Worcester Renewables Ltd

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Tag: Solar Power

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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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

Snow can cause trouble for solar panels too!

We have had a couple of customers ask why they aren’t generating any solar power at the moment. Don’t worry, it is unlikely that your panels have been damaged by the recent snow.

Instead, you probably still have some snow on a part of your solar array. Just as shading can cause a problem with the output, snow is worse. Snow completely prevents light from getting to the area of solar panel that it is covering. Even if the rest of the solar array is clear of snow, a small covered area acts like a blockage in a pipe and prevents any current flowing through that section and therefore prevents the whole array from generating power.

If you are able to safely reach your panels from a ladder and brush the snow off the panels, you should find that they immediately start generating power again.

If the cold snap continues and the snow does not thaw, then you might be losing out, particularly as we are having some cold, sunny days at the moment, which are good for generating power.

Since we brushed the snow off our panels on Friday, we have generated around 15 kWh (worth just over £6 from the Feed In Tariff), but only about 0.5% of what we are expecting for the year. If you cannot safely get up to the roof yourself and would like us to come and brush your panels for you, we would have to charge around £20-25 to cover time and transport costs so it is probably not worthwhile at this time of year. However, if you would like us to do this for you, either now or in the future, please contact us. Alternatively, find a helpful neighbour with a long ladder and pay them with a nice mug of mulled wine !