Food for thought and learning from the history of the Roman Empire to discover that dependence on others is never a good thing. Why are PV solar panels (photovoltaic) technologies our future?
This time, we look to the future, to establish what the future of our energy security will ultimately be if we continue to depend on energy from other sources, rather than our own, to keep on the lights.
The flight back home from a visit to Rome (the great city itself) took me over Germany, a country which also features in the history of the Roman Empire. Flying into Munich airport, the differences between Britain and Germany were very noticeable.
The start of Heat my Home began on a train journey to Salzburg in 2004, where I noticed the large numbers of solar panels on homes, even back then. The future was clear to me, and I decided to promote solar panel technology in its different forms.
Fast-forwarding back to 2011 and the return journey from Rome was yet again as inspiring as that original train journey. This time, looking out of the window of the plane, the number of solar panels on view was apparent. They were everywhere, on both homes and commercial rooftops and in far more significant amounts than in 2004.
Germany has a similar type of climate in the UK, so why have the German people enthusiastically adopted this technology into their culture? Or more importantly, why do most of the people of Britain still see this technology in a negative light?
The answers to these questions are simple. Dependency!
We in the United Kingdom have been lucky enough to have plenty of cheap, affordable and easy to access oil and gas through the North Sea oil and gas fields over the last 30 years, which has made us complacent in our view of energy. Germany has not had this luxury and must find other routes to reduce its dependency by other means.
Now that we can see an end to the limited North Sea supplies, we find ourselves in the same position as our European counterparts. We too must now look to the conservation of this energy, and find other ways to keep our society running.
In the 1990s, the German government embarked on a scheme which allowed both homeowners and businesses to generate their power, using the new, improved and more efficient wind and solar panel technology. Our government has now recognised Germanys lead and can also now benefit from these types of systems, using a feed-in tariff.
PV solar panels and the feed-in tariff
The feed-in tariff scheme is currently available in this country to homeowners and small/medium-sized commercial applications for solar electric panels and solar heating panels. The tariff allows you to receive annual payments through your energy supplier, who will pay for the power that you generate, and here is the selling point-even for your use. Brilliant!
As the adoption of these technologies spreads into many other countries, including the Scandinavian countries, solar panels are here to stay. The only question you should ask yourself is -when to install them in your home or business.
The feed-in tariff scheme is designed to reward early adopters of PV solar panels the most and later adopters the least at the rates per kWh will be reduced gradually over the next ten years. A leap of faith is necessary when installing solar panels, but the pioneering spirit is what binds our society.
The ancient Roman society represented the technological pinnacle of their own time and Germany of our times, but the stakes are too high for our proud nation NOT to move this technology forward.
History teaches us time and time again that we as a country have to stay at the forefront of technological advancements to survive.
I for one am proud to be involved with the next instalment of Britain’s technological future, as will you be if you can show your neighbours how energy-savvy you are!