Photovoltaic Panels As Your Eco Investment And Income Plan

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If you are fortunate to have some spare funds within these times of austerity then solar panels are well worth a consideration as an excellent investment. There is an added incentive of a tax free 6 to 9% return possible. The solar energy ideal has been embraced with renewed enthusiasm in the UK post introduction of the feed in tariff scheme within 2010. A solar installation, based on low scale generation, within a place of business or a school or hospital as an example will receive a preferential tariff of just over 41p. A further 3p per unit allowance for any spare exported to the national grid, all this as well as savings when buying in.

Though solar energy installations were previously seen as taking painfully long to reap any tangible rewards (Feed in Tariffs) the technology had been seen to be within any individuals grasp. However this has changed and the incentives make a huge difference, it is now considered an ethical investment.

In respect of renewable and sustainable energy the UK has been viewed as Europe and America's poor relation. Germany has embraced renewable energy and has long been a world leader. As a country Germany leads the field globally while also sustaining 250,000 jobs within the renewable energy industry. Those countries that have attempted to emulate Germany's success include Portugal, Spain and Austria. In Spain however it has been far from smooth as the solar energy market stuttered due to the recession the tariffs declined and the government was seen to dismiss the taxpayers misfortune. However the renewable energy industry grew significantly thanks, in part, to the generous incentives from the government. Targets were reached as early as 2007, some 3 years early.


With austerity measures in place there were also fears that feed in tariff incentives would be reviewed by the UK government. These issues over incentives were quoshed when a review was announced for 2012. An encouraging 18,455 installations were carried out to end Q3 2010; over 93% were for solar panels (the balance for wind power and mini hydro generators).

The beauty of solar panels is that everyone can benefit irrespective of whether they live in sunny hotspots or the colder areas of the northern hemisphere. The efficiency of the newer solar pv panels has been vastly improved whether it be sunny or cloudy. The over-riding principle though remains that ideally you should have a south facing roof. The proposed solar panel site should ideally be clear and free of trees within the immediate proximity as well as objects such as chimneys and naturally known shade spots.

For homeowners fortunate enough to have other space available solar panels need not be restricted to the roof area. Another unusual but just as effective site is above a pergola within an A frame. However concerns about visual aesthetics still remain. Prior to the installation of solar panels whether it be residential or commercial there is typically some uneasiness however these fears are more often than not unfounded. If your property is a listed building this may present problems in respect of siting along with being within a conservation area.


The main problem seen by many though remains the initial installation costs. Many UK consumers are more than likely to see installaion costs of between 10,000 upwards to 20,000. The top end cost panels will churn out up to 3.8kw per hour of electric which is the most allowed under the FIT scheme. It is worth noting that while income is free of tax it also outperforms ISA's with a return of around 6%.

Though expecting young families with commitments to consider these costs, while already on a tight budget, there is the rent a roof scheme. consumers will undoubtedly enjoy cheaper electricity but currently will see little or no return under the FIT programme; profits as per the contract will go direct to the other party. Those third parties in the rent-a-roof market will, as a rule of thumb, look for a minimal 30 square metres of roof space.

Some critics have questioned the credence of the rent-a-roof contract and that homeowners could only see back around 100 each year. Though as a result of subsidies manufacturing of panels has seen costs reduce. Since it's entry in to the market China has also been a major player in reducing the cost of components. Looking towards the future we also have to resign ourselves to the fact that the costs of more traditional and recognised energy will only increase. Generation of domestic power has to be encouraged and the ideal expanded as it remains impractical to rely on imports. The uptake on the F.I.T. market within the UK remains negligible. However the financial inducements now available from the UK government will hopefully encourage more individuals to install.

Get started today and make solar panels for a rewarding and eco friendly green investment. A diy solar panel installation will save you thousands and is highly rewarding both environmentally and financially.

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