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the cost of solar power [message #158603] Fri, 06 March 2009 07:22
solarwind power bbc is currently offline  solarwind power bbc   United Kingdom
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The cost of solar power
The sun has long been used as a source of energy Homeowners across the UK can now apply for a government grant to cover 50% of the costs of fitting solar panels to their roofs.
3,000 grants are available as part of a three year £20 million pound initiative announced by Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Patricia Hewitt in April. The scheme aims to reduce the UK's carbon emissions, bring down the cost of solar electricity and dispel the myth that solar energy is a non-starter in the UK's climate. The sustainable energy drive is being run by the Energy Savings Trust and they hope to boost household solar installations ten-fold by 2007.

Cost to the homeowner
According to Solar Century, one of the EST accredited installers, the cost to the homeowner will vary according to the system used. "the whole system will cost about 1000 for the domestic use" they claim on their website.

Installing solar panels can be an expensive process
Kelly Butler from the EST, which is administering the grants, confirms that even with a 50% subsidy most systems will still cost around £3,000 for the solar panels and £7,000 for the controlling system. Their Chairman, Philip Wolf says that a roof tiled with photovoltaic slates will provide roughly 30% of a household's electricity.

Saving on bills
Paul Jones of the EST says the average saving on electricity bills would be roughly £60 to £92 a year, though he stressed that this is "dependent on property and usage".
This does not sound a great deal of money, so it seems the only real reason to install the system is for environmental purposes.
Before the initiative began, Dan Davis, head of engineering at Solar Century said "Most of our customers are wanting to make a green statement, or are people who want to be at the forefront of new technology".

[Updated on: Fri, 06 March 2009 07:35]

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