PV solar panels in the United Kingdom

Here at Power My Home, we have always encouraged people to get an installation while the going is good.

Waking a sleeping dragon is never a good thing.

Waking a sleeping dragon is never a good thing.

Many have adhered to this advice and now enjoy the financial benefits, now and for the next three decades to come. Having PV solar panels (photovoltaic) installed on your roof is a no-brainer in today’s world of energy uncertainty and insecurity.

The importance of solar panel technology is not yet realised by most people in the west again, just because most people are still in the mindset of cheap and abundant resources.

The old world of affordable energy is over, but the Chinese government has noted solar technology’s importance in the 21st-century.

So much so that they have been aggressively taking control of the rare earth metal resources which are vital for the manufacture of such technologies.

This clever strategic manoeuvring has also been running alongside a campaign of dumping ‘below cost’ photovoltaic panels in the world which has driven down the costs of installing solar panels in the United Kingdom too.

The reasons for doing this have been significantly debated, but the consensus seems to conclude that this is about putting western manufacturers out of business through this anti-competitive practice.

A long-term strategy with longer-term implications

The ultimate question that this raises, is why would the Chinese government subsidies the cost of manufacturing solar technology? Out of the goodness of their hearts or is there a more sinister agenda?

China was very aggressive over the last fifteen years with its new-found capitalism. Since taking control of vital resources to lure manufacturing away from their countries of origin. As previously described, the importance of solar panels for the future of energy in a world of increasingly high energy costs should be evident, but China is way ahead of our western countries in cornering this market strategically.

I would therefore conclude that the ‘dumping of below cost‘ technology. However, great it may seem now will undoubtedly lead to ultimate dominance long-term over the west. This monopoly in the making will never be a good thing for western countries long-term.

Without its manufacturing and rare earth resources which are essential for self-manufacturing, then the United Kingdom will be left very vulnerable at a time when energy prices will be far higher than it is today.

A single party Chinese government with a much longer-term strategy than our own. Unfortunately, our western democratic states can’t see past the next general election strategically, and this leaves us vulnerable.

This situation, of course, may just be my cynical side and maybe they are pleased to subsidise British home and business owners, perhaps?

But what is certain, is the forthcoming European ‘import tariff’ and the rising cost of ‘rare Earth metals and resources’ alongside the cost of energy to process them will increase the cost of installing. The recent lower price of solar panels will not last forever.

As I have sung many times on these pages, being an early adopter of solar tech has many perks and paying ‘below the cost of manufacture’ is currently one of them, but only if you are quick.

"Light is life."

Stuart Lovatt 2013-03-29
Founder of Power My Home.