Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Unclaimed Subsidies

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No matter how 'attractive' politicians try to make solar energy it would appear the average householder isn't falling for it.  Could it be that they don't believe the UK government?

Most Scots associate solar with sunshine and thus shun the high installation costs of domestic solar panel technology which they consider would be of little benefit. If solar was the way to go housing developments would be including solar in their designs.  They are not.

Add to that the fact that Scottish Renewables say they are being charged too much to connect to the electricity grid and the mounting opposition to wind farms being given the go-ahead around the north western edge of Scotland's largest national park and there's a serious threat to the Scottish government's renewables target.

Is Scotland - or the rest of Britain for that matter - benefitting from wind turbines?  No. Consumers are the losers because added to their energy bills is the cost of the huge amounts paid in subsidies to wind farm companies, two thirds of which are based abroad.  Businesses from Denmark, Japan, the US, Norway, Sweden, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany also own British wind farms and according to the Renewable Energy Foundation think tank from next year, £523m in subsidies will go to foreign companies.

Did I ask whether solar and wind energy will benefit domestic consumers in the future?  No I did not, because we all know the rip-off will continue and we're powerless (excuse the pun) to do anything about it.



Macheath said...

Good point about housing developers - if they expected to recoup the costs in the purchase price, they'd be slapping solar panels on left, right and centre.

The publicity material concentrates on the returns over decades; since few people these days expect to own the same house that long, who would risk money up front that they might not get back on resale?

RMcGeddon said...

It's frustrating that people aren't being told the truth about solar panels.
The feed in tariffs can't be guaranteed for the next 25 years so the 'huge savings' are just speculation.
Spain recently reduced solar tariffs by 70% for it's commercial solar subsidy farms due to a debt crisis.
As the economy crashes and Huhne retires to Brussels we'll see a switch of investment from the renewables scam to useful sources of power generation like coal and nuclear.
The rush to get in on the feed in tariff rip off has seen many people get their fingers burnt...


The Filthy Engineer said...

I did some calculations a while ago using figures obtained from DECC. Factoring in the initial cost and through life maintenance, such as cleaning and replacement of inverters every 10 years, I worked out that it would take 19.5 years to break even. Bearing in mind that the expected life of a solar panel is 20 years, I decided not to bother.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Solar panels have the same efficacy as anti wrinkle cream.

The only reason governments are backing it is because:

A) It's a diversion from the real energy problem.
B) It puts money into the pockets of privatised suppliers.
C) However its labelled it's the consumer who will end up paying for it.

If solar had any real advantages and governments any real commitment to ecology they would adapt the building regs to the requirments of the 21st century on insulation, materials used and the design of new build homes.

But that would impact on the developers and feed through to the financial parasites and Westminster hasn't the balls for that.

English Pensioner said...

I have a nice south facing roof which would be ideal for solar cells, but I did the same calculations as FE above and came to broadly the same conclusion, although I couldn't find a break even point.
I did wonder what voltage the cells produced before being fed into the inverter and for a while considered whether I could make a profit by using a small petrol/electric set to pump in electricity on dull days!

subrosa said...

Also Macheath, the installation costs are enormous. The chap who called here to do an 'assessment' never came back to me with a price so I contacted him. "Better you don't bother" was the gist of his conversation and when pushed he admitted the costs would take around 30 years to recoup. "You're too nice a woman so I've marked your quote as refused, so as you're not bothered again". I trust his boss wasn't within hearing distance.

subrosa said...

Now they are starting to reduce the commercial feed-in tariffs, the domestics ones are sure to follow RM.

Alex Salmond has already extended the lifetime of nuclear here, possibly because he's very aware renewables alone will not power Scotland.

subrosa said...

FE, I think I put that post you wrote on my Take Your Pick some time ago, but I remember it clearly.

subrosa said...

Wonderful analogy Crinkly.

I must enquire just how 'green' this new development around here actually is.

subrosa said...

Is it worth it EP? Surely if it was someone would already have a small petrol/electric set going? Then again, there are lots of people like you who are keeping their inventions to themselves I'm sure. :)

Stranger in a Strange Land said...

Hello dear:

I have come to the conclusion that I need to find an old small house that isn't connected to the grid and those can still be found here.

Must have a wood burning stove, a water source nearby, and I must stock pile candles and to hell with the greedy bastards.

We have the same story here.

Kind regards,

Apogee said...

Saw a report a few weeks back that someone in Spain had hooked up a diesel generator, seems they got caught when they claimed for 24 hours a day!

RMcGeddon said...

That scam was quite widespread in Spain. No one seemed to notice that the solar panels were feeding the grid despite it being pitch black outside. From the report..

"between November and January, 4500 megawatt hours (MWh) of solar energy were sold to the electricity grid between midnight and seven in the morning"


They were getting a mark up of about 600% when fuel costs and hiring of generators etc was taken into consideration.
Phew , thank goodness it couldn't happen here ;)

subrosa said...

Hello Mike, I think that's many sensible folk's dream these days. It's too late for me to move because I doubt if I'd be able these days to do the work connected with building my wee hydro etc., but I'd encourage anyone 20 years younger.


subrosa said...

You wouldn't be caught that way Apogee. ;)

subrosa said...

Now RM, if we still had old-fashioned investigative journalists...

Apogee said...

Hi SR, Re. the scam, no.I wouldn't have been caught that way , I would only claim between sunrise and sunset, and I'd have got it the right way round!
Does it not show how stupid and infantile this whole scam is, when its worth using diesel electric generators to scam the system.Time our national AND LOCAL politicians got a big dose of reality, and got some financial experts with scientific experience on the team and brought some sanity to this business, instead of listening to the siren calls of the scientific illiterate.

subrosa said...

Aye it does show that Apogee and it's past time common sense and sanity took over this highly lucrative business.

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