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Use of Solar Panels in the UK and the Effects of Government Incentives

7576 words (30 pages) Dissertation

13th Dec 2019 Dissertation Reference this

Tags: Environmental StudiesTechnology

Aim:

IS the government funding scheme enough of an attractive proposition to increase the uptake of solar installations in domestic properties.

Objectives:  

  • To explore the various renewable technologies and solar energy.
  • To review the amount of solar being used in domestic properties in the UK and how cost effective it is.
  • To explore the renewable energy incentive set by the Government (The Feed In Tariff).
  • To evaluate the fluctuating tariff and how instrumental it Is when choosing solar.

Problem Statement:  

With the growing concerns over climate change and the rising costs of energy prices, many people are looking for alternative options of saving money and becoming “greener”. One option available to them to achieve both cheaper energy bills and becoming more environmentally friend is solar energy. This research explores the viability of installing Solar Photovoltaic systems on domestic properties in the UK.

Introduction :    

This introduction will feature background information surrounding the research topic and also the rationale for completing the study.

Rationale of the study:     

The purpose of this research is to research and critically evaluate the funding schemes available past and present for Solar implementation, and how they have helped to contribute more people overcoming the hurdles and barriers that restrict and deter people from choosing the solar approach. Furthermore, the study will review the future and development of the funding schemes (Feed in Tariff, FIT) to consider whether they offer a worthwhile opportunity for consumers.

The main hindrance of  Solar PV on homes around the UK is the high initial  costs of installing panels. As it stands solar is a costly method of generating electricity, although they offer free electricity and a reduction in carbon emissions. If the demands for solar increases the initial and overall costs will reduce, which in turn will hopefully make solar a more attractive proposition.

Background information

Renewable energy is the term given to energy that can occur naturally and something that is theoretically inexhaustible and that is not derived from fossil or nuclear fuel. This includes energy from the sun, wind, biomass, hydro waves or tides. This research will focus predominately on the implementation of solar energy within the U.K and how it compares with other energy sources both renewable and non-renewable.

Of all the various renewable technologies presently available, Solar Pv will be the focal point of this research, predominantly based on the fact that it is considered to be the most reliable and adaptable in comparison to its rival competitors. In addition to this the Government in the UK is currently looking to increase the amount of roof top solar installation across the country. But, for this to occur there has to be certain re assurances that need to be given, it needs to be deemed as a viable alternative and something that will be beneficial environmentally as well as financial.

Solar power has the greatest availability and practicality in comparison to other renewable energy sources. Solar energy is bountiful – the amount of energy supplied to the earth in one day  by the sun is enough to power the needs of the earth for one entire year. Solar energy is completely free of any harmful emissions.

[50] R. Sier, “Solar Stirling Engines”. Stirling and Hot Air Engines. Available at: http://www.stirlingengines.org.uk

The UK’s Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Industry has experienced a rapid expansion in recent years. Solar Panels are now owned by 670,000 homeowners in the UK and with every passing year a further 150,000 homes join the solar market (Solar Trade Association 2016). The rationale behind this study is that is well known the renewable energy sources have been at the centre of the worlds attention for a period of time now because of growing concerns over issues such as climate change and a finite amount of energy sources. Since 1900, the average temperature on the planet has increase by 0.74 degrees Celsius, to help minimize the effects of climate change there has been more attention being paid to Solar and other forms of renewable energy.  So this study will aim to explore the viability of solar energy and also the complications and issues surrounding solar power.

During the past twelve months the UK has emerged the European leader in the deployment of Solar PV (UK solar beyond subsidy: The Transition. July 2015). The increased popularity, in particular within domestic homes, is largely due the incentive launched by the Labour Government which is known as The Feed in Tariff (FIT) 2010.  The UK government has a had a major impact on the demand for power generation technologies over the years. In 2011 the government’s budget document revealed: ‘ The government is committed to being the greenest Government ever. A simple, efficient and cost effective policy framework will meet environmental objectives while supporting and maintaining a sound fiscal position’.

The UK is part of the EU Renewable Energy Directive, in combination with the EU directives – the UK targeted that by the year 2020 renewable energy sources must account for 15% off energy produced. In 2012 the government made a statement that four million homes across the UK will be powered by the sun within eight years. Another contributing factor which is further increased the demand for solar within domestic properties throughout the UK is The Climate Change Act of 2008 which stated a target of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions.

