Sixteen years later, I’m reflecting on my efforts to encourage solar panel adoption. PV solar panels have brought me vast amounts of joy in my life and had ups and downs like any relationship.
The inside-industry nickname and aptly named Solar Coaster Ride of the last decade never dampened my enthusiasm for these technologies. Never let the naysayers curb your passion.
The term naysayers are under evaluation when you understand that governments, billionaires, and the most powerful media barons have tried, but failed to make PV-tech – “go away!”
Our modern civilisation was built one property at a time, and a PV-powered one will equally arise through individual adoption. Pioneers, early adopters, the masses, and the late bloomers will usher in the self-generation vision I always advocated. Today, those naysayers have lost credibility, and even those that once persecuted are smelling the sweet smell of opportunity with the new PV export tariffs announced this year.
Amusingly, Shell Energy is throwing their toys out of the pram with a 0.0001p export rate. Despite this, the Smart Export Guarantee has been a success by introducing a competitive environment for self-generators to sell their surplus power at remuneration rates ranging from 3.0 to 5.6 pence per kW.
I first saw the beauty within after visiting a PV manufacturing plant in 2004, but for those who prioritise pounds and pence, photovoltaics are now enticing for you too.
This is modern alchemy, turning rare earth metals and chemistry into power, savings, and returns-on-investment from a ball of Hydrogen and Helium 93,205,000 miles away.
I’ve always espoused that “PV systems are a gift for humanity; not yet realised”. Today, I will go as far as to say; photovoltaics is now a gift for those wanting to put an end to the game of tic tac toe that the traditional energy industry has now become.
Feel the pride that your ‘early adopter’ status will bring. Ultimately, PV solar panels will become an icon of the 21st-century, as the motor vehicle was in the twentieth century.
Those who wished it to go away only delayed it by a decade, similar to those detractors who tried to get motor vehicles banned in their earliest years. Today, the early stages of an energy market will eventually compete to attract domestic self-generators over the next decade.
Finally, those intrinsic flex of colours beats any postmodern artwork. However, the real beauty is the operational lifespan of photovoltaic solar panels. Even beyond its twenty-years expectation, an array will still generate at 80% capacity after that.
I love that this technology lasts longer than your mortgage.
My crazy love affair laid bare!