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Tag: Solar Panels (page 1 of 2)

Solar PV comes of age – Grid parity for solar photovoltaics in Spain today

With the drop in the supply price of solar panels, the cost of installations, a LOT more sun (than England) and the much higher electricity prices now means that an economic investment can be made in Solar PV without the need for Feed-in-Tariff or Renewable Energy Obligation support . Of course that is at the industrial scale! – In just one province – Murcia in South East Spain – they plan to install 2.5GW of solar PV – that’s 10 times more than they did in the last two years alone.

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If you are thinking of Solar PV, – it’s time to stop thinking and act – NOW

If you’ve been considering Solar Photovoltaic (PV) for your home or business, then with the planned changes being brought forward, then it really is time to act NOW. As the saying goes Act Now or Regret at Leisure (sic).

Too many times in life we say “If only I’d” or “I could have”, or “They were lucky”.

Back in February 2011, the Government announced a Strategic review of the Feed-in Tariff Scheme, aka FiTS or FiT. that review was originally scheduled to be delivered at the beginning of 2012 (January) with implementation form March 2012, and at the time it was widely believed that it would result in a slightly large increase in the degradation rates of the Feed-In Tariff Scheme, i.e the rates would go down.

Well early indications from Greg Barker are that it will do far far more than that.  FiTS was NEVER intended as an investment vehicle for pension funds, in lieu of Tax free ISA’s as the like, well in the case of Solar PV, that is EXACTLY what it has become.

Over the past 2 years the cost of the materials associated with the installation of a Solar PV has fallen dramatically and Solar panels have in the wholesale market place now become a commodity as opposed to a specialist item, with even main-stream electrical distributors stocking all the parts for a solar PV installation. The effect of this is that the capital  cost of installing a 4kWp system has fallen from around £20,000 to less than £14,000 and 50kWp systems have fallen from £250,000 to around £125,000 – £150,000.

So what has that got to do with you? As I mentioned above, the original purpose of FiTS as stated on the Government’s website is:

Through the use of FITs DECC hope to encourage deployment of additional small scale (less than 5MW) low carbon electricity generation, particularly by organisations, businesses, communities and individuals who have not traditionally engaged in the electricity market. This will allow many people to invest in small scale low carbon electricity, in return for a guaranteed payment for the electricity they generate and export.

It was never supposed to be what it has become – the most lucrative investment opportunity in the UK.

The problem is that the Government has changed it’s tune, in the early days they were happy to promote it, as you can see in our download : Worcester Renewables – Free Guide to Investing in Solar PV Greg Barker was more than happy to encourage people to invest in Solar PV when he said

“Feed-in Tariffs provide some of the best secure investment returns available in the market”
Greg Barker, Climate Change Minister

Well, a lot of people took his advice, and the effect was a massive increase in the take up of solar PV – just what he wanted!

However all FiTS payments despite being paid by the electricity companies from a surcharge on all electricity bills is under EU rules considered Government expenditure, and with Strategic Spending Reviews in place, Greg Barker had to cut expenditure in this area. The catch 22 situation here is that cutting FiTS immediately stats to undermine the whole Government Green / Renewables investment strategy and may cause them problems with meeting their EU renewables targets.

So what did they do – First the launched the Strategic Review – what was supposed to be a year long exercise looking at the fundamental structure of the FiTS – and secondly the launched an emergency review which came into force in August and promptly killed of all the large scale solar PV investment.

Well the Strategic Review is about to be published – most sources are suggesting mid October, and the outcome is expected to be swift and hard, the key things are a MASSIVE CUT in FiTS payments to new Solar PV installations, and instead of waiting until April 2012, it is anticipated that this could come in as soon as JANUARY 2012, even back in August, I was predicting that it could go as low as 30p / kWh (for =< 4kWp systems) compared to the current 43.3p / kWh – and that would be in line with the above (£14,000 / £20,000 x 43.3p = 30.3p), some people are predicting it could go as low as 26p / kWh.

The time to act therefore is NOW – don’t delay for a free quotation click here: Request Your FREE No-Obligation Quote

To find out just how LUCRATIVE the current scheme is – and to see how much you will earn from the FITS – Click here: Energy Saving Trust – CashBackCalculator

For more background information on how rapidly this area of FiTS see these recent articles:

Worcester Renewable Tweets with Greg Barker

The new FiT, prices and the future for solar in the UK: Part 1

Worcester Renewables Ltd is an MCS Registered Installer of Solar PV systems and installs both Domestic and Commercial Systems, and is registered with and bound by the REAL consumer code.

