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End Of Solar Subsidies


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#21 ProDave

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 09:52 AM

The solar PV setup in this country is just ridiculous.

Initially is was set up with a FIT rate far too high. We had just about reached the point where is was about "right" i.e you get paid for what you generate at about the same rate as what you pay for what you consume.

After the end of the year we will have a system that pays so little or nothing at all that nobody will bother with solar PV any more. In a stroke the government has killed a whole renewable industry, made thousands unemployed, and stopped take up of a really good green energy source. Well done that government (can't make up my mind which is the ironic smiley) :ph34r: :angry:

Perhaps in a few years we will see viable low priced systems that incorporate storage. Until that point it will become just the realm of the dedicated tinkerer who wants to devise their own storage arrangements.

the solution is blindingly obvious to anyone whith more than two brain cells. Net metering. no subsidies, no payments, but simply if you import you pay, if you export, the meter reading goes down, so you only pay the difference. But that's far too logical to even get considered so will never happen.

#22 jsharris

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 10:24 AM

One interesting effect is going to be new builds. Locally we've had a spate of pretty rubbish houses built by a developer and, because they didn't want to faff about adding decent insulation or getting good airtightness, they just stuck small PV arrays on the roof of each house (not even 16A per phase ones, most are around 8 panels or so). The reason was that adding PV gained then a fair few SAP points, and made up for poorer standards elsewhere, so with FIT it was a cheaper way of them "just" meeting the requirements than building the houses to a better standard. Interestingly, this is the same estate where I offered to walk around this coming winter with my local MP, who was rattling on about how wonderful it was (and I was rattling on about how I drove past it every day and though the build standard was bloody awful). I said I'd prove it by walking around with him on a cold evening and showing him thermal images of all the heat leaking out (as it happens I know some of the houses with missing insulation, as I spotted it when they were being built).

This developer would have had to build better houses with no FIT, I believe, as it wouldn't then have been cost-effective to fit PV on the roof of every one. I suppose the flip side is that they are marketing these houses as being "eco" and are raising the awareness of having PV on every roof (it's a pretty big development, several hundred houses). Against that, it wouldn't surprise me to find that the PV is effectively "rent a roof", with the developer getting the FIT....................

#23 lifemoveon

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 11:10 AM

Hey Dave,

I understand what you are saying about government killing off a sector. However this was on the basis of a subsidy (which we know this government cannot afford).

The question now is how this could spur innovation. Could technology and manufacturing advanced to a point where a solar PV system (with energy storage) would cost £1-2K to install and would pay back in 1-2 years. Wouldn't people clamor for it, regardless if there is no subsidy or FIT?

I'm dreaming of having a mortgage free house where I don't need to spend a cent on electricity and water. All I spend on is on council tax, internet and food. I can retire early and focus on quality of life.

Cheers.

#24 Alphonsox

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 11:25 AM

The cost of silicon panels is probably not going to continue reducing at the same rate as they have over the last decade. However there seems to be a huge amount of R+D money being put into Perovskite solar cells.

https://en.wikipedia...kite_solar_cell

This combined with the money being poured into battery research by the car makers may combine to drop the cost of solar PV + storage dramatically over the next few years - but there are still some big problems to be overcome so don't hold your breath.

#25 ProDave

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 11:56 AM

But I don't see the need for a "subsidy"

A system where you pay for the panels and install and just get paid a fair rate for what you export. Where's the subsidy in that? other customers pay to buy that electricity.

What we will end up with is a system where you pay to install a system and then give away the electricity for free. tell me how that is "fair"?

#26 joiner

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 01:02 PM

Ho ho ho. Joke ye not!

http://www.bbc.co.uk...siness-24272061

And further...

http://www.reuters.c...E97D0FX20130814

Edited by joiner, 31 August 2015 - 01:06 PM.


#27 lifemoveon

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 02:32 PM

Might be a good business opportunity now to go to Spain to buy up some solar systems on the cheap and bring them up to the UK to sell.

#28 DavidWright

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 03:03 PM

View PostProDave, on 31 August 2015 - 11:56 AM, said:

A system where you pay for the panels and install and just get paid a fair rate for what you export.
A fair rate (i.e. a bit more than current rate, but not the retail price that net metering would mean) for export sounds good & sensible to me. Just as I've always thought that an export meter should have been part of ever FIT install from the word go. The extra cost need have been no more that £30-50 on the overall package at the outside & there would have been no need for the 50% deemed export and people would have been able to see how much energy they were using.


Without an export meter the equation

usage = import + generation - export

has 2 unknowns.

That's why we took up the offer of an export meter back in the days when SSE had it as a tick box option on the FIT sign up form.

#29 SteamyTea

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 05:25 PM

One thing not mentioned much is grid connection. If you have too many houses retro-fitting PV, you start to have local grid problems. Who pays for this? If it is one installer, then that installer should pay, if it is several installers, then it is down to the DNO, which is part of our bills.
My view is that micro generation should never have had any incentives to install, it really distorted the market and meant that there was no coherent plan.

A few years ago, net metering was being talked about, but people with renewables wanted to get paid what they imported energy at. This is a nonsense as it does not take infrastructure costs into account. I notice that on my latest bill, network costs are 24%. So for every unit I use (on average as I have E7) I pay 2.17p for transmission.
The wholesale cost of my energy is about 3.8p/kWh.
So taking one from the other, we should be paid about 1.7p/kWh for exports. About what is being offered.

#30 Alphonsox

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 05:29 PM

I'd be happy to be paid 1.7p/kWh for all the electricity I export during the E7 period. I would want considerably more for export during the peak charging period.

