Over the cracks with solar panels

As an old, neglected house with inadequate maintenance spent on it over many years, the cracks are showing in our country’s energy infrastructure, which is why a solar panel installation has become a wise investment.

Can cheap oil be sustained?

Can cheap oil be sustained?

Living Memory and learning from it are one of the things that give human beings the edge over the rest of the animal kingdom. Using experience, and our living memories from the 1970’s blackouts, when Britain’s energy infrastructure was last updated, we can see the upcoming issue’s that will occur.

With new infrastructure updates now required in 2012 and beyond, and one-third of our countries’ power-generating capacity needing to replace, the additional costs and inevitable further rise in our energy bills, will yet again, see fuel poverty brought to the doorsteps of millions at best or blackout situations at worst.

Years of chronic underfunding from a privatised energy industry, just like the railways, have been brought upon by feeding short-term shareholders needs, rather than investment for the longer term. Individuals and homeowners need to begin to think long-term and how they can protect themselves from the energy problems of the future.

The cracks are apparent, and our ability to keep everyday energy bills down is slipping away, which is why I see solar panel installations, as a necessary technology for homes and businesses across the United Kingdom.

An admission, which Britain will face power cuts shown in the Government’s Low Carbon Transition Plan, published in 2009. Get ready for more soar away energy bills with supply not even guaranteed!

Self-generating technology such as solar panels will undoubtedly shield those who have the foresight to invest today. The golden age of cheap energy now consigned to the history books, but can we learn from our past?

The golden age of solar panels begins

The market for solar panel installations is rising again. This time, not for the benefits of the feed-in tariffs (although still reasonable), but for the need to protect one’s home and family from government policy past and present.

George Osbourne recently gambled the United Kingdom’s future energy supply on a declining North Sea oil industry. The output from the current oil fields has been in decline since about 2004, but our chancellor has put all our chips into the colour black for oil on the roulette wheel of life.

This gamble based on finding new, similarly sized oil and gas fields to those found in the 1980s is the chancellors best outcome, but what if they see only small pockets or even worse no pockets of black gold? What then?

The long-term prognosis for the United Kingdom’s energy costs will be dire, with or without a new North Sea oil bonanza. Unfortunately, our politicians take for granted that we will be able to continue to import 70% of our gas and oil from unstable regions of the world. What would be the result of losing say just 20% of this imported resource?

World oil markets ebb and flow just like the economic markets. An oil crash, just like a financial crash can happen overnight and without warning. Just like the markets exchange stocks, currencies and bonds, the import cost of oil, gas and other energy-based, resources can collapse without warning too. Complacency here is our enemy.

There are many reasons why this could happen, such as political problems, but as pointed out within these pages before, peak oil, or should it be called “reduced flow” issues will be the most likely to affect the world not just our country over the coming few years.

The signs are already here, as even the “oil men” themselves are worried, whether the increased demand for the black stuff worldwide, can be met with current the oil fields available. More in-depth sea exploration of the North Sea gamble and the even Arctic, Antarctic searches are writing on the wall here.

Unfortunately, the recent increases in energy costs are likely to be the beginnings of a much steeper climb, with additional infrastructure upgrades, power station replacement, decommissioning costs. Worldwide uncertainty with how much oil is easily accessible, keeping the current “oil flow rate” constant is nothing but a pipe dream (excuse the pun).

Any drop, no matter how small the percentage, in the rate of oil flowing out of wells globally, will see world energy prices rocket and an already unstable, economic markets, which are dependent on plenty of cheap energy, collapsing.

The cracks in our cosy civilisation have already begun to appear, and with the juggernauts that are China and Asia makes even more significant demands, we will continue to see the cracks is expanding within our old run-down house.

Suddenly a solar panel installation doesn’t seem such a silly, eh?

The golden age of cheap energy died in 2005. The world’s flow rate of oil has plateaued ever since, but we have already entered the era of “oil uncertainty”.

Will Mr Osborne’s gamble pay off?

"Light is life."

Stuart Lovatt 2012-07-19
Founder of Power My Home.