By Chris Handel
Chairman of HKD Energy and a Director at CBRE
In the wake of news that solar power could provide up to 4% of the UK's electricity by 2020, the government is revising upwards its targets for solar energy use.
In recent months, the price of a solar panel to buy and install has dramatically fallen too.
Collectively, this is great news. However, it would be a mistake if the government believing ‘job done’ was to cut subsidies for large scale solar projects in the coming weeks. It would hinder the industry’s ability to compete with fossil fuels which would halt the progress which is being made nationwide.
Take a local community project in a school in South Downs which launched one month ago. In three weeks, the project has generated 5,000 KW hrs of energy, saved 3 tons of co2 and cut almost £300 in the school’s electricity bill. Simply by installing 307 solar panels to generate electricity direct from the sun this result has been achieved. Longer term, the same initiative is expected to deliver 80,000 KW hrs per annum and save the school over £150,000 during its 20 year life. It really is a win-win scenario.
The project was funded by 50 local private investors who have invested for future generations of children at the school. Such a success it has been, means sites are being sourced for projects two and three in the area.
It would be a shame if projects such as these are ‘put on hold’ on a larger scale if the government reduces its commitment to the sector with financial cuts.
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