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/committee-on-climate-change

Currently, energy provided through the means of solar equates for 1.5% of all energy produced in the UK. However, it equates for 10% of all renewable energy sources produced in the UK. This figure is expected to rise at the current rate of expansion right up until the year 2020, one of the purposes of my research is to investigate how influential the FIT is when consumers are exploring the solar route for their properties.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/20/uk-on-track-to-meet-its-renewable-energy-targets

Solar PV deployment in European countries, such as Germany and Italy started earlier than the UK. There has, however, since been a considerable rise in the deployment of Solar PV in the UK. This could be driven by the decrease in cost of Solar PV systems as well as the introduction of the FIT in 2010. Statistically it can be argued that Solar is a fully commercial technology that already competes with already established renewable technologies and could soon compete with conventional power generation technology.

Literature Review:

 

For this project, the literature review has been conducted to deliver a review of related issues surrounding this topic.  There is much debate among solar scholars about the advantages and effectiveness of solar.  To gain an understanding of the concept of solar it is important to evaluate various different pieces of literature.  This section will examine the research of various scholars and authors.

Funding schemes

 

Grean Deal loan  

 

The green deal loan was launched and introduced by the Uk Government and the Department of Energy and climate change on the 1st October 2012. This scheme allows a homeowner to take  out a loan with low repayment and interest rates. The loans is intended to cover costs of energy saving projects such as solar. The loan is to be paid for by the savings made on energy bills as stated in the Energy act, 2011. Great Britain, HMG, 2011 declared that the government is planning to use approximately £6 billion. Solar panels qualify under the department of Energy and climate change summary document under the department of Energy and climate change.

Green deal loans work differently compare to regular loans from banks, the loan is paid back through electricity bill payments and the loan is attached to the property not the homeowner, so the loan is passed on if there is a change of ownership.  The golden rule of the Green Deal was that the loan repayments should never exceed the savings made on the bills. However this was not always the case. The repayments and savings were based purely on estimates of a households typical energy usage it did not factor in inflation in energy price.

The Green Deal loan has been heavily scrutinised based on the fact that homeowners are required to take out personal finance loans, this is reason for worry for families and homeowners with low income, because the lenders cannot promise that the savings from the specific installation will be greater than the repayment rates. This concern was heightened further by the Citizens advice bureau.  There is also concern that the loans could be given out by private firms who’s agenda is primarily to maximise profits for themselves, meaning repayment rates may not always be as fair and as competitive as they should be.    The Micro-generation industry also criticised the Green Deal scheme for not allowing their users to receive the FIT.

http://www.which.co.uk/reviews/home-grants/article/home-grants/the-green-deal

Making improvements to the national housing stock keeps the government satisfied as it increases their chances of reaching and exceeding the emission goals which have been previously set by

themselves as mention earlier. As well as increasing job opportunities within the construction sector.

The government stopped supporting the Green Dean loan in July 2015, however it is still available from registered private companies.

http://www.findenergysavings.co.uk/article/what-does-the-green-deal-mean-for-me.html

Feed in Tariff

 

The UK government wanted to introduce a scheme that aided homeowners with reducing the payback of small-scale renewable generation devices such as solar under the legislation passed through the Energy Act 2008 (Department of Energy & Climate Change, 2011).  The scheme now known as the ‘Feed  in Tarrif Scheme was introduced in April of 2010. The UK’s minister for Climate Change and Energy Greg Barker issued a statement on the 31st of October 2011 and delivered plans to reduce subsidisations for the FiT scheme. Under the new proposed FiT scheme, systems with that capacity up to 4kWp would receive the repayment rate of 21 pence per kWh which replaced to older rate of 43.3 pence per kWh. Furthermore, because of the fact that the costs for purchasing and installing systems had declined more than predicted; more households were capitalising on the scheme. The decision behind the reduction in the FIT was based on the thinking that the demand for solar would remain the same. Ultimately this decision, according to the Department of Energy & Climate Change 2011; would allow the government to fund more systems at a significantly lower cost.

