Thursday, 27 November 2014

Solar Energy by region in Britain

Great Britain is no stranger to environmental changes. In fact, the last 50 years have shown and incredible change in both climate and weather patterns. According to British scientists and meteorologists, the planet is indeed getting warmer. This is evident of polar caps melting in the Antarctic, along with wetlands drying up and spreading inland. While this is certainly a major cause of concern, countless citizens and residents are reaping the awards of solar based and renewable energies. With close to 40% of the population now utilizing solar panels, harnessing energy from the sun and other heat sources continues to soar in national popularity.

Sunlight Exposure

In order to understand the growing trend of alternative and renewable energy options, we must first dissect the regions that receive abundant or little to no sunlight. Based on recent reports, London and the South of England have one main thing in common. This is the lack of sunlight due to constant overcast and precipitation. In fact, London and a number of southern-based cities receive 30-40% less sunshine than other parts of the country. It would seem that Blackpool and other resort areas should receive plenty of sun during the summer or scorching months. While this is true, the area is blanketed by clouds during the autumn, winter, and partial spring months. To effectively combat this problem and pocket the heat for homes and business, many owners have installed solar PV panels.

Renewable Energy

In London, there are now 42% of homes and businesses with solar panels installed. Southampton has about 30%, along with Blackpool at 41%. While these numbers are promising, the hope is that every commercial and residential establishment will tap into these cost and energy efficient savings. With expertly installed panels, your property will remain nice and warm during those frigid months. This is because the panels store solar energy and heat that can be utilized in the upcoming months. Now is simply the time to invest in feedin tariff programs and solar energies.

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

How do solar panels work?

Solar panels allow people to convert sunlight, that is solar energy, into electricity that can then be used to power homes and other things. Here’s a brief explanation for how they work as well as why they are important as a renewable energy source.

Solar PV Panels

What happens is that sunlight comes from the sun, through our atmosphere, and then hits a solar panel. Some of the light hits the panel and is reflected off, but some of it is absorbed by the panel. The cells are made of semiconductors including silicon. The light is absorbed by the semiconducting materials.
When the material absorbs the electrons from the sunlight, electrons in the material are knocked loose and begin flowing, which is what creates an electric flow.  So electrons from the sunlight knock into electrons in the cell and everything begins an electric surge, essentially.
The efficiency of this process is slowly going up and up over the years so that more of the energy from the sunlight can be absorbed by the panel, allowing less of it to be lost.

This process is important because it allows people to get electricity from something that is nearly infinitely renewable like sunlight. Every morning, we get more sunlight from the sun. While this process won’t last absolutely forever, it will likely last for billions of years to come which is pretty much guaranteed to be long enough for us.

This is not the case for many other energy sources like fossil fuels which we use up and then don’t get any more of ever.

It is this function of solar panels that cause governments to create feedin tariff laws. These laws give long term contracts to anyone producing renewable energy such as through solar panels at a high enough rate to be worth it.

Tariffs such as this one also give other financial benefits to renewable energy producers in order to encourage them to keep doing what they do in the long run.

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Thursday, 9 October 2014

Rewable Energy in England does it work? Where can I get help?

Renewable energy refers to energy that you can get from the same source over and over again without using it up.

For example, oil is not a renewable energy source because it’s used up after you use oil to create energy for your house in the form of heat. However, something like solar energy isn’t  used up because the sun keeps producing more and more sunlight for free all the time and you don’t use up sunlight for good once you’ve turned it into energy.

This is why solar panels are becoming more and more popular.

You can use solar PV panels on your house to generate energy from sunlight, in order to make it so that you don’t have to draw energy from the normal grid. This will lower the bill you get for electricity on a month to month basis. If you put up enough solar panels, you can make it so that you don’t have to draw anything from the grid at all, depending on how energy efficient your household is, and depending on how much sunlight that you get.

For example, if you live in an area in England that gets a lot of sunlight, then you can have solar panels that are ideally situated in order to maximize the amount of sunlight that you can draw on with your panels on the top of your house in order to take care of all of your electricity needs.

The initial cost of getting solar panels in England can be offset against the amount of power you save in the long run. Eventually you’ll end up far ahead.

Another thing that helps with this in England is called a feeding tariff. This is also called a standard offer contract. Essentially it means that the government will help you get renewable energy solutions up and running on your house.

