar panels in addition to wind turbines to non-domestic customers. They primarily provide free solar to farmers and landowners with a scheme that works in a similar way with the free solar panels being offered to domestic properties.
London based Lumicity is offering discounted barns and discounted parking ports to farms and businesses. Lumicity will design and build the barn at a discounted or subsidised price. In return they would lease the roof area for 25 years for a nominal rent.
The green Deal is a new government scheme to encourage people to make energy saving and green investments in their homes and businesses. Recently the government announced that the scheme could cover the cost of installing solar which at the moment is out of the reach of many homeowners due to the high initial investments costs even though you will recoup your costs.
Renewable energy installer Reflex Energy based in Leicester is now offering free solar panel systems to home owners in the Leicestershire and Rutland area. If you have a postcode starting LE then you may qualify for one of their free installations. They also pay £500 on completion of the installation to the home owner.
In April 2011 the largest privately owned solar installation to date at Brooklands farm started producing electricity. The 300kWh array was installed on the roofs of the farms poultry sheds with the solar panels covering 2,000 square metres of the south facing roof area.
Energy watchdog Ofgem released the figures for solar installations throughout the UK for 2010. The data provided interesting reading, specifically the effect of the free solar panel offers in areas such as Sheffield and Barnsley.
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A roof facing as far as a West-South-West (almost West facing) direction or East-South-East (almost East facing) can still potentially generate up to 90 percent of a roof facing South.
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