The lowered rate applied to all systems purchased and installed after the 12th of December 2011, and would be enforced from the 1st of April 2012, however the systems already installed before the 12th of December would receive the higher for a minimum period of 25 years. As well as reducing the tariff rate the government also made some alterations with the qualifying criteria, the amended scheme previously only allowed dwellings with an Energy Performance Criteria rating of a grade C and above, however due to criticisms and protests the criteria had been changed to properties grade D and above. According to Energy Grants, 2012 – over half of all UK properties were listed as Grade D and above. This still left half of all UK properties remaining to undertaking energy saving modifications to enable to qualify for the FIT scheme.

Potential investors have to take into consideration the fact that there is a real possibility that the rate of the tariff could fluctuate within a short period of time. Every three months the FIT is analysed and reviewed, and subject to the amount of Solar Pv system being fitted in the quarter that has just passed in the current year. The FiT will be reduced by roughly 3% according to DECC, 2014. But, once a system has been fitted and linked to the FiT, it will remain at the original rate given. By doing this it creates a deadline of sorts which leads to a surge of installations at the end of each quarter, before a price reduction is incurred.  This quarterly review also acts as encouragement to install earlier when the rate is higher.

There is also an uncertain future regarding the upfront costs of panels, because of the fluctuating tariff prices of panels also fluctuate. This affects the consumer as they are uncertain at which point it becomes cost effective to purchase and install panels.

Conclusion

Overall, there has been numerous efforts by the government to encourage solar energy uptake within domestic properties in the UK through various different schemes.  However it is still uncertain from the findings of the literature review as to whether the current Government has done enough to make solar an attractive enough proposition for the consumers to climb on board the solar movement.

So far the findings from the literature has revealed that there has been efforts from the government to ease the financial implications by reducing the Feed in Tarrif and also amending the Green deal loans so that the liability is switched over to the energy suppliers rather than private companies and the individual themselves.

 

 

Solar 

The amount of energy supplies to the earth is infinite, in only one hour the planet receives more solar energy than the global demand for it (Thirugnanaambandam et al 2010).  Solar technology has the potential to transform the way in which energy is utilized in domestic homes. Reaping solar energy can either  be passive or active. Where the sun’s energy is harvested without mechanical means it is passive; and when mechanical devices are used it is active. (McCrea 2008).

From April the 1st 2010, Solar photovoltaics has seen a dramatic rise in installations making it one of the fastest renewable technologies in the UK (EST, 2014).  The figure below displays the progression of the installed Solar between the time period of January 2010 and May 2015. By interpreting the graph it is clear to see that initially uptake was relatively low – this could be down to lack of awareness of the scheme by consumers or it could be explained by the fact that the system and support mechanisms required to help install panels wasn’t in place. For example, the numbers of installer and supplier within the market wasn’t enough to meet the needs of the market.  Additionally; Solar Pv was a relatively new concept and the initial costs of installation were excessively high at the time.

Figure 1: A Graph of monthly installed Solar photovoltaic capacity since 2010.

Momentum began gathering from the first half of the year 2011 with a considerable increase in the summer months of that year. Furthermore, in March 2011, the government at the time announced that there would be a reduction in the FIT from August of 2011 for any domestic installations over 50kw, this was immediately followed up by another review into the FiT tariff in October 2011. The review recommended a substantial reduction for Solar installation below 50kW in December 2011 (Vaughn et al). The alterations in the FIT resulted in a increase in solar uptake shown in the illustrations above between the months of November and December 2011, but then a reduction in the number of installations in January 2012. However a legal battle resulted in consumers  with installations below 50kW being able to receive the higher tariff rate right up until the end of March 2012.

Solar Obstacles and Drivers

Since the introduction of the FIT in 2010, a large number of contributing factors have successfully   the uptake of Solar energy systems within domestic properties in the UK. It is important to grasp a good understanding of what the contributing factors are and how and why they have been successful so that further support can be given to continue the development of the solar industry. A major factor in the development of the solar industry is the FIT (Solangi et al., 2011), as figure 1 shows above.

In this scholars experience and perspective from dealing with clients is that the FIT has been instrumental in developing solar uptake from a financial point of view.  Conversely, the idyllic situation environmentally and fiscally would be maximising the energy generated.

In the Energy Saving Trust (2014) the Fit for solar photovoltaics provides these advantages:

  • The system owner gets paid for each kWh of electricity generated, regardless of whether it is consumed or exported.
  • For each kWh of electricity exported to the national grid the owner gets paid, however, the cost per kWh of received for export is and always be lower than the cost paid to import electricity.
  • For each kWh generated and used in the property a saving is made on not paying for the equivalent in imported energy.