They do this because it’s better for the country as a whole. The less the country has to rely on fossil fuels, the better for the economy and for the environment.  This tariff essentially means that energy generated from solar panels is valued more highly than energy generated through other sources in order to reflect the need for renewable energy.

This means that you could even get money back from the government if you generate more electricity than you need, since it would be put back into the grid and then used by other people on the grid as if it had come directly from the government or from the energy producing company responsible for the area.

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Are Solar Panels a Good Investment on an Average House?

What are the benefits of installing solar panels? This is one of the most common questions among homeowners who wish to add value to their homes by looking for new ways of meeting their energy demands.

There are different types of solar panels that can be installed in average house at an affordable price. Here are some of the reasons why solar panels are a good investment.

They Reduce Energy Bills

Solar panels are specifically engineered to generate ample electric power from the sun rays. This means that they will reduce your energy bills significantly as you will not have to rely on your power supply company any more unless during winter when most parts of Europe receive little or no sunlight.

They Promote Environmental Wellness

Environment is source of life for both humans and animals and so we cannot afford to degrade it. By installing these panels, you will reduce the amount of natural resources that are used by power generating companies to produce electricity. This will in turn promote sustainable use of the available resources for the benefit of current and future generations. Also, you will be contributing to environmental conservations as this form of renewable energy does not add any pollutants to the environment.

They are Very Affordable

The cost of wiring and connecting electric lines from the main national power grid is unaffordable to most people due to the harsh and unpredictable economy. Luckily, solar panels are very affordable and convenient for all people. During selection process, take time to look at their specific features and price tag to choose one that best fits in your budget. Technologically advanced solar pv panels, for instance, are designed to last for decades and demand very little maintenance practices.

Source of Income

Apart from saving money, you can sell some of the energy to power supply companies. Currently, there are a number of lucrative rewards and grants that you can enjoy by doing this. Bottom line, you will still save and make some extra money to cater for your financial obligations. Additionally, there are insurance companies that offer cheap home insurance policies to clients who decide to go green by installing solar panels.

To derive maximum benefits from them, the panels should be installed by a professional who has the skills and expertise required. For example, they should be placed in part of the roof that receives ample sunlight so as to produce enough energy to power all your electronics.

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Solar Energy Feed-in Tariff Explained

Feed-In tariffs (FITs) were introduced in April 2010 to replace U.K. Government’s grants as the major financial incentive to encourage more uptake of renewable energy sources such as solar PV or wind turbines. Most domestic technologies such as solar PV electricity, wind turbines, anaerobic digesters, hydroelectricity, and micro-combined heat and power (CHP) systems qualify for FITs.

Your energy supplier is responsible for making feed-in tariffs to you. Large energy suppliers are required by law to make FIT payments but smaller providers are not. Many small providers, however, do make feed-in tariff payments anyway. To qualify for these tariffs, the energy products you install at your home, as well as the installer, must both be certified under Micro-generation Certification Scheme (MCS). Hydro and anaerobic digesters, however, must pass the ROO-FIT test. The amount of tariff you receive depends on the eligibility of your solar PV and the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of your property.

Eligibility Dates   

The eligibility date refers to the date from which your solar installation becomes eligible for FIT payments. This is the date your FIT supplier receives a valid FIT application. This will usually after the date on which your solar PV system is installed, so it’s strongly advisable to send your application through to your supplier promptly. Contact your FIT supplier as soon as possible to check which information they require from you and when they require you to send it through.

Adding Solar Panels

The rules for adding extra solar panels are a bit different. If you add new solar PV panels to your existing system, their eligibility date is the date they are commissioned and not the date you send your revised claim to your FIT supplier. This is especially important if you want to claim a higher rate by submitting an EPC. You should date your EPC before the commissioning date, or you will not receive a higher rate.
Feed-in tariffs are divided into 2 categories:

  •  Generation Tariff- Your energy supplier pays you a fixed rate for each kWh of solar energy you generate in your home. Once your systems get registered, the tariff level is guaranteed for the entire period of the tariff (20 years).
  • Export Tariff- Apart from the normal generation tariff, you will be eligible for an additional 4.77 pence per kWh that you generate and export back to the electricity grid. This rate applies to other renewable energy sources, too. If your energy exports are really big, you will have a smart meter installed in your home to monitor your exports.

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