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Solar Panel Costs Falling Again

Tue, 30 Aug 2011 11:43:22 GMT

If you have a suitable roof the best investment available at the moment is with installing a solar photovoltaic system. Paid solar is not for everyone but if you have money to invest it is a guaranteed way to get a good tax free return on your investment. I call it an investment as the money is guaranteed and the main reason people are installing solar is because of the high level of return they represent.

It would be great if everyone was suddenly deciding to go green and install solar but most people overriding priorities are to either get free electricity with a free solar system or getting a great tax free return on their investment. Being a bit of an eco-geek I often come across great developments in solar. Once such development is the continuing falling costs.

solar panel costs coming downIf you shop around you can get a 6 Suntech panel system installed for less than £4,000 which represents about a 6 year payback period. This is great for a small 8 metre squared roof. When buying solar it is best to get a larger system as possible as this means a cheaper per panel cost and a higher return in the tax free grant payments that you get. A larger 20 panels Suntech system can be sourced at around £10,000 which gives you a 5 year payback period, that means 20 years of tax free profits from having solar installed. To get the most from your investment you are going to have to get your system installed and registered before the 2012 deadline. You can get a quote for solar from installers in your area to find out if this is a profitable investment for you.

Getting the most from solar

I have also been contacted by an installer who has announced that their immersion heater optimiser is now available. This device is great for people who have both free and paid solar and it works by diverting some of the electricity generated by your panels to heat your water via your immersion heater. The idea is that most households cannot use all of the electricity the panels produce as they are not at home all of the time. Rather than send the electricity back into the grid this device diverts the power to heat your water.

There are other systems that I have written about that essentially do the same thing which is to store solar PV power for use later. These other devices such as EMMA are more elegant in the way they work but the cost is far too high for most domestic households to consider. Hopefully I will have more news about this new device which looks to cost less than £200 so it will pay for itself quite quickly and continue to save you money.

These types of device save you money by heating your water using solar PV electricity. This means that you do not need to use your gas boiler as much to heat the water saving you money on your gas bills .The designer of the device, an electrician by trade who runs a solar installation company claims that during testing over the summer the device provided all the homes hot water requirements. This is because solar panels generate most of their power during the summer months. In winter however you will still make savings but not as much as during the summer.

At a relatively low cost such a device should be fitted as standard in appropriate homes as part of a standard solar PV system. The potential benefits in costs savings far outweigh the initial cost. This will be a further saving for the homeowner and make solar PV a more attractive proposition. It essentially means that you can do the job of a solar thermal system (hot water) at a fraction of the cost so may even temp people looking to install solar thermal to install solar PV instead.

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