26 Mar 2009
Solar Power in Scotland – it works!
In Scotland we have plentiful sources of free renewable energy which we must develop to ensure we have enough electricity to power us into the future. In addition to the well known sources of wind and water there is another source just as plentiful as either of these. That is the Sun.
For some reason as soon as Solar Power in Scotland is mentioned we all laugh – Oh we don’t have enough of that here do we? Well, yes we do! Modern solar technology uses radiant light from daylight whether it is sunny or not. These days solar panels are becoming far more efficient at making use of low levels of radiant light and are therefore ideal for use in Scotland.
Solar Photovoltaics (PV) is the generation of electricity from radiant light. It can be used in two ways, stand-alone (to charge batteries) or grid-connected. Grid-connected systems allow the sale of any electricity generated but not used direct to the grid supplier. Some suppliers’ grid connections also offer half price electricity for 10 hours every day reducing bills further. PV systems are 100% efficient since everything generated is used or sold. Additionally, unlike all other renewable sources there are NO annual maintenance costs and minimal (less than a 7w light bulb!) running costs.
To encourage micro-generation systems in Scotland the Government offers a grant amounting to 30% of the solar PV installation costs up to a maximum of £4000. In addition the Government have proposed legislation making part of the process easier by removing the requirement (in most cases) for Planning Permission. This was announced earlier this month and should be passed before the end of the year.
Ultimately solar PV systems do pay for themselves. The timescale for this depends on the size of the system installed, and the energy consumed by the customer – every installation and its use is unique. As an example, a 2.2kW system, installed on a south-west facing roof in Scotland has demonstrably reduced the household cost of electricity by 43% in its first year. This included savings made due to not using grid electricity, payments under ROCs (Renewable Obligation Certificates - currently 5p per unit (kWh) generated) and also 7p per unit sold back to the grid. The ROCs and sell-back payments are due to increase in April 2009, and by 2010 Feed in Tariffs are proposed where the generator is paid the same for the units sold as those bought.
Time is running out. Estimates put the world demand for fossil fuels outstripping their supply as early as 2015. With supplies dwindling the price of fuel can only increase. Since solar PV systems can have a life span of over 50 years, having a system installed insulates the owner from any excessive increases in bills for years to come. Solar PV panels should also provide a Grade A on the new Energy Performance Certificates and will inevitably increase the value of the property.
Aissac Electrical and Solar are fully qualified in the electrical industry having over 30 years experience. We are the first MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) Accredited Solar PV business in Scotland. We are members of the REAL Assurance scheme (a consumer code designed for the micro-generation business to protect our customers). We can design, supply, install and commission a solar PV system for you.
If you want to Make Energy Work For You – please contact us at www.aissac.co.uk or 01224 701362. If you simply wish to keep paying through the nose for your electrical power......carry on!
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