Enecsys SMI microinverters now feature Ember ZigBee technology


Enecsys has integrated Ember’s ZigBee system-on-chip (SoC) and ZigBee PRO software into its SMI series of microinverters

Aiming to boost solar photovoltaics installation monitoring and performance Enecsys has teamed up with Ember to bring wireless ZigBee communication technology to UK homes and businesses.

Enecsys has integrated Ember’s ZigBee system-on-chip (SoC) and ZigBee PRO software into its SMI series of microinverters, which convert the DC output of individual or duo solar panels into AC for connection to the electricity grid. By incorporating the technology into its microinverters Enecsys is able to communicate detailed information on the performance of each solar module, which string inverters cannot do.

The Ember-enabled microinverters provide real-time and historical data to a user-friendly graphical interface so that users can ensure PV system performance is optimised over the life of its installation.

"Ember’s ZigBee technology enabled us to deliver a micro inverter solution with robust wireless communications that’s easy and inexpensive to install," said Louis-Philippe Lalonde, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Product Management at Enecsys. "We selected Ember because of the company’s leadership in the ZigBee industry and the reliability of their technology."

"While ZigBee is already the wireless standard of choice for devices in Smart Home and Smart Energy applications, Enecsys is leading the charge in extending ZigBee communications on to the roof for grid-connected solar PV systems," said Bert Lutje Berenbroek, Ember’s Vice President of Sales for EMEA. "The long life, reliability and robustness of its micro inverter family demands the same level of performance for its wireless communications capabilities, which Ember is proud to deliver."

This article originally appeared here: http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/enecsys_smi_microinverters_now_feature_ember_zigbee_technology_5478/

Barclays launches £100m renewables fund for farmers

Bank’s business arm to help UK farmers finance renewable energy projects following a massive surge in interest

The use of renewable energy on farmland has been brought to public attention in Britain by Michael Eavis, farmer and founder of the Glastonbury music festival, who installed more than 1,000 solar panels on his land

Now, more than one-third of UK farmers want to install renewable energy projects on their land, most of them within the next year, and hope to generate average returns of £25,000 pounds a year, Barclays bank says.

The bank’s business arm on Tuesday launched a £100m fund to help farmers finance renewable energy projects, including solar panels, windfarms, hydro plants and organic waste power, as a growing number of agricultural businesses seek to benefit from government support tariffs.

"We want to signal very clearly to the market that we consider this to be a big future industry, a big opportunity for agricultural businesses and also a big opportunity for the renewables," said Barclays business product and marketing director, Travers Clarke-Walker, whose team will be managing the fund.

"This is a quickly emerging industry."

A Barclays survey of 300 agricultural customers also showed four out of five farmers recognise renewable energy can save costs and 60% see it as a source of additional income.

The use of renewable energy on farmland has been brought to public attention in Britain by Michael Eavis, farmer and founder of the Glastonbury music festival, who installed more than 1,000 solar panels on his land.

The cost of installing renewable energy projects can be recovered after around 10 years, Clarke-Walker said.

The UK government slashed state support for large-scale solar plants earlier this month as it was concerned a few huge commercial projects would scoop up money intended for household and community projects.

Nevertheless, Clarke-Walker expects around 80-90% of projects will be solar and windfarms as they are cheapest to build and their costs are forecast to drop by up to 50% in the next three to five years as demand rises and technology improves.

Britain aims to generate 15% of energy from renewable sources by 2020, compared with 7.4% reached in 2010.

The fund’s loan budget is unlimited and the first £100m could support more than 100 projects as the average cost varies between £250,000-£700,000, Clarke-Walker said.

Suffolk-based farmer Mike Porter, who plants crops such as wheat and oil seed rape, received a £130,000 loan from Barclays to install solar panels on a grain store last month and is expected to make £20,000 per year by exporting power to the National Grid.

Se the original article here: Guardian News

So What Happens On An Installation? – Part 2

Installing the Inverter – The Solar Panels generate DC electricity (like you get from a battery) on a domestic system, that can be up to 1000 Volts and up to 15 Amps. – That’s why we label everything!

That DC power has to be converted in useable ‘mains’ power, i.e. 230V AC, and that’s what the inverter does.

We always match panels, and inverters for each and every installation so that the most effective system for the customer is installed.

In this instance to address the shading issues during the winter months (a tall evergreen in the park next door) we installed a system with specialist shade management software, and split the system up into three groups of panels, so that they can be managed as separate groups.

He’s the time-lapse video of the inverter being installed an SMA SunnyBoy 4000TL-20. Any questions? Just call us on 0844-453-5591.

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