A main advantage that solar photovoltaics holds over its competitors in the renewable technology sector is its adaptability. A solar panel can be installed on any unshaded roof that is within 90 degrees south of the sun. Also, according to the Planning Portal 2015; Solar installations count as permitted developments – which means in the majority of cases planning permission is not required from the council, unless the property is a listed building.  The UK Government is hoping to introduce a proposal in 2019 which will allow installations to be moved from building to building (if the owner decided to move house) without losing the original tariff.

How Solar PV panels work

Solar panels work when the energy from the sun is concentrated onto the panels surface using special lenses, mirrors and dishes to concentrate sunlight onto a solar panel. This enables smaller panels to generate more power. The most important components of a solar cell are two layers of conducting material, commonly composed of silicon crystal, a process known as ‘Doping’ improves the conductivity further. After this process the panel is set for creating an electric current. When sunlight enters the cell, the energy created knocks particles loose in both layers eventually creating a current large enough to provide electricity.

PV cells are seldom used individually, due to the simple fact that it is not capable of supplying any electronic system with enough voltage to maintain the use. To counteract this, cells are joined in series or parallel this enables them to produce enough power output to keep an electronic device running.

Currently on the market there a three main types of solar cells.

  • Single-crystal cells (also known as monocrystalline cells) are made in long cylinders and sliced into thin wafers. This process produces cells with high efficiency, those that are capable of converting most incoming sunlight to electricity. Single-crystal cells have efficiencies of up to 23 percent, and they account for just over a third of the UK market for Pv.
  • Polycrystalline cells comprise of molten silicon cast into blocks then sliced into squares. The advantages of this method are that production costs are lower, but the efficiency of the cells are lower, with efficiency levels close to 20 percent. Polycrystalline cells account for half of the UK Pv market.
  • Thin film cells involve spraying materials such as silicon onto glass or metal surface in thin films, making the whole module at once instead of manufacturing individual cells. This approach has the lowest cost of the three, but results in lower efficiency. Thin film cells account for roughly ten percent of the UK PV market.

Solar PV are very effective even in the most isolated areas, all because of the fact they produce electricity from the sun – which is very reliable. They can produce electricity in the most difficult of conditions ie; when its raining, cloudy and over cast.  They are designed to perform efficient even when they are in conditions that doesn’t favour them, they are designed to be lightweight and are installed typically on roofs but can be installed

The fundamental process of a solar cell is rays from the sun shining on the cell, which in turn produces current and voltage to create power. This operation requires a material in which the absorption of light raises an electron to a higher energy state and secondly the movement of this energy electron from the solar cell into an external circuit.  The illustration below gives an accurate representation of how the process work.

[22] Christiana Honsberg and Stuart Bowden, “Photovoltaics CDROM”. Available at: www.pvcdrom.pveducation.org [Accessed on 23/03/10]

The main advantages of PV systems are Low maintenance/operation costs as they do not consume raw materials. Solar panels have a long life cycle; they provide power efficiently for a range of between 20-15 years. Other advantages include not much variability in their efficiency and the results remain reasonably consistent throughout the life span of the panels.

Methodology    explore other methods/ justify why I have chosen my

This study will collect, present and analyse data from published works (secondary data) offering the benefits of solar in terms of the financial gains and savings in energy consumption. This data can be found on the government websites.  A critical review of a variety of relevant academic journals, articles as well as other publications has been conducted. This review has identified the current uptake of solar as well as identifying the potential of the industry.

By using a desktop study (secondary data) this study will break down step by step how Solar Panels function and exactly how beneficial they are to the consumers.  Quantitative data that will be achieved from sampling/questionnaires will provide figures of the performance of panels in the UK, which can be compared to the performance of panels outside the UK.

This study will also use up to date, reliable, secondary data that shows how much solar is being used in the UK currently and also to establish whether is is a worthwhile investment in terms of the returns and gains.  To gather this information, the researcher will use sources of secondary data as well as devising questionnaires (primary data) to be completed by homeowners with existing solar panel systems. This will give an indication of how much they are gaining and benefitting from solar systems.

This study will analyse the incentive through the use of secondary data, to deduce whether the Feed in Tariff has directly contributed to more people using solar in the UK.  Quantitative data will be used to check the numbers of properties with solar before and after the incentive was introduced. Quantitative data will also be reviewed to check the projections of solar usage up until the year 2020.

