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Monthly archives: June 2011

WANT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE UK GOVERNMENT FEED-IN-TARIFF?

Individuals can purchase installed PV systems on UK commercial rooftops that are already generating income.

10%+ YIELDS IN YEAR 1

These systems are already generating income at known irradiation levels and government feed-in-tariffs, giving a minimum of 10% net yield per annum.

INCOME WILL INCREASE WITH INFLATION

In the UK, the government’s feed-in-tariff increases in line with the Retail Price Index. In 2011 that figure is 4.7%, however in forecasts we use an average of 3%. At that rate the Year 25 asset yield would be 16.5% per annum.

CHOOSE YOUR SIZE & LOCATION FROM £15K

Installations are already in place and connected on commercial rooftops, residential rooftops and farm land. Choose your preferred location and sites range from up to 4kW, 10kW and 50kW.

OUTRIGHT OWNERSHIP

Purchasers acquire outright ownership of the installed PV equipment and the connection and income rights for the system via the 25 year UK feed in tariff.

FIRST TWO YEARS MAINTENANCE & MONITORING FREE

The EPC developer offers immediate peace of mind to the investor by providing the first 2 years operation, maintenance, and management included.

TAX EFFICIENT ‘CAPITAL ROLLOVER RELIEF’

Depending on your situation, you may be able to claim ‘capital rollover relief’ against the total amount invested. Speak with your tax advisor.

CLICK HERE TO ENQUIRE NOW

Cambridge based solar technology company Polysolar has developed a hi-tech photovoltaic glass which could be used at next year’s Olympic Games in London and also the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Polysolar’s transparent PV glass has been designed for use by architects in windows, cladding and glass structures as a way of generating green energy. The glass is already in use in other countries and is able to generate 100w of energy from each pane of glass making it an effective way of generating clean energy from wall and roof space.

Explaining the idea behind the glass, Hamish Watson the founder of Polysolar said,

“Our product is different from any other solar panel on the market, because it can be used as a building material, making it a highly cost effective integral part of the building. Unlike traditional solar cells, which need to be southward facing, the glass can be positioned anywhere, so is more flexible for large scale architectural and engineering projects and hence it generates a higher yield.”

Importantly, Polysolar’s glass has received MCS certification for the UK feed-in tariff. This means that where installed, landlords will be able to generate revenue from the energy which the panes generate which is used or fed back into the national grid. The Ploysolar product will also have the attraction that where installed, property owners will see massive reductions in their electricity bills. Aside from the obvious financial benefits, Hamish Watson is well aware that the green credentials of solar pv technology will be very welcome by event organising committees.

“Our PV glass has generated a lot of interest and we are in discussions to install it at the 2012 Olympic village, where it could be used to help generate power for information displays across the site. We have also had early discussions with the organisers of the 2022 World Cup and the developers of London’s Walkie Talkie building – both projects are obviously quite exciting for our company.”

Having just got back from Intersolar, Europe’s largest solar trade fair, I thought I’d give a round-up of some of my highlights from the show.

Thin film solar modules

I’m particularly interested in certain thin film modules that have now demonstrated their reliability and are starting to gain market acceptance. Some thin film PV companies have been around for over 20 years and many have fallen by the wayside. The surviving companies however are now looking very strong. Their products have now proven themselves in the lab and in the field, and the companies that make them have found ways to reduce production costs and improve efficiency. Thin film has inherently lower manufacturing cost than crystalline silicon, and the potential for efficiency improvement is greater. Therefore I’m confident that over time we will be seeing more thin film get installed.

Storage

A common theme of this years show is storage. Every inverter manufacturer had some kind of energy storage product on show this year. Most solar inverter manufacturers offer back-up energy storage systems that use batteries (typically Lead-acid or Lithium Ion). These provide day/night storage so that solar energy can be used after the sun has set in the evening. Batteries however are not great for storing energy over long periods, so they don’t solve the problem that more energy is produced in summer months than during the winter.

To deal with this problem, Fronius have unveiled their ‘Energy Cell,’ a hydrogen fuel storage system for the home. During the summer, an electrolyzer uses excess electricity from the PV system to split hydrogen from water and store it in a tank. During the winter, this hydrogen is then turned back into useful electricity via a fuel cell. The system has already been a prototype for several years, but this year’s Intersolar showed the system as being almost ready for the mass market. Of course the technology will start out very expensive, but it shows that solar energy can deliver constant power, and its only a matter of time before the cost of the technology falls.

How the Fronius energy cell works

Inverters

We spent some time with SolarEdge who have strengthened their product range and now offer a wider range of inverter sizes, all fully accredited for the UK. They have also been developing their system to be used on larger installations, so people may use them on commercial jobs as well from now in. They also launched a new solar ‘tetris’ game for Xbox Kinect – has to be seen to be believed!

Racking

Hilti have just launched their new flat roof mounting system and it looks amazing. It will make flat roof installations much more secure and manageable, and mean much lower risk of damaging the laminate. Also cool is this robot, used for cleaning solar panels on large arrays. It has 20 moveable sucker pads on the bottom that allow it to hop around cleaning the panels without falling off!

Solar panels cleaning robot

 

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has today announced they will press ahead with their 1st August cut off date for large scale solar farms

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said, “I want to drive an ambitious roll out of new green energy technologies in homes, communities and small businesses and the FiT scheme has a vital part to play in building a more decentralised energy economy.

“We have carefully considered the evidence that has been presented as part of the consultation and this has reinforced my conviction of the need to make changes as a matter of urgency. Without action the scheme would be overwhelmed. The new tariffs will ensure a sustained growth path for the solar industry while protecting the money for householders, small businesses and communities and will also further encourage the uptake of green electricity from anaerobic digestion.”

The new tariffs (below) will go ahead from August 1, 2011 and will apply to all new market entrants.

>50 kW – ≤ 150 kW Total Installed Capacity (TIC) - 19.0p/ kWh
>150 kW – ≤ 250 kW TIC – 15.0p/ kWh
250 kW – 5 MW TIC and stand-alone installations – 8.5p/ kWh

This effectively writes off large scale solar in the U.K. For a government that is attempting to be green this is a huge step backwards.

Greg Barker has ensured that for the same cost there will be less green energy produced. Here at solar feed in tariff we believe this is a terrible move for U.K policy.