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28 Jun 2011 09:06:02

Solar powered business park connected to National Grid



Solar powered business park connected to National Grid
Solar energy in the UK has taken a step forward this week as the world's first solar powered business park is connected to the National Grid.

Howbery Business Park in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, boasts 3,000 solar panels on a ground-mounted array and is capable of generating 682MWh per year.

Over a quarter of the business park, which caters for 1,000 employees, will be powered by the array, one of the first in the country of this size to be connected to the grid and utilise the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme.

Derry Newman, chief executive of Solarcentury, which created the array, said: "Solar is not to be underestimated; it is the fastest growing energy technology in the world, simply because it is clean, reliable and a readily available alternative to fossil fuels."

However, the future of the solar industry in the UK has been placed into doubt over recently announced cuts to the subsidies provided for installations greater than 50kW under the FIT scheme.

A recent report by the Solar Trade Association and Ernst & Young suggested the changes have potentially undermined confidence in the entire UK renewable energy market.  ADNFCR-1235-ID-800601377-ADNFCR


Discussion Thread  

Duncan wrote:

28 Jun 2011

An interesting point to note, is that the UK trade and investment (UKTI) now appear to have recognised the fact that the government U-turn in policy has emasculated the UK solar PV industry! If you note their market reports on countries launching their own FiT schemes such as the one on Malaysia, they do not say that the UK can compete in the solar space!!

The huge difference between our government and those in the EU with the FiT scheme who understood the importance of not undermining investor confidence in energy infrastructure projects (solar PV), and the importance in not letting companies spend hundreds of thousands over a year gearing up to deliver an industry to find that it has been eradicated quicker than it was created, are now finding their industries are exporting their knowledge and products to those countries that have been a little slower to react. The Spanish, German and Italian business for example are now expanding across Asia, South Africa and South America. Each of their new offices is typically majority owned by the original parent, providing a fantastic flow of revenue back into the original country driving up national GDP. Our knee jerk coalition government on the other hand, decided to incapacitate a very fast growing industry in the middle of economic turmoil.

A final note that I hope will not be forgotten at Election Day, is that our coalition government in the middle of a fiscal review chose to pay to support the most expensive form of solar array over the cheapest, and then pay over the odds for it. To clarify, they backed domestic roof top installations over ground mounted. Ground mounted solar PV could have contributed towards energy security and have acted as a buffer against ever increasing electricity prices for all, not just those who could afford to pay for their own roof top array. Was this a vote winning bid for the upper middle class, as this can’t have been for the better good of the country!
You may have noted recently (March 2011) that we continue to entrench our dependence on expensive imported natural gas (Langage power station, Plymouth)? Those one million homes that Centrica are powering, are now doomed to be dependent on Russian and Norwegian fluctuating natural gas prices.!?


Tekkie wrote:

29 Jul 2011

Is this a photo of the Howbery Park installation?




Discussion Thread  

 


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