Energy Generation

Payments for Solar PV are changing again: On 1st August 2012 the FITs for electricity produced by photo-voltaic panels will drop from the current 21p/kWh to 16p/kWh; and the years for which the new rate is payable is dropping from 25 years to 20 years, in line with the other renewable energies; but the amount paid for the electricity fed into the Grid will rise from 3.2p/kWh to 4.5p/kWh. The good thing is that all these payments are both tax-free and inflation-linked. Furthermore, once you are set up the rate that you came in on holds good for the duration at the time of setting up.

When working out the benefits of feeding to the Grid, rather than using immediately or storing, remember to calculate the real cost of your electricity from the Grid Supplier i.e. take the total cost of the bill (inclusive of standing charges and VAT) and then divide this by the number of KWh used as stated on your bill.

Remember also that some household gadgets e.g.spinning washing machine, fan oven, tumble drier etc. require a surge of electricity. This could be supplied by a good electrical storage system, but cannot be met directly by your panels even on a sunny day, so to run these implements you will be buying electricity from the Grid. Off Grid homes do not use tumble driers!

Even now an investment in Renewable Energy can generate a 6% return on investment.

The current economic crisis has led our government to adjust the FIT (Feed-in Tariffs) and RHI (Renewable Heat Incentative) payments downwards to a new but sustainable level. However, PV, wind and insulation (in the right place) are still a valuable asset for family homes and as before the FITs and RHIs will be paid at the starting rate for the duration of the scheme - 20 to 25 years for most. The following links will direct you the latest information as it becomes available. www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/meeting_energy/renewable_ener/feedin_tariff/feedin_tariff/ move down the page to the heading "What Are the Benefits" and click on "A Table of Tariffs" For news on the RHIs follow this link: www.ofgem.gov.uk/e-serve/RHI/Pages/RHI.aspx

On this website, the term Renewable Energy Generation refers to the technologies involved in the production of liquid fuel, heat or electrical energy from the latent/hidden energy in the environment in which we live. When we consider the heat of the Sun and the force of wind and water, the energy is not so hidden; but it is still in a form that we cannot use, until we have passed it through some clever devices e.g. solar panels, wind turbines and water wheels or Archimedes screws. The oil in seeds, and the dry organic material e.g. wood in plants, is a more hidden form of energy, yet it is one that has been used by humans for heat, for many thousands of years. However, we are now concentrating on finding the most efficient ways of extracting this non-fossil carbon based energy and using it with minimal waste - incidentally even the waste e.g. ashes and oil seed pressings have their own valuable uses.

Click on your way and explore the possibilities! Some of the purchasing companies who specialise in renewable energy are listed on the right.

There is one other consideration to be made when setting up an energy generation project, and that is the process of selling your energy to the grid. This means that you will need to select which company you are going to deal with. Increasingly this may be the same company that you are currently with, or it could be one of the specialized companies above. The first of these sells 100% Renewable Energy; the second sells a mix that includes 20% from Renewable Energy; and the third negotiates Power Purchase Agreements as well as specializing in Hydro Power.