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Solar panels

Posted by ronsmum - Created: 3 years ago
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3 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 3)

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Posted by AQ-417490 - 3 years ago

I understand that the French have been running a Feed In Tariff system along similar lines to the UK, though I don't know the rates paid. I had them installed in the UK some 4 years ago when the FIT rate was much higher than for new installations right now. My current FIT rate is almost 50p per kWh produced and is guaranteed to be paid at an index linked rate (ie increasing) for another 21 years, but current installations only earn about 14p and it is planned to pay much lower than this.

My 2.88 kWh system earns me about £1,400 per annum on the FIT payments, but also reduces my electricity bills (mainly during the summer when light is best). I would be very doubtful that a system would be worth installing with the proposed reduction to just a couple of pence per kWH, let alone no FIT payment at all. The payback time on the investment would be way beyond the expected life of the system - UK or France.

A pal of mine made enquiries about PV panels in France and was informed that as he was over 60, he would not qualify for the French equivalent of the Feed In Tariff (goodness knows why). Needless to say, he ditched the idea, as the reduction in metered electicity would have been far too small to make the investment viable.

That said, there is something to be said in possibly requiring all new buildings (public and housing) to have solar PV panels fitted as part of Building Regs to reduce future reliance on conventionally generated electricity. The installation cost is ever reducing and would be even lower if installed during building construction, rather than some time afterwards.

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Posted by Dibbyspot - 3 years ago

If there are pros in UK guess in Finisterre would be feasible and viable - electricity is unlikely to get cheaper. In France there is a feed in tariff but this is reduicng just as in UK likewise the installation has to be approved and done by a professional - there may even be a registration requirement like for insulation.

We are just having them installed in S Brittany and the set up is 3kw about €8000 ground based 12 panels. Using adjustable ground mounts gives 10-15% increase in energy winter/ summer adjustment (roof fit is fixed), you can also wash the panels - efficiency reduces with dust, and being ground based gets more air flowing behind that keep panels cooler also enhances efficiency. We are linking into a 1000l balon as a surplus energy dump as we will not feed into EDF but will remain connected.

Analysis shows a 2Kw battery, if used as an alternative dump will have a positive effect to run through the night and cover high/low demand without EDF further reducing demand for EDF. However battery costs are falling fast so this needs to be considered carefully. 

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Posted by kervéor - 3 years ago

We looked into it but decided at our age mid 60's it was not worth the it in terms of investment  too long term .