#31 SteamyTea

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 05:58 PM

That was my average, but I used over times as much night than day.

Thing is that prices vary during the day. So should you be paid of the half hour price or on what your retail charges you.
If it was on what your retailer charges you, you would have the odd situation where some people with PV (net exporters) would be demanding higher unit prices.

#32 joiner

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:07 AM

No one has picked up on the reasons given by the Spanish government for charging for the installation of pv, although Nick has alluded to something close in #29 above.

There is a certain logic to it, the sort that is often overlooked in UK government's (ahem) thinking.

Put simply: Not only are the bill-payers directly "subsidising" pv installations, they are also picking up an increased tab because there are, in consequence, fewer people across which to spread the cost of distribution around the grid. Therefore, pv users bills disappear and grid users bills increase.

#33 DavidWright

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:24 AM

View Postjoiner, on 01 September 2015 - 09:07 AM, said:

Put simply: Not only are the bill-payers directly "subsidising" pv installations, they are also picking up an increased tab because there are, in consequence, fewer people across which to spread the cost of distribution around the grid. Therefore, pv users bills disappear and grid users bills increase.
But AIUI [as I understand it] they go beyond that, i.e. if you built a new house on a never used before plot and wanted to be off-grid by installing enough panels to fully support your needs and had no intention of claiming any subsidies (so it's just as if the house hadn't been built & there is no net change to the grid), then if that plot happened to be near (not sure of the definition of near) the grid then you couldn't - you would be required to put in a grid connection & export the panel production, and pay for the privilege...

Happy to be corrected.

Edited by joiner, 01 September 2015 - 09:35 AM.
googled interpretation of 'AIUI' inserted


#34 ProDave

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:42 AM

So the new UK model will be:

Buy up all the nearly new, now unwanted, PV panels from Spain, very cheap, and install them as a non subsidised non FIT system in the UK.

the cheap price of nearly new but second hand panels will make it viable?

#35 joiner

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:47 AM

@David - :) Yup.

@Dave - :) Yup again.

;)

Edited by joiner, 01 September 2015 - 09:48 AM.


#36 gravelld

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:51 AM

View Postjsharris, on 31 August 2015 - 10:24 AM, said:

One interesting effect is going to be new builds. Locally we've had a spate of pretty rubbish houses built by a developer and, because they didn't want to faff about adding decent insulation or getting good airtightness, they just stuck small PV arrays on the roof of each house (not even 16A per phase ones, most are around 8 panels or so). The reason was that adding PV gained then a fair few SAP points, and made up for poorer standards elsewhere, so with FIT it was a cheaper way of them "just" meeting the requirements than building the houses to a better standard.[...]

This developer would have had to build better houses with no FIT, I believe, as it wouldn't then have been cost-effective to fit PV on the roof of every one. [...]
I hope that works out, but given government's approach to house builders...

#37 ProDave

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 10:09 AM

There's a guy selling NEW 4KW pv systems on ebay with everything except the roof mounting brackets (which I won't need as I'm making my own ground mount) for £2500. Obviously non FIT for DIY install.

I need to compare the payback time of that (just on saved electricity) and compare it to the payback time of an MCS system, taking into account I will only get the lower non EPC rate if I go for it now.

If MCS payback time is >10 years then the non FIT system will win.

Edited by ProDave, 01 September 2015 - 10:09 AM.


#38 recoveringacademic

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 10:12 AM

Have I read this correctly?

I am about to get quotes for Solar PV on Chateau Great Crested Newt (Salamander Cottage).

Here's a link to the plan

Dave, you appear to be saying that it will pay me to buy some second hand panels and, since we will be living here until we pop our clogs, have them put up by a sensible sparky, and don't claim the FIT. Shove the excess juice to water.

Yes?

#39 ProDave

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 10:30 AM

I'm looking at all options myself.

The choice is get an MCS system installed BEFORE 1st Jan 2016 when the rate either drops by 87% or possibly even ends altogether. The problem with that, is like me you don't have a house yet so you don't have an EPC. So if you go for an MCS system, you will only get the lower rate of 6.16p per KWh generated plus 4.85p per unit exported which is deemed to be half your generation. So put that all together and you will get 8.585p per KWh generated.

Now if we assume a 4KW system and assume (up here in the far north) an expected generation of 3100KWh per year that's an annual income of a paltry £266.13

I am still waiting for a price for a 4KW MCS system but to even be remotely viable, it will have to be no more than £1K more than the non MCS system on offer on ebay. I'm working that out on a 4 year pay back for the "MCS premium"

This also assumes you already have an electricity supply to the site with your own MPAN (I have that already)

If I can't get an MCS system installed by the end of the year (or it's too expensive) then I will go non FIT and there will be no hurry to do so until the house is ready for occupation, by which time i expect the £2500 price tag to have dropped further.

For me it's technically possible to install my system now as I am going for a ground mounted system anyway (due to shading of the house by trees) so that can be installed before the house is ready.

If you are planning a roof mount system, then you would have to temporarily ground mount them now to get the system running for the FIT before the end of the year, then relocate them onto the roof when it is ready.

If we end up non FIT, then I will have to be more particular about self usage as I (on a matter of principle) don't want to be exporting free electricity. That wil include some DIY battery storage. I'm on the lookout now for some NiFe batteries if anyone hears of any for sale.

Edited by ProDave, 01 September 2015 - 10:39 AM.


#40 Alphonsox

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 10:50 AM

Do you need an MCS installed system to be able to claim the export tariff ? Or could you still get money for excess DIY electricity exported to the grid ?

Edited by Alphonsox, 01 September 2015 - 12:18 PM.