To prove how instrumental, the FIT is, the researcher with the aid of questionnaires will ask consumers whether higher or lower exportation and generation rates would influence their decision in getting solar panels. With the aid of published articles and journals the researcher is going to attempt to explain the reason behind the fluctuating tariff.

The limitation of this investigation is gathering a large enough sample size to either suggest a pattern, trend, or common theme. Another possible limitation of the study that could be anticipated is the response rates of the questionnaire. The interviewees will be limited to people who have solar installed in their own domestic properties. To ensure a sufficient amount of responses the researcher will aim to interview 12 participants. To minimize the risk of this occurring the interviews can be conducted over the phone to ensure a higher response rate.

Quantitative Data  

 

Naoum,(2007), defined quantitative data as an objective research method that involves statistical and numerical information and analysis. In order to analyse the quantitative data it has to be identified as a specific type of quantitative data. This research makes use of questionnaires which attach themselves to specific quantitative data types.  Including:

  • Ordinal Data – this is categorical statistical data type where variable has natural, ordered categories.
  • Nominal Data – these are single answer replies, from a number of categories for example employment status.
  • Interval Data – each question will be categorised on a scale so the volunteer and researcher can establish the difference between each answer, which is very alike to ordinal data

 

To guarantee the right technique of data collection is used, each question will be critiqued and analysed to understand which results are needed.

The advantages of using quantitative if collected correctly it translates into a physical number, therefore it can be measured, compared and analysed. This means that the results hold higher levels of reliability as long as the process is correctly followed (Naoum, 2007).

The weakness of gathering quantitative data via the means of a questionnaire, is that the participants can only respond to what they have been asked. Denscombe, 2003 stated if a question if worded ambiguously and poorly, the answers will also be of poor quality.

Qualitative Methods:   

 

This research will contain two types of qualitative data; exploratory research is when relatively a little amount of knowledge is needed for the subject.  The second approach is the attitudinal which Is which is used to evaluate the opinions and perceptions of a person on a specific subject matter (Naoum,2007).  The attitudinal approach will be implemented in the data gathering methods used in the interview/questionnaire as some of the question are designed to acquire the personal views of the participant.

The strengths of using quantitative and qualitative research is the researcher can start a design that can allow for the data to be compared with other published similar data to discover if there is any similarities within the results. This allows the researcher to draw links much simpler and can also lead to links being discovered between previous materials. (Bryman, 2001).

Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of implementing mixed method technique is the capacity to translate different results to establish the validity of the findings. This is known as triangulations it works by comparing two separate pieces of data and discovering if they lead to the same conclusion. If this is the case they findings are deemed to be more accurate. (Bryman, 2001).

 

The qualitative approach is a method that is primarily used to collate information on meanings, opinions and descriptions of a situation rather than a solid countable answer (Naoum, 2007).

 

 

Primary Data: 

The researcher will collect and analyse original data in the form of case studies in order to contribute to the solar field. The primary data will be collected via the use of a questionnaire. Naoum, 2007.

Data collection/questionnaire

 

The questionnaire conducted in this study will be undertaken online via the use of specialist websites due to limitations and the availability of the interviewees.

The reason as to why a questionnaire has been selected to collect the data is because of the practical advantages that it holds. A large amount of information can be collected from a large amount of people in relatively short period of time. Also by selecting choosing a questionnaire it can be carried out by the researcher or any number of people with limited affect to the validity and reliability.

Another benefit of using questionnaires is the results will be collected quicker, and can be quantified and analysed more objectively than other forms of research.  Quantified data can be used to compare and contrast other research and can be used to measure change. Selected researchers believe that quantities data can be used to create new theories and test existing hypothesis.

The researcher has decided against using an interview to collect the data, because time constrain is a limitation of the interview process, preparing or the interview, conducting the interview and then interpreting the results requires some time. This makes the whole process a lengthy one. Another reason that has contributed to the researcher not selecting the interview method is that there is always a possibility that the interviewee can have his response influence by the presence and biases of the interviewer.

Sampling: 

For the questionnaire, the strategy that will be used is known as purposive sampling. This is when the sample is hand picked by the research for the purpose of the discussion. `The researcher understands the rationale of the study so hand selecting the participants will give the researcher every opportunity to get the best information possible.

