Monday, 14 November 2011

Solar Installation

"Every house should be over-producing its energy and selling to the grid." - Bill Mollison

Schematic Diagram
The government's abrupt change to the Feed in Tariff (FIT) for solar PV, created a new temporal boundary condition - install and register prior to December 12th 2011 or get a reduced FIT, radically altering the affordability of the installation. So we acted faster than we would have ideally liked and got local company MAK Energy to the work.
Sharp Solar Photovoltaic Panel

I've had some concerns about the embodied energy of solar PV, while the feed in tariffs make this technology financially available and current fossil fuel availability hides the true energy costs, I have wondered whether the embodied energy cost is hidden. The article 'Energy Payback of Roof Mounted Photovoltaic Cells' by Colin Bankier and Steve Gale (first published in the  Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO) Sustainability Newsletter, #58) has reassured me. They conclude that their research indicates that "small-scale roof mounted PV systems have a positive energy payback and are capable of contributing to a sustainable energy future."

My electricity supplier Ecotricity manage the FiT arrangements through their microtricity scheme and have made the registration process quite straightforward.

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