Here, I hope to provide an interesting insight into what is happening in our little world at Evergreen. As a company we provide plumbing, electrical and renewable services to our customers in Devon, Dorset and Somerset. Primarily, this blog will bring news of renewable projects undertaken by Evergreen, but also developments in the renewable energy and sustainable development industries.
Solar PV, is it still worth it?
As someone who installs PV systems, you would probably expect me to say yes. And you are right! However, things aren’t as black and white as they used to be. The Feed in Tariff www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/renewable-energy/electricity/solar-panels/feed-tariffs for domestic systems is now at 4.11p per kWh generated, where it is now nearly 50p per kWh for the early adopters. A big difference.
I understand why many feel they have ‘missed the boat’. The incentive worked. It was designed to stimulate interest and get an industry off the ground. It did that, probably too successfully! So now that the incentive is less generous, why do I believe solar PV is still worth looking at? Well, where else can you do something green and get a 7 – 9% return on investment?
And do you believe energy prices are going to stay this low? Not a chance! There is talk of black outs and an energy crisis. Prices are bound to increase. Our European neighbours pay much more than us for their power, nearly twice as much in Denmark and Germany.
Fitting a solar PV system will not insulate you from these prices rises completely, but it will help and allow you to take some control over your energy needs. It will also reduce your carbon footprint and show you care about our environment.
Now the Feed in Tariff is less, it is more important than ever to utilise as much of the power generated by your PV system as possible. This is energy you have been paid to produce and is free for you to use. If you don’t use it, you lose it. A simple way to utilise more of the energy generated is to heat the water in your hot water cylinder. There are several devices on the market which allow you to do this. When they detect spare generated power, they divert it to the immersion heater instead of allowing it to be exported to the grid. (Avoid cheap devices! We supply and fit the excellent Powerflow ERS and the SolarEdge Immersion Controller).
Battery storage: this is another way to save and use more of the power generated by your PV system. Again, there are many battery storage systems available which vary in price, quality and capability. The one most people have heard of is the Tesla Powerwall, but there are others to consider. Battery storage systems are still quite pricey, but they definitely have their place and will increase in popularity. As the cost of these systems fall and energy prices increase, battery storage will become more relevant and cost effective.
If you think solar PV is history – think again! We are still installing systems for savvy customers who have done their homework. You may have missed the ‘gravy train’, but you haven’t ‘missed the boat!’