It’s a fact: the new feed-in tariff will take effect from April 1, 2012. Next Sunday, the feed-in tariff rates for photovoltaic systems with a total installed capacity of 250 kW or less will fall, while a lower multi-installation tariff is introduced by the Government.
According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change website, that “multi-installation tariff applies to PV installations where the generator or nominated recipient for FITs already owns or receives FIT payments for more than 25 PV installations on different sites. Such installations will receive a tariff set at 80% of the level of the standard tariff.” (more…)
Virtu, the name given to a new a hybrid solar panel that simultaneously heats water and generates electricity.
The new technology integrates an electricity-generating PVC cell into a hot-water-generating solar thermal panel. Through combining the two technologies, the industry is now able to address one of the problems facing PVC cells :
“The U.S. solar energy industry installed a record 1,855 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2011, more than doubling the previous annual record of 887 MW set in 2010, according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report. The record amount of solar installations is enough to power more than 370,000 homes, and represents a 109 percent growth rate in 2011. It is the first time the U.S. solar market has topped one gigawatt (1,000 MW) in a single year “, says SEIA. GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association have estimated that the U.S. solar market is valued in more than $8.4 billion in 2011.
The solar projects, Puriton West (4MW) and Summerway Drove (1.8MW), were developed by Element Power Solar in partnership with Dublin-based BNRG Renewables. The projects were constructed and commissioned during 2011 under the U.K. Government’s Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) legislation designed to encourage construction of low carbon electricity generation from renewable energy technologies, and are both fully operational generating electricity at pre August 2011 Feed-in Tariff (FiT) rates.
Puriton West Photovoltaic Project - Via pv-magazine.com
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon organizes a competition every two years for challenging collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of this competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. These teams spend almost those two years building a house to compete in the 10 contests of the Solar Decathlon (Architecture, Market Appeal, Engineering, Communications, Affordability, Comfort Zone, Hot Water, Appliances, Home Entertainment and Energy Balance).
A significant reduction of their carbon footprint, the generation of an income through the feed in tariff and savings on electricity bills – which had reached £30,000 last year – were the three main reasons that made David Blackshaw – Blackshaws Garage‘s Managing Director – decide to invest in solar energy and install photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of his company, which has been working in Alnwick since 1919.
It is estimated that this solar panels installation will help the family-owned garage to save about £2,500 on electricity bills this year, and also will reduce their carbon footprint, stopping emissions by about 12 tonnes in the process. In adittion, Blackshaw Garage will see an average annual return on investment of 22.5 percent.
Grays Shopping Centre, in Essex, has definitely done its bit for the society and also for the environment. A 200 solar panels project was installed last week, covering a space of 15,000 sq ft on the roof of the building. When operating, the solar array will produce around 45,000 kWh’s per year, saving about 600 tonnes of CO2 during the life of the project.
From April 1st 2012 all households that wish to install any kind of solar PV system will need to ensure that their houses are properly insulated and meet level D of the EPC certificate to receive their Feed in Tariff (FIT)
The new requirement will apply to any building, connected to a solar PV system, whether that be a domestic or commercial property. Any building must still be covered by an EPC Level D even if it is not heated at all. The new requirements covers systems of less than 50 kW of energy produced. Financial assistance required in order to meet the new level will also be available through the government’s Green Deal scheme.
The Government Department for Energy & Climate Change have made it absolutely clear that there is no negotiation and all householders must hold a certificate at level D or above. A statement released from the department stated that: (more…)
The World Cultural Council will award in the 2012 Albert Einstein World Award of Science to Professor Michael Grätzel – Director of the Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland, and also one of the developers of the last version of the dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC) – “for his outstanding accomplishments to the welfare of mankind and the health of the planet, solving arguably one of the most important technical problems relating to energy and sustainability that we face today.”
There are many myths surrounding solar power in general, this can be attributed to many factors but most crucial of all is a lack of awareness and understanding from the general public with regards to the benefits of solar power and what it can do for people. Also there seems to be a lack of advertising on the subject especially when it comes to t.v. ad campaigns and other forms of media coverage.