Will Clarence House feed the grid?

The British Royal family will be installing photovoltaic panels at Clarence House, in London. Clarence House is one of the many large palaces maintained for the Royal family and its size and nature means that its maintenance must require a great deal of energy. The Prince of Wales lives there with his wife, in the heart of London.

Most of the energy “used” by Clarence House must be heat energy, and its greatest emissions inevitably come from heating the place, There can be no cavity wall insulation, doubly glazing and probably precious little roof insulation in a building built in 1825. In buildings of this nature the emissions from heating the building and hot water are usually three times the emissions from electricity use.

For some reason (probably just fashion rather than common sense) the Prince has opted to install PV panels. The electricity generated, when it is not being used by the building, will be fed into the grid, which may or may not need it.

Apart from my own prejudice because I run Genersys a solar thermal panel company, there are rational reasons why the Prince should have opted for thermal solar panels. The heat energy can be easily stored, and more useful energy will be generated. The reduction in the carbon footprint will not include the theoretical reduction of grid fed electricity (the grid will not always need and therefore use the current when the energy is generated, but the carbon footprint using thermal solar panels will be reduced more than by photovoltaic panels.

Never mind. At least the prince is doing something to reduce his carbon footprint. Although I wonder whether he will benefit from the very generous feed-in tariff that the UK requires to be paid for PV generated electricity, whether the electricity is actually used or not.

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