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.
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 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.
Article reprinted from Blogs by Guest Blogger Published on 07 October 2011 Updated on 07 October 2011
Original article here:: http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/blogs/50kw_pv_installations_will_there_ever_be_a_better_time_for_co5478ial_solar/
In the lead up to the Comprehensive FiT Review there is really no better time to invest in solar energy.
In the wake of the Fast Track Feed-in Tariff Review there may never be a better time to install a 50kW PV system in the UK.
The cost of a 50kW commercial solar photovoltaics (PV) system in the UK has now reached a price range of £130k to £150k. With the UK feed-in tariff set at 32.9p/kWh generated, I would argue that UK solar PV is currently in a bubble — one that serves up a golden opportunity for businesses to add solar PV to their property. David Owen’s excellent blog post on the new FiT, prices and the future for solar in the UK: Part 1 only serves to underline this point. In my opinion, it is unlikely that there will ever be a better time to act, so my advice would be: fill ‘yer boots!
A commercial 50kW PV system, taking up the rooftop area approximately the size of two tennis courts and located in the middle of the UK, would typically generate between £13k and £17k in FiT income and energy bill savings annually, generating a profit of approximately £260k over 25 years. Now, when you consider that the FiT income is index-linked to the CPI as well as being Government-backed, as a business case, commercial solar PV is a now a ‘no brainer’. This point is only accentuated as electricity prices escalate.
However, as good as this all sounds, many of us in the commercial solar sector know all too well that the timescale of a client’s decision and action is one of the key threats to the likelihood of projects proceeding at all. This issue became apparent when developing large-scale solar parks in the UK . Parks that were built were associated with landowning clients who actually took decisive and prompt action to proceed, therefore cutting through solicitor and agent delays. Yet for every landowner’s project brought into fruition before the August 1 FiT deadline, five are now, in hindsight, bitterly disappointed that their project didn’t make it. Many of these were cancelled purely due to delays in decision and action.
The time is now
To avoid similar disappointment businesses thinking of installing ~50kW solar systems must now act quickly or risk missing out. With less than six months remaining for solar PV systems to become operational and registered on the current FiT rates, there is effectively only two months left for businesses to begin the process of adding new solar to their property portfolio.
It is important to remember that although a survey and PV system design can be done quickly, planning permission typically takes three months and an application to connect the system to the electricity network is generally a two month exercise.
New applications must be in by the end of November 2011 to have realistic chance of being installed in time.
Unfortunately making decisions quickly is not always something that Business Managers are always encouraged to do. However, we are beginning to see signs that the message of the need for speed is just starting to get through. In fact, one of our clients is now vigorously taking the solar message to its Local Council and wider Government sector with the headline. Likewise we are seeing individual barn or rooftop owners decide that now is the time to act — particularly those farmers in Cornwall that are becoming more expert than the experts in solar PV!
Over the coming weeks we anticipate evaluating and planning hundreds of 50kW business solar PV systems for telecoms, transport, local council and agricultural clients in the race to be installed prior to April 2012, when the effects of the Comprehensive FiT Review will set in.