Solar power is on the up big time, and that’s great news, along with renewable energy which has recently been documented to account for nearly half of London’s electricity supply now. That is revolutionary change and only continues to improve the way in which we see the planet. Something that might surprise you. Asia is largely powered by solar panels. China, with it’s huge population has long required a method to create power without polluting, there’s just too many people! What’s most shocking to me is just how long it’s taking the rest of the world including London to catch up with that. Interestingly London has taken a different approach to solar first, banking on wind farms being the key to sustainable electricity generation. It’s estimated as much as 46% of London’s electric is now through sustainable, or carbon efficient methods which is having a lasting impact on the climate change.
Solar power is extremely easy to install in the home and has a couple of broad, common methods of installation. You have the method of solar power that is fed back into the grid, and then runs on the grid when power is low as a result of no sunlight, then you have the method that stores up power in batteries for a rainy, full day. No pun intended – that is the literal idea behind the solar power being stored in batteries as opposed to the grid. Most people want the luxury of being entirely self sufficient. This unfortunately comes with a hefty price tag at the moment as we simply have no economical methods of storing electricity yet. It is must better produced and used in a circular system.
Currently the cost of a solar system that is hooked up to the grid, that will provide all the electrical requirements for a three bedroom home will set you back in the region of £7000 and you’ll need considerable South facing roof space available, in the region of thirty metres square. You may install panels away from the south. however this is an issue when considering the return on investment and feasibility of the project itself. One must consider if we have an electric vehicle however, then we are most likely to really benefit from the use of the electricity, rather than resale.
At the moment it is still possible to sell your solar power back to the grid, Unfortunately in recent times the price achieved per unit has been cut considerably, this is not in an attempt to influence people away from solar power, more that the global price of oil has decreased considerably in the last few years and the new low cost is straining the viability of solar electricity if you purchased right now. It’s a difficult equation to balance as well because solar panels lose their efficiency over time. The typical solar panel will offer around thirty years in total, however the effectiveness of the solar panel decreases significantly in the first 15 years. As much as half of the efficiency is lost in that time. The older the solar system is, the less efficient it will become. this isn’t a problem if you’ve a lot of roof space, however if you haven’t then you want to be getting the most from each panel that you install.
You shouldn’t let the financial burden get in the way of your decision. If you appreciate that even at these low costs there is an opportunity to break even with excellent home insulation and if you have an electric car, then it would be nuts not to have solar as well.