A bruised solar panel industry looks forward
“As someone who has been involved in the solar panel industry since 2004, I have seen the highs and lows of the industry over the last few years, with a continued stream of grants and tariff fiasco.”It has broken my heart recently, to see how badly the industry has been dealt with by the latest government policies, but not all the blame should be lade at the door of the government.
The recent media interest from a high profile court case, which cast a dark cloud over the industry, left consumers confused and left their confidence at an all time low.
In a nutshell, the heart of the problem (if you can call it that) was the rapid reduction of installation costs over the last 2 years.
Solar panel installation costs today, or in some cases 40% cheaper than in 2010 (amazing eh!).
However, this information was not acted upon in accordance with the original feed-in tariff plans and some solar companies took full advantage with “free solar panels” or “rent a roof” schemes.
This was a sure fire recipe for an unsustainable industry and the Department of Energy and Climate Change had to pull the plug. For an industry based upon sustainability, there was a bucket load of irony there.
A bright future for solar panels
As always the optimist, I have always bestowed the positives for solar panel technology, and I see a great future for it. It is very rare in life that you come across a product that has multiple benefits. Solar technology is one of those rare products that give their owners many benefits not just one.
The most obvious being fuel saving, less long-term dependence on conventional energy with an annual income and increase in property value, sell ability.
The best reason of all is pride. Pride is a very powerful emotion which has caused many of mankind’s darkest hours, but in this case pride can be used to put to positive use.
Time and time again, I hear new owners of this technology beaming with pride. As one lady once put it, “It’s like being the first on the street to get a TV, back in the 1950’s”.
The question to ask yourself is, when will you go solar?
The inevitability of escalating energy costs is frighteningly obvious in today’s world. Any householder, who wants to continue throwing good money after bad, need only continue as normal.
For an energy savvy household or business, investing in solar technology will benefit you financially for the next 25-30 years. Alternative technology is fast becoming a must.
Beat the banks and the energy companies
The government’s new outlined plan involves a mix of technologies which will prevent the nation’s lights from dimming. With the aforementioned reduction in solar installation costs, the feed-in tariff rate has been adjusted to a more sustainable 15.44 pence per kWh.
This figure takes into account the cheaper costs of an installation compared to 2010, and the need to reward financially early adopters. The new feed-in tariff rate gives a respectable 6% return on your investment. Better than recent bank rates, and additionally years of dead money saved.
The feed-in tariff payments are payable for 20 years and index linked over the same period. Allowing for the fact, PV panel technology last approximately 30 years, that’s incredible 15 approximate years of free power, which in a new age of unimaginable electricity costs, is no bad thing.
See what I mean about the positives of this technology.
As always, earlier adopters are rewarded more than later adopters, so don’t dilly dally if you want to receive the current higher rate.
The age of the energy savvy is upon us.
"Feel the pride."Stuart Lovatt May 26, 2012
Founder of Heat My Home.