The European Union Renewable Energy Directive has set the target for renewable energy use at 20% for member countries to achieve by 2020. This directive has seen governments of member countries increase their efforts in green energy production, supply and use in order to meet the target.
Governments are giving grants and incentives to businesses and home owners using green energy such as solar and wind for their energy needs. In addition to their incentives, governments have embarked on educating their citizens on the advantages of green power and how they could be actively participating in the green energy movement.
The cost associated with the installation of solar panels has been inhibiting for most home owners and small businesses to implement. However, governments in different countries particularly the UK are putting systems in place to ensure the majority of its citizens are able to access and install solar power.
The current government grants for solar energy in the UK include:
1. Homeowner Subsidies
Homeowners are the primary target for solar energy as their most limiting factor in installing solar panels is the cost associated with it. The government will pay any household for the energy they produce using solar panels. The scheme is dubbed Feed – in Tariff and is aimed to encourage homeowners to install solar panels. Payment is in two forms; energy consumed at home, (generation tariff) and energy not consumed, (export tariff) payable per KWh. The money is exempted from tax and can add up to a significant amount as the scheme will pay for up to 20 years. Current projections stand at a staggering £8,080 for 20 years besides the significant save in power bills at home. This is definitely a worthwhile incentive from the government, however, to qualify, your installation must be done by a certified installer.
2. Business Subsidies
Businesses are also eligible for the FiT Scheme. Just like homeowners, they will be paid for every kWh of solar power generated whether consumed or exported back to the grid. The UK government expects to generate 15% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 hence the reduction in solar panels prices. Although incentives have been reduced, there are factors that dictate how much you can make with the FIT system. These include:
- Size of your system
- The technology of your solar system
- The efficiency of your solar system
Having the best of the above factors can guarantee a considerable amount to both home and business owners. To qualify for the FiT scheme as a business owner, these are the conditions.
1. Work with an energy supplier who provides FiT payments
2. Your installer must be Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accredited
3. You must install new panels, MCS approved
It is definitely a good time to be a green energy evangelist in the UK. The government through its various schemes is supporting home owners and small businesses to generate solar power and earn from their investment. Together, small businesses, home owners and mega corporates can achieve the 20% target of renewable energy by 2020 as set by the EU.