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How Are Gloucester Cathedral’s Solar Panels Performing?

Our readers may recollect that, back in September 2016, we mentioned that Gloucester Cathedral was having solar panels fitted to one of its roofs with a view to reducing its electricity bills and lowering carbon emissions. So, how are those solar photovoltaic panels performing some 12 months after being installed?

Well, they are doing very well. So far, the solar panels have produced almost 32MWh of energy that is a commendable performance and will no doubt have saved the cathedral several thousand pounds in electricity costs. Over 12,500 kg of carbon emissions have also been saved with this again being a very good performance. This later figure equates to over 41 trees being planted.

There are a number of church buildings that have had solar panels installed in the last few years so hopefully they will have had a reasonable return on their investment both by way of a reduction in their energy bills and a lowering in carbon emissions. With fewer people attending church these days this has probably had a result in reducing the amount left in collection boxes so if the installation of solar panels has lowered electricity bills this may have gone some way to compensating churches.

It will be interesting to observe if, as a result of the success Gloucester Cathedral appears to have had, more church buildings have solar panels fitted to one or more of their roofs. Obviously, as many church buildings are of historic interest, a great deal of thought will need to go into deciding if it is considered appropriate to install solar panels.

Here at Solar Panels UK, we will continue to keep our readers up to date with any other interesting solar power projects that are scheduled to take place or that have already taken place either here in the UK or elsewhere in the world. If as has happened in the past new projects come to light that we feel are suitable to report on we will aim to do just that as speedily as possible.

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Solar Panels Help Party The Night Away

A disc jockey tends to take an awful lot of equipment with him or her to a gig such as turntables, lighting and loudspeakers. These things need electricity to power them otherwise it would not be possible to provide such entertainment.

Well, a business by the name of Solar Sound System has, for quite some time, been providing entertainment systems where the electricity is generated by both the sun and people pedaling bicycles. This no doubt means that dances could take place in remote country locations such as in the middle of a forest or field without the need to bring in generators as well as in towns and cities.

The system was produced back in 1999 in Switzerland with other locations coming on line in Tel Aviv, Paris, Marseille, Berlin and the Basque country over the years. You may be interested to know that London is on the list of future venues.

Each system has solar panels as well as two bicycles with the later being manned by partygoers who pedal for a period of time before someone else takes over the strain no doubt enabling all to enjoy the evening’s entertainment.

We have reported about numerous other interesting uses of solar panels over the years such as being attached to ruck sacks enabling walkers and climbers to charge up their mobile phones and no doubt, as time goes by, there will be many more unique inventions for the use of these panels. It would certainly appear that solar power is here to stay with the main use being to help provide electricity for homes and commercial premises in numerous countries worldwide.

Anything that can be done to reduce the carbon emissions both here in the UK and in other countries around the world has got to be welcomed. We have witnessed a big rise in the amount of energy being produced by renewable means when compared with the more traditional methods in the last few years and let us hope that this is something we continue to see happen.

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Solar Paper – An Innovative Way To Charge Your Mobile Phone

A company by the name of YOLK has produced a product called “Solar Paper” that can be used to charge the likes of a mobile phone when you are on the move should your normal phone battery be low on power. It is paper-thin and comes in a variety of power outputs.

Around a $1 million was raised on Kickstarter that is a funding platform to help produce Solar Paper back in 2015.

Solar Paper is manufactured in 2.5W solar sub panels that can be connected together to provide increased charging capacity. You may be interested to read that the panels are a mere 1.5mm in thickness and are very light weighing just 60g. The panel is 17cm in length and 9cm wide making it easy to carry about.

In sunny conditions the 2.5W version is capable of charging an iPhone 6 in around 5 hours. The 5W version can charge an iPhone 6 in about 2.5 hours in the sun and about 5 hours when it is partly sunny/cloudy. The 7.5W capacity Solar Paper can charge an iPhone 6 in 2.5 hours in the sun but can charge the same phone in 5 hours even when it is cloudy. The 10W capacity version is capable of charging an iPad air 2 in 4.5 hours of sunshine and it takes around 9 hours to charge the same tablet when it is partly sunny/cloudy.

The Solar Paper can be attached to things like backpacks making it useful for people who are out on long walks or hill climbing meaning that, potentially, he or she is less likely to find that their mobile phone has run out of charge.

We are sure that you will agree it is great to see such products being invented that should help the solar power industry maintain its awareness in what is undoubtedly a competitive marketplace. We will continue to keep our readers up to date with any other interesting solar products.

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Where Could Transparent Solar Panels Be Used?

It is being reported that transparent solar panels may be available to use in the next few years. So, where could such solar panels be used?

Well, the obvious place could be to replace glass windows in homes and commercial premises with transparent solar panels. Can you imagine the potential square footage of window availability not only here in the UK but in other countries around the world? In this country there is a housing shortage so as new homes are built could they have such solar panels installed instead of conventional glazed window units? Will it be possible to make such windows in double glazing?

It may be possible to manufacture vehicle windows in transparent solar panels instead of the normal glazing. Then the electricity generated could possibly be used to help power certain things in the car such as lights and heating.

One reason why some home owners choose not to buy solar panels and have them installed on the roof of their property is that some people feel that conventional solar panels look unsightly. Well, transparent solar panels may look better on the roofs of homes as anyone passing could see straight through the panels through to the normal roofing material such as tiles.

Could such solar panels be used in the construction of a conservatory or orangery on your home rather than the usual double glazed units? The electricity generated may be used to provide heat and lighting in the conservatory rather than the likes of traditional radiator heating.

It will be interesting to monitor the progress of the development of such solar photovoltaic panels over the next few years and we will continue to keep our readers up dated as and when anything comes to our attention in respect of transparent solar panels. Obviously, the cost of such panels will no doubt have a bearing on how successful they may prove to be.

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Solar Power Helps Lower Carbon Emissions In UK

One of the benefits of solar power is that, being a renewable form of energy, it helps reduce carbon emissions here in the UK. This is something that not only the UK is targeted with achieving but also other countries around the world.

Well, you may be interested to read that according to the National Grid during the summer period of this year there was a big increase in electricity being generated by the likes of wind turbines and solar power. In fact, between the 21st June and the 22 September 2017 not far off 52% of electricity that was produced was done so using “green energy sources” such as wind, solar and nuclear. Four years ago such sources helped generate 35% of the electricity here in the UK.

We are sure that you will agree this is excellent news for the likes of the solar power industry and is no doubt partly attributable by the construction of things like solar farms, solar panels being fitted to residential homes and commercial properties.

There is no doubt a lot more that can be done to increase the generation of electricity by green sources of energy