Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Feed-in-Tariffs news

We have installed our Photovoltaic system entirely on trust that the proposal on feed-in-tariffs will actually be enacted in April, near enough as the proposal has been framed. There is a site telling you a lot about it - http://www.fitariffs.co.uk/ . There are a number of issues not finalised and the public have until Oct 15 to add more opinions. Some issues are:
• Existing systems should not be excluded
• The tariff levels are set on the low side
• Some renewables get a lower return than others
• Some types of renewables have been omitted
• Issues like taxation and index-linking have not been defined

I have sent in a reply to their request for consultation with my own choice of key observations,

• There is a need to increase the tariffs to a level that will encourage more participants. Even with a potential payback for my roof of about 7.5%, some people still think I am taking too much risk. It should clearly be enough to show 10% to push the public into making this investment.
• They should clarify the tax implications of the tariffs, and whether they will be index-linked. If the UK has a period of inflation, and it costs £30,000 to buy a sandwich then the tariff (presently framed at 36.5p/kWh for domestic PV) must logically be linked to the electricity price, e.g. something like 2.8 times the maximum price (presently 13p / kWh).  As the income for domestic householders is confined to 4kW, it will always be small, so it should not be reduced by being taxed.
• There is confusion about the 4kW limit for domestic PV systems. This is designed, for good reason of electrical safety to stop the DC output rising above 17amps. However, this could only be achieved on a south facing roof at 36ยบ at midday in summer. I have a 4kW nominal system on an East Facing roof and even if we increased the nominal output to 4.5 kW (ie 25 x 180watt panels) we would still never be able to generate 4kW at any time of the day or the summer. So I hope they will allow a larger number of panels, provided that their angle and azimuth is such that the output could not exceed 17 amps.

1 comment:

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