An article published in the Financial Times last week has vividly highlighted just what effect the recently introduced feed-in tariff has had on the UK solar industry. The news that record numbers of people have decided to install solar panels is largely due to the feed-in tariff legislation which offers installers a healthy return on investment, off-setting the costs of buying and fitting the kit.
The figures published in the FT last Tuesday taken from Ofgem state that this month alone, more than 2,200 homes have fitted solar panels compared to 1,700 last month and 1,400 in June. Indeed, with figures that more than 6,600 households have installed solar panels since the introduction of the tariff system it is good evidence that this incentive scheme could herald the beginning of a boom in the UK solar industry.
Unsurprisingly, The Financial Times paid particular emphasis to the obvious financial rewards associated with solar installation rather than environmental benefits. With the case example of John Keown, a company director who invested in solar through a scheme offered by British Gas, a good case was made for the long term viability of solar PV projects.
Keown will be set to reap the benefits of solar energy installation with expected returns of £1000 per year through savings on electricity bills and revenue from the tariff. Keown for example has estimated that since he installed his solar panels in April he has made £289 from the feed-in tariff. He stated,
“I haven’t gone into self-produced energy to be green. I’ve gone into it because I think it’s a good financial saving, perhaps even better than having an Isa account.”
Certainly, it seems to be growing in the public consciousness that the installation of solar panels to households is more than just a green fad or something which can bring about negligible carbon footprint reductions. The high rates of return which can be achieved through solar panels is likely to attract investors exponentially in the future as word catches on that sourcing and installing a solar system doesn’t have to be painful process.