Great News for businesses and Non profits – the Renewable Energy Incentive Starts

From Monday 28th November 2011 Schools, hospitals, businesses and communities in the United Kingdom have been able to get financial incentives from the Renewable Heat Incentive for installing renewable heat. The Department of Energy and Climate Change have announced the opening in full of this phase of the RHI, and I expect that the thermal solar (or solar water heating) part of the incentive will be particularly attractive and that my company Genersys will be particularly busy with it. Solar thermal is the cleanest form of renewable heat.

A business installing 200Kwh of solar thermal panels will be able to claim 8.5p per kWh for the renewable heat generated. For businesses in particular there are three financial benefits, and for non profits there are just the first two:-

  1. The 8.5p per kWh is more than most businesses are paying for heat if they use gas, and less than they are paying if they use oil or electricity. The incentive provides an income stream which is produced from the capital cost of the investment over the next 20 years. The 8.5p is linked to inflation so the return is real and predictable in real terms. Coincidentally Genersys solar panels are unconditionally guaranteed for 20 years provided they are properly installed using approved components.
  2. In addition to the incentive there is of course the fuel savings on the fuel that will no longer be used. This adds another financial incentive.
  3. If the business installs solar thermal using Genersys panels, it will be able to claim accelerated capital allowances, writing the investment off against profits in the first year, instead of over a number of years. In real terms, if you do the maths, the real rate of return becomes higher because you can moderate the capital expenditure against corporation tax.

The incentive is very good and should make installation of solar water heating for all businesses and non profit organisations virtually a no brainer.

A Growing Population in a Shrinking World

I remember reading years ago that a landowner wanted to stock a pond, which had no fish, with carp, that magnificent specimen of European fish which grows slowly and very large, and can easily grow to be large enough to feed a big family for several days. In a normal eco system carp in Europe will slowly grow to more than 30 pounds in weight. The fish is suited to ponds because it can survive low temperatures and low oxygen water. Continue reading

Global Warming – in the pending tray

The thing that people do not readily understand is that greenhouse gas emissions accumulate in the atmosphere. The proportion of greenhouse gas, particularly carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere increases, day by day and year by year. What would happen if we could reduce emissions of greenhouse gas by humans today by 50%? Continue reading

Goodbye, Blue Fin Tuna

While aircraft were bombing the forces of on Libya to support the insurrection fishing vessels took the opportunity created by the fog of war to plunder the protected species of fish in the Libyan S ea. It seems that some European Union vessels were involved and some are pointing fingers at vessels fromItaly,France,MaltaandSpain. Continue reading

Eating the seed corn

When a man is starving he will eat the seed corn on which next year’s harvest depends, because if he does not eat he will not see next year. Next year will, he hopes and prays, take care of itself; something may turn up but if he does not eat the seed corn, death is certain. Continue reading

Europeans – the Good, the Bad and …

For years some nations that are part of the European Union have be criticised or being bad Europeans. The original Bad European was the United Kingdom, who failed to whole heartedly follow all the proposals about EU law and policy emanating out of Brussels, refused to join the euro and opposed a single EU Federal state. The Good Europeans were Germany, France and the Benelux countries and as the EU enlarged nations like Greece and Ireland were considered good Europeans and Poland and the Czech Republic were characterised as bad Europeans. Continue reading

Burying Radium and your head in the sand

Not too far from Edinburgh, on the East coast of Scotland in Fife lies Dalgety Bay, a area of some beauty which is close to many residences of people who work in Edinburgh. It lies on the North side of the Firth of Forth. The beach is a wonderful place and in summer children can play on it, older folk can catch the sum there and you can even fish from the shore. But underneath the sands lies danger. Continue reading

The worse form of defence is attack

The Leverson Inquiry into media ethics in the United Kingdom is an occasion for the press to justify their actions (both ethically and legally) and for those who complain about the behaviour of the press. An interesting development has arisen because the press, not content with making their arguments to the Inquiry and submitting evidence to it, have in some cases gone on the attack against the witnesses who have given evidence. Continue reading

The Loss of Summer Sea Ice in the Arctic

If you were to place Genersys solar panels in direct sunlight at the North Pole in the middle of the Arctic summer, they would receive more energy that the area of sunlight strike the panel emits. They would receive energy bouncing off the ice and snow, so that the “solar fraction” would not be a fraction at all, but a whole number and a fraction. The reason for this is the higher albedo for ice and snow, which are white. This albedo reflects light (which you can think of as energy or as heat) back into the atmosphere and is an important factor in keeping the atmospheric temperature of the earth benign enough to support life as we know it. Continue reading

Oil spillages: prevention is better than cure

A few years ago oil was discovered under the sea off the coast of Brazil and there was, of course, a rush to exploit the discovery. Chevron (amongst others) built wells to drill into the oil reserves and started to produce the crude but two weeks ago something went wrong, as it often seems to go wrong when drilling oil under the sea. Continue reading