 

Ethics  

 

To avoid bad ethical practises for example, causing any harm to participants, guaranteeing there isn’t any invasion of privacy and even confirming there isn’t a absence of informed consent (Bryman, 2001). So the research conducted has to be considerate of its ethical practises and adhere to guidelines of good ethical procedures. In this research all interviewees are required to give personal consent for all their answers to be recorded and stored (for a short period of time) and to be used for the purposes of this research.

 

Interview structure: 

Interviews can take the structure of different formats, the interviews for this study designed by the researcher will be semi – structured. The approach will allow the researcher to ask ‘open questions’  which will enable the researcher to gain further explanation and detail from the interviewee. This approach will also allow for the addressing of specific subjects.  The data will be recorded through an audio recording device, however Denscombe, 2007, identified that the use of audio recording can be distressing which could lead to the information given by the candidate to be conformed instead of providing an honest response. This will help solidify the validity of the results.

Questionaire  question 

Denscombe, 2003, said that the structure of a questionnaire is an important part of the process, as there could be a high chance that participation will diminish if the size, visuals or complexity aren’t carefully selected. It is not uncommon for questionnaires to be devised with questions to cover all subject areas of the topic, however this can prove to be an obstacle for collecting important data that is required.  To prevent this from potentially occurring, the researcher will include questions that only related to specific section previously mention in the study.  Also a pilot test will be conducted prior to finished questions to ensure the smooth running of the questionnaire.

The following questions below are the main questions of the research, and will form the basis of the analysis.

  • To what extent is the public knowledge and awareness of Pv Panels and funding options (mainly FIT scheme) available?
  • Are the available schemes an attractive enough proposition  to the general public?
  • What are the main obstacles to installation PV panels?

Question 1: Which choice currently represents your housing situations:

Possible choices: Homeowner/outright – Homeowner/mortgage – renting/council –renting /private

Other.

Question 2 : Please select your age range?

Possible choices: 18-25, 26-45, 46-60, 61+

Question 3: Which choice reflects your knowledge on Solar Photovoltaic panels.

Question 4: Which choice reflects your knowledge on the Feed in Tariff Scheme?

Question 5: What is your job role/title? How does it relate to the construction industry?

Question 6: What are the main obstacles for yourself, when it comes to installing PV panels?

Question 7: How aware of you of the Governments carbon emission reduction targets (EU renewable energy Target

Limitations of questionnaire;

Because of the small sample sizes, the results of the research will not be representative of the general consensus of the public. However the results can still be used to verify or disprove other theories and hypothesis.

Analysis to follow

Case Study:

A case study was conducted to demonstrate the effective of an installed PV system typically found on rooftops throughout the country. Wolseley is an international distributor of plumbing and heating products who are committed to developing sustainable business practices.  Eight thousand solar panels were installed on the roof of Wolseley UK’s National Distribution Centre (NDC) in 2014.  The results found that the installation generated 2 megawatts of electricity per year. Approximately 40 % of produced electricity was exported back to the national grid, and the remaining 60% was used to power the centre. The system is expected to generate up to £6.1 million in revenue in a period of over 20 years. The expected repayment period of the investment is  8 years,  meaning that after this period NDC would effectively be receiving free electricity. Wolseley UK will be making carbon savings of 1280 tonnes per year.

Before the study was conducted, the NDC centre recorded and stored data for a period of 12 months prior to the installation and also collected a similar data for again for a period of 12 months after the installation of solar. A 12 month time frame was used to improve the validity of the results, meaning that any conclusions that were drawn were more reliable and also to counteract any variables that could have have affected the results for example seasonal trends can disrupt PV generation.

Wolseley had set objectives before the installation; these objectives were:

  •  The solar PV installation was large enough to supply sufficient electricity to negate the load of a new infrastructure with a load of 500kw .
  • The solar PV installation had to reduce their carbon efficiency.
  • A preferred payback period of 5 Years.

The aim of the study; was to demonstrate the extent of a solar PV system has had on decarbonising emissions from a property in the UK.  Wolesely has kept and provided access to it half hourly imported electricity meter readings prior to installation.

Results and analysis of Wolseley  

For Wolseley the predicted financial payback and the carbon reduction are extremely important for making the decision for deciding whether they should commence with the proposed project and if it meets their requirements. To get an accurate prediction of payback and carbon reductions periods they are various different types of software available on the market. One example is PVSOL, this software uses historical climate data and data from the MeteoSyn database. This system is very advance and technical it can factor in change for different makes of system and different manufacturers, as well as factoring in potential losses from invertor performance and other losses for a particular solar PV system.

However a system that provides a direct comparison for predicting yield is the one outlined in Guide to the installation of solar PV system.(MCS,2012). MCS 2012 takes in considerations such as location factor, it is said to be straight forward meaning people who aren’t necessarily experts within the field of solar Pv can understand it and complete the calculations for themselves. These figures and projection hold a great deal of importance as it provides transparency and makes sure that there are no exaggeration of results. Table of results. 

The results above show the estimated yield and actual yield of Wolseley from the solar PV installation, the results reveal that system performed roughly 11% better than what the MCS calculations revealed for the predictions. The disparities in the actual results compared to the prediction could be down to number of factors including weather and differences within programming of the system. From this we can draw the conclusion that MCS calculation does not always provide a reliable prediction. As it is near enough impossible to predict weather forecasts for long periods of time especially look into the future, there is an expectancy for the yield to deviate from the projection.

Analysis

 

Obstacles to Installation of Solar Panels:

 

Previously in the literature review it was established that the most common hindrances and obstacles for installation of a Solar unit were ultimately the initial costs and regular changes to the rates of the Feed in Tariff.  Now with the results of the questionnaire/interviews the initial findings from the literature review have been proven to be accurate.

An important aim of this research was to establish if the current available schemes that help fund and contribute to the costs of installation were attractive enough to entice people to make a significant investment.  The FIT scheme tariff was initially set at a rate which was considered to be very attractive as those who invested could see returns rather quickly and they also had the ability to make the payment for the remaining years as tax free income. However, fluctuations to the rates changed people’s perceptions on the attractiveness of the scheme, there are two major issues causing concern which are longer payback periods and the fact that people who invested earlier are getting a better deal.  Across the country there is a general lack of knowledge of the scheme in general and even less knowledge of the varying tariff. So overall after critically evaluating all the information on the Feed in Tariff via this dissertation the outcome reached is that the FIT does offer good value and in general is an appealing investment for domestic homeowners who have disposal income set aside, however without an initial capital investment it becomes less affordable for these people.

The Green Deal loan could be seen as a better alternative for homeowners without an abundance of capital. However, the future of this scheme is uncertain and many people are reluctant to choose this route because the security of the investment is not guaranteed.

Conclusion. 

 

The objectives and the aim of this dissertation was to evaluate the funding schemes available for the installations of solar panels on properties across the UK. As mentioned previously there has been a number of attempts made by the government in charge to increase the interest of solar and other renewable technology options. Solar has been highlighted as a sector of having the greatest efficiency and the sector with the highest chance of achieving the targets that have been set.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Referencing/reading lists

Introduction.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/energy-and-the-environment/renewable-energy-and-electricity.aspx

http://www.solar-trade.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/STA-Solar-Facts-and-Statistics-August-2015.pdf

https://www.epa.gov/climate-impacts/climate-impacts-energy

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-solve-global-warming-its-the-energy-supply/

http://www.r-e-a.net/upload/uk-solar-beyond-subsidy-the-transition.pdf

http://www.uksolar.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/REA-Action-Plan.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/307993/uk_national_energy_efficiency_action_plan.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/371387/43586_Cm_8945_accessible.pdf

https://www.oecd.org/greengrowth/greening-energy/49157219.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/48128/2167-uk-renewable-energy-roadmap.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/committee-on-climate-change

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/20/uk-on-track-to-meet-its-renewable-energy-targets

How panels work:

http://www.enerpoint.co.uk/photovoltaic_technology_2.php

http://www.alternative-energy-tutorials.com/energy-articles/solar-cell-turns-photons-into-electrons.html

http://www.explainthatstuff.com/solarcells.html

http://solarcellcentral.com/solar_page.html

http://www.alternative-energy-tutorials.com

http://www.solarpv.co.uk/solar-pv-cells.html

http://electronicdesign.com/power-sources/what-s-difference-between-thin-film-and-crystalline-silicon-solar-panels

http://docplayer.net/27106673-The-benefits-of-integrated-methods-in-pv-making-to-promote-their-efficiency-and-achieve-low-cost-modules.html

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