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Solar PV remains one of the best investments around say trade bodies

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 May 2012 at 8:40 am

Thanks to drastically falling costs, solar PV remains one of the best investments around, according to the four trade bodies which represent the British solar industry. They have joined together to debunk the myth that it is no longer attractive. The reasons they give for that claim is that it shields customers from rising energy bills and generates an income, while helping fight climate change and strengthen energy security.

The outline the following facts about solar power and the feed-in tariff:
-         Costs have fallen more rapidly in solar over the past 12 months than any other energy technology.
-         With investment today mainstream analysts expect solar power to be cheaper than buying electricity off the grid before the end of the decade, saving all consumers money in future.
 -         A 4kWp system, the largest size for which the highest tariff is available, can be purchased today for under £9,000, whereas only one year ago it would have cost upwards of £15,000.  An average domestic system is around 2.5kWp.
-         Solar does have a bright future in the UK. It is an exciting and popular technology. Tariffs will reduce over time in line with these significant cost reductions, with the industry keen to keep rates of return roughly within the same target range.
-         Solar PV continues to offer very attractive returns in comparison to other investment options available to consumers.
-         50% of UK housing stock already meets the energy efficiency requirement for the higher tariff, so if your home has decent insulation, it’s highly likely to be eligible today.
-         For those homes that don’t yet meet the EPC-D, the Government’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Target scheme places an obligation on energy providers to subsidise domestic energy efficiency measures, up to 100% of the cost in the case of low income households.

Reza Shaybani, chairman of the British Photovoltaic Association, comments:
“Around a quarter of the UK’s aging power generation capacity is due to close over the coming decade. We must cut our dependency to fossil fuel which we have no control over its security of supply or price. Solar PV can offer the clean, affordable and secure energy that we need for the future of the United Kingdom. We see investing in clean and green energy as a national duty.”

Dave Sowden, chief executive of the Micropower Council, comments:
“Solar PV still offers attractive returns for consumers, in excess of many alternative investment products. Improving consumer understanding of solar PV and the Feed-in Tariff scheme is likely to be key to restoring healthy uptake levels. We are pleased that the policy framework is now on a more stable footing and are optimistic that this will signal a new dawn of consumer confidence in the microgeneration sector.”

Gaynor Hartnell, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association, comments:
“With gas and electricity prices on the rise yet again, returns for today's investors in solar power are likely to be better than expected.  By the end of this decade, solar energy costs are expected to fall to the point where it costs the same to generate your own power as it does to buy it from the grid. A technology with this potential is bound to transform our energy future.”

Paul Barwell, chief executive of the Solar Trade Association, comments:
“There is no financial explanation for the low installation levels we’re currently seeing. The main reason seems to be a lack of clear information for the public – an informational deficit which industry is today seeking to redress.”


If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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3 comments - read them below or add one

Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 2 July 2012 at 9:34 am

Hi Poppy

I think that's a question for a financial advisor, so I'm afraid that I can't answer. There will be all sorts of variables to take into consideration. I am asking a financial advisor to write some blogs on this sort of question, so do watch this space over the next few weeks.

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poppyComment left on: 29 June 2012 at 8:23 pm

would one be better off investing in an isa or solar panels? what could bethe mostlucrative after25  years thanks

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Ekland Solar

Ekland SolarComment left on: 16 May 2012 at 11:23 am

A very interesting post. It is up to everyone in the industry to put out a clear and positive message. We remain very optimistic that consumer confidence will return.

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