Solar Power Grants

Solar Cool

The Guardian on solar power’s increasing prominence.

There’s also a practical, very British reason for our interest in solar: money. With the average household’s electricity bill above £900 (and set to rise again with British Gas’s latest price rises), solar panels start to make sense at £4,000, after you’ve received a government grant available for installation. They can add value, too. When two new homes in Norfolk sold recently, the one with solar PV roof tiles by Solarcentury sold for 8.6% more than its neighbour. Energy efficiency ratings in next year’s home information packs, grants of up to £3,000 and imminent improved planning laws should help further.

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Solar panels on the High Street

Electrical chain Currys is to start selling photovoltaic panels in their stores. So far they’re only available in stores at West Thurrock, Fulham and Croydon. At £1000 a panel Currys say they’re charging less than some specialist firms and are touting Government grants that could cut the price by as much as 50%. It’s another important step in the Greening of the mainstream, though many people have issues with shopping at Currys for servivce level reasons.

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Solar Power Grants

A bit of an info dump. I’m rounding up links for later investigation-

The Energy Savings Trust has a funding database where you can check out who’ll subsidise your move to Green energy. They also run a Solar Photovoltaic grant on behalf of the DTI with the aim of creating a long-term, sustained and viable market for solar photovoltaics.

Clear Skies is a well known scheme, which offers case studies of various projects.

The Solar Energy Alliance has a lot of solar information and gadgets as well as some stuff on wind turbines.

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Peter Hain Walks the Talk

Peter Hain, the secretary of state for Northern Ireland, and the secretary of state for Wales has taken advantage of a government grant to install photovoltaic panels on his constituency home.

“I decided to put my money where my mouth is. It’s not cheap.” Mr Hain and his businesswoman wife, Elizabeth Haywood, paid £8,000 – with another £8,000 coming from the grant – to place photovoltaic panels on the roof of the barn conversion they refurbished in the summer.

He hopes the investment will eventually pay for itself. Any surplus electricity generated is sold back to the national grid.

“When we are not using it, when we are away, then it generates electricity which goes back to the grid. So we save on our bills when we are at home, and when we are not at home it basically goes back to the grid and we get paid for it,” he added.

It’s also good to see that the Welsh Assembly’s attitude to nuclear is more sensible- there is not yet a case for it because energy saving and more cost effective renewable sources should be utilised first.

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Not so renewable

A highly successful Government grants scheme designed to increase the uptake of solar power, and consequently improve the market and drive costs down, is to be scrapped three years into its supposed ten year lifespan. The Government has a new programme, called Low Carbon Buildings, in the pipeline, but there’s likely to be a gap between the old scheme being phased out and this one coming online.

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