you can install a much larger capacity and sell the excess electricity back to the national grid. The rates the electricity companies will pay for this electricity is becoming more competitive everyday.
Are there any grants?
There are many streams of grant funding depending on your particular project. For domestic properties any one can get a grant if they use a certified BRE installer. The grant is up to £2500 (£2000 per kW installed).
For non profit organisation there are grants that may pay for the whole installation. Commercial businesses should contact there local authority to see if there are any local funding streams.
However, even without a grant a Solar PV system is a good investment.
Will this type of solar panel pay for itself?
In short the answer to this question is YES. The government grants in the UK have reduced the payback massively. A more detailed answer would need to look at exactly how payback is to be measured. The environmental payback is extremely quick, perhaps even 6 months? With regard to financial payback the calculation becomes more complex, let's assume the following:
- Electricity prices continues to rise as they have over recent years.
- The system adds 50% of it's installation cost to your homes value.
- You export surplus electricity to the national grid on a typical export tariff.
Given these, not unreasonable, assumptions, a system could payback within 10 years. After 20 years the system would have paid for itself twice over.
Peter Searancke is an engineer with many years experience in construction and renewable energy technology. He now runs a successful consultancy and installation company which work closely with partner company Intelligent Energy Solutions, providing Solar Panel
s, Solar PhotoVoltaic Panel
s, Heat Pumps & Rainwater Harvesting Solutions.