Early bird catches the PV solar worm

A year has passed since the Comprehensive Spending Review, and the PV solar panel (photovoltaic) industry is nervous as to what the upcoming Comprehensive Consultation on the feed-in tariffs holds.

There's nothing more powerful than when a PV's time has come.

There’s nothing more powerful than when PV’s time has come.

The take-up for photovoltaic or PV solar panels has been tremendous since the feed-in tariffs began in April last year, so good that it is clear that the high rate of feed-in tariff offered to new adopters will have lowered sooner than the 2013 date specified initially.

The current budget will not sustain another year of growth, with the demand for PV solar technology so strong, with around 550MW installed since the feed-in tariffs began. Bringing in a lower rate of the feed-in tariffs to newer adopters seems almost inevitable.

This situation was made apparent at the Conservative conference this week when George Osborne publicly attacked green laws and regulations. Piling costs on to energy bills and appeared to abandon earlier aspirations of leadership for the UK on the low carbon economy.

The chancellor is now panicking about the lack of growth in the economy. When we panic, we revert to our default self, and our right self-comes out. The Treasury never really understood the green economy and is now returning to bringing growth at any environmental cost, which is wrong for one simple reason.

Choosing solar panels is a long-term investment

The UK can be a leader or a follower in green technologies. This incentive is an incredible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, which other countries are pursuing, so if we as a nation follow their footsteps, we will export jobs and import equipment. Or we can be market leaders and export equipment and create jobs for the rising unemployed.

Choosing low-carbon technology is a significant long-term investment, not only for households but governments and nations too.

The promise of environmental action had been at the heart of the Conservative party’s branding of itself as modern and compassionate. “Vote blue, go green” was their slogan, but its leaders are getting their politics badly wrong with the about-turn, showing the return of the original ‘nasty’ party.

Vote-winning but crazy policies

Mr Osborne’s comments aim at consumers who are worried about making ends meet and the cost of rising energy bills, but this short-term thinking is another example of Margaret Thatcher’s and successive Prime Ministers’ short-sighted views when the North Sea Oil fields discovered. Instead of investing in long-term energy security, the revenues squandered on short-term political gain.

These types of policies had come to the forefront again, which includes the spending of £897m on new roads, which was first proposed years ago and deemed unnecessary even when money was abundant.

The building of more roads and the increase of the motorway speed limits equal more global warming and peak oil rushing at us at an ever-increasing rate (80mph to be precise-excuse the pun).

To suggest that our government has its priorities wrong is more than just an understatement. It’s a massive cause for concern, especially as the output of oil in the North Sea and ultimately, revenue from that, has been falling each year since 2004.

As previously stated, “the early bird catches the worm “and this is very true with the adoption of solar panel technology, so take full advantage of the feed-in tariffs before they diminish, or worse, are spent on buying votes.

"Light is life."

Stuart Lovatt 2011-10-12
Founder of Power My Home.