Why Getting Free PV on your Roof is a Bad idea

The subsidies offered by the government for PV panels – panels that produce electricity – were for the past two years or so incredibly generous. In fact the subsidies were so generous that businessmen found it highly profitable to turn the subsidy into a derivative government bond. What these businessmen did was to offer the free use of PV panels on a householder’s roof so that the householder could get free electricity in the daylight and the owner of the panels would get the subsidy, paid on the basis of a metered feed in tariff. Having installed PV panels on many roofs the panel owners would sell the income as a bond offering a secure 25 year income stream to people or institutions that needed an investment. Continue reading

The Reduction in the Feed In Tariff for Household Renewable Electricity

It is good to see that governments incentivise renewable energy, particularly microgeneration. Whatever your views on anthropogenic climate change clean renewable energy is healthier and gives a better degree of energy security for nations, businesses and individuals and enables our fossil fuels, which are finite and are being gobbled up with increasing appetite by a world in which the human population is rapidly expanded. Continue reading

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. Continue reading