30 Nov 2010 01:11:45
2010 – the year of FREE solar
If I was to put a label on 2010, I would say it's "the year of free solar". Thanks to certain companies, thousands and thousands of UK residents have now got "free" panels generating "free" energy.
Credit (is that the right word?) also needs to be given to the British media for giving the "free solar brigade" a helping hand with a massive amount of "free" publicity. Ever since I saw a BBC lunchtime TV report called "Solar panels for roofs offered free of charge" there seems to have been a pretty constant stream of newspaper, magazine and internet stories and articles surrounding the "free" solar movement.
The media coverage hasn't always been kind, though – I guess if you pay your PR agency enough (and you don't offer free solar) the press will just about say anything.
So for the thousands that now have free panels we ALSO have a million other UK home owners who have now been introduced to the Feed-in Tariff, have managed to get their heads around the benefits and have probably spoken to their banks manager about re-mortgaging.
In fairness, if I had a spare £10k, or a willing bank manager, and an un-shaded south facing roof I won't be going for the "free solar" option. Let's face it, other than lining the pockets of these companies and their bankers, what's the point in saving £120 a year on your electricity bill when you make get a return on your investment (ROI) of 8% to 10%.
So, well done the "free solar mob". ROI aside, you have kicked started the UK solar industry brilliantly.
What will we be labelling 2011?