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Solar Power Intl News

Feed-in tariff reviews; it’s good news all round as far as we are concerned

Friday 1st April 2011 - By Yaron Reuveny


If your bank was to offer you a £1000 every year for the next 20 years in return for an investment of £12,500 you would say yes in a heartbeat. This is the deal on offer if Solar Power Intl. were to install a solar PV system on your property before the 1st April 2012. Not only is this income tax free and index linked, it can also protect you from future energy price hikes and shortages.


The government backed feed-in tariff scheme for renewable energy producers has transformed the world of solar power from something that was once just an environmental opportunity to an economical one as well.


So how does it work? The scheme is financed by us (the UK electricity consumer) paying a small levy on our conventional electricity bills. The tariffs are available to anyone who has a system installed and commissioned by an MCS accredited company such as Solar Power Intl. The feed-in tariff scheme can then be made available through licensed electricity suppliers based across the UK.


It broadly works like this. Solar Power Intl. installs a set of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on your roof at a typical cost of £12,500. Subsequently as a solar power generator you will receive a generation tariff of 41.3p for every unit of electricity that it generates). The even better news is that this tariff will rise to 43.3p per Kwh generated as of the 1st April. In real terms this could amount to a total of £1,170 a year.


You can then use all the free, clean electricity produced by the system during daylight hours. This will lead to a further saving likely to exceed £250 a year by substituting for the electricity that you would otherwise have to buy from the national grid. The value of this saving is likely to increase year on year as the cost of conventional supplies continues to rise.


Any electricity that is generated and not used because you are not at home will get ‘exported’ to the national grid and sold for an additional 3p per unit. Based on the assumption that 25% of the electricity generated is exported back to the grid an additional £20 per annum will be received. This is known as the export tariff.


In simple terms- households with a solar PV system could expect to make a total annual revenue and saving of £1,440. What this means is that households with a Solar PV installation can expect to recover the initial cost of their installation within 7-9 years. For the remaining 18-16 years that the feed-in tariff scheme is secured for households can expect to profit from both the savings and the income.


According to Jasmine Birtles, personal finance expert, ‘Installing solar panels will create a regular, tax-free income for homeowners. Not only that but the income is index linked and guaranteed by the government for 20 years. As it typically gives returns of 5-8% it’s potentially far better than most current bond or gilt investments. It is also a great way to keep your electricity bills down’.


It is also worth mentioning that solar PV systems can increase the value of your property or land. According to Michael Holmes, spokesperson for the National Home Improvement Show, Solar PV systems will increase the value by up to five per cent. After all, a solar powered home allows the buyer to inherit both an income and a lower energy bill.


At Solar Power Intl. we work with building owners and agents through every stage of the process from design and development to the installation and maintenance, delivering both large and small scale PV projects which provide the best possible financial and environmental return to our customers. The company will manage the connection of your PV system with the chosen utility company to ensure that revenue is being generated from the feed-in-tariff. Revenues will accrue to the system owner once the system is operational. 

The renewable energy deal just got better: feed-in tariff rates rise

Tuesday 8th March 2011 - By Yaron Reuveny

The feed-in tariff rate was already a good deal for homeowners looking to install solar PV to their properties. A payment of 41.3p per kWh that their system generated meant that the upfront costs for the technology and installation would be paid back within 8 years. Now that payback period has been reduced even further.


The feed-in tariff requires licensed electricity suppliers to pay anyone who both generates, uses and exports renewable and low carbon electricity. Both the tariff for exporting the electricity and the separate tariff for generating it are index-linked. This means that they will increase or decrease with inflation. Subsequently, from the 1st April 2011 all electricity generated and exported by accredited installations will receive an adjusted (higher) feed-in tariff rate.


The good news is people who have installed MCS accredited systems before April 2012 will automatically lock into this higher tariff. However, we would advise arranging a meter reading for the 31st March 2011 so that feed-in tariff licensees so that you benefit from the higher tariff payments for your electricity on the 1st April onwards.


The tariff rate for domestic installations on existing properties has increase from 41.3p per kWh to 43.3p per kWh. what this means in real terms is that generators with systems that are the average 4kWp in size can be looking to receive an additional £100 a year from there utility companies. Multiply that by the 25 years that the feed-in tariff will be received for and that's an additional £2500.


So it seems the time for installing Solar PV to your property is very much now. Get in touch today if you want to find out more about your opportunities on 0844 504 13 17 and one of our friendly staff will be happy to help you.

Creating a Brighter future on your farm

Monday 10th January 2011 - By Yaron Reuveny

If the government or a bank offered you an additional annual income of £25,000 you would say yes in a heartbeat. And why wouldn’t you? These are the sort of figures that an investment in a 90 kWp system of solar panels could generate you and your farm/business.

There are various financial instruments to support different budgets. These vary from generous bank loans based on the security of this investment or other leasing options that allow you to avoid the initial high start up costs all together.         So why Solar Power?

1.       Photovoltaic (PV) systems provide clean, renewable power.  They reduce both your electricity bill and CO2 emissions.

2.       They generate an additional income to your farm or enterprise without obstructing your existing business activities. By filling disused spaces such as roof tops or being mounted on mounting systems that are elevated so that they remain available for grazing or other uses. Solar PV can run in harmony with your farm.

3.       They will not be time consuming. Unlike Wind Power, solar panels are static. They will require very minimal attention. Along with the installation Solar Power INTL will provide a wireless monitoring system, so you can easily see how much electricity the system is generating at all times and detecting any faults that may arise.  If a problem is to arise Solar Power INTL will see to it for you.                                                                                      

4.       It will last. Not only will your Feed in Tariff income be secured for 25 years, your solar Panels will continue performing to a satisfactory standard for approximately 40 years. Not to mention the cost of your electricity bill will likely be substantially higher given that they are only ever rising.

5.       You will stay friendly with your neighbours. Solar Panels do not destruct people’s views and they are silent so are not likely to create objections among your surrounding community.

It’s simple; you don’t have to be a big environmentalist for a PV system to make sense on your farm or at your home.  All you need is willingness to making long term investments that improve your operations bottom line. PV systems eventually lead to “free power” whilst in the mean time they pay for themselves.

 Photovoltaic systems have a number of merits and unique advantages over conventional power-generating technologies. PV systems can be designed for a variety of applications and operational requirements, and can be used for distributed power generation.

 Energy independence and environmental compatibility are two attractive features of PV systems. The fuel (sunlight) is free, and no noise or pollution is created from operating PV systems.

If you think Solar PV is the way forwards to a brighter future then call us today on 0844 504 13 17. We are an honest and friendly company ready to help you make the right decision on your Solar investment.

(Farming Monthly Article January 2011)

Can Solar PV add to the value of your house?

Friday 7th January 2011 - By Yaron Reuveny

An Energy Savings Trust survey has identified that 1/3rdof the British population would be willing to pay more for a home with a solar PV installation. And why wouldn’t they? Not only are they inheriting an income with the property that they are buying, but they are also escaping the clutches of ever increasing utility costs.


 This survey doesn’t stand alone. Previous research reported in the Guardian newspaper states that installing a renewable energy system to your property can add up to 9% to its value. It might also be noted that this report was taken in 2006 before Feed in Tariff were added to the equation.  Certainly Chris Holmes spokes person for the national improvement show urges that the retail value of your home could rise by approximately 5%, so not a bad move in this existing property market.  He states that "Retrofitting a home can be the Ultimate responsible home improvement." Phillip Sellwood, cheif executive of the Energy Savings Trust, agrees urging that "It seems Britons are willing to pay more for a home with a renewable energy source so investing in a solar panel could be as attractive to house hunters as a new kitchen or solid wood floors."       


There is no doubt that estate agents will become increasingly accomplished at marketing the concept of solar power, pointing out the financial benefits, with a corresponding uplift in values. The energy efficiency assessment that it handed to all potential buyers of a home can only help sell homes with a solar system on the roof.


So not only will you be paid back while you use your solar PV electricity for the 25 years after it is installed, allowing many systems to be paying for themselves within 7 years as it is, but you will also be reaping the rewards when you sell your house. Sounds like a win-win if you ask me. 

Green Farmers

Friday 3rd September 2010 - By Yaron Reuveny

UK farmers are set to profit quite significantly since the introduction of the solar photovoltaic’s feed-in tariff in April. Farmers, who saw a 7% drop in income in 2009 as commodity prices fell, could now install solar power systems on their land for a secure investment, reports the Telegraph. 


"Investment in re-newables and developing new income streams from land and buildings is part of the defence against volatile commodity prices," says Tom Hind, Head of Economics at the National Farmers’ Union.


Farmers are now beginning to realize that they are in fact sitting on a gold mine, since their land and large buildings are perfect for the large-scale installation of solar power systems. By generating renewable energy, farmers can not only power their own facilities, but also earn a handsome profit.


Nearly 40 farmers have already inquired about planning permission for solar projects in the county and more are likely to follow. Installations are also being planned in Herefordshire, Somerset and even the North East of England. Cornwall is expected to be the solar hub of the UK, since it receives the most of sun hours (solar irradiation) in the UK.


 Due to an increase of interest from British farmers we were asked to put an article about Solar PV in the eco issue of farming monthly magazine (click the link to view). So if you own or know anybody that owns a farm and wants to reduce their ever increasing energy bills then contact us for further information.


Link- Farming monthly magazine article page 16.

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