Benefits of Solar
There is an upside and a downside to every decision and solar PV is no exception. The good thing about Solar Power is that the upsides are plentiful and the downsides mostly negligible.
Advantages of solar power
- You can benefit from the Governments feed-in tariff which pays a set rate per kWh (currently up to 13.88p/kWh) of electricity generated and an additional rate for any exported back to the national grid.
- The feed-in tariff is guaranteed by the Government for 20 years and is tax free and index-linked.
- Producing your own power protects against rising energy prices.
- Solar PV works even on cloudy days: since light is what you need in order to generate electricity, the photovoltaic solar panels work on cloudy days too. However, due to the lower intensity of light on cloudy days, the effectiveness of Solar PV panels is reduced.
- Clean energy means you reduce your carbon emissions by up to 1 tonne per annum. It is helping to preserve the environment for future generations by helping to reduce carbon emissions. Renewable energy is clean energy; it doesn’t produce CO2 or burn fossil fuels and therefore does not exacerbate climate change.
- Solar PV can supply a large proportion of your annual electricity needs.
- Solar PV is helping to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels, particularly oil and gas, with regard to your domestic energy use. Bear in mind that global oil supplies are beginning to peak and that global gas supplies are predicted to peak in around twenty years time. It’s therefore in everyone’s interest both environmentally and domestically to reduce fossil fuel use as much as possible.
- Solar panels are relatively maintenance free. They may need to be cleaned every so often and replaced after around 25 years use, but other than that they do not need regular maintenance.
Disadvantages of solar power
- Solar PV requires an initial investment, although this is less than you might think as prices have halved in the last 12 months.
- A large area of unshaded south, south-west or south-east facing roof is required to maximize payback.
- Panels degrade over time by approximately 20% over 25 years; this however is taken into account in most reputable suppliers calculations.
- It may be necessary to replace the inverter after 10 years to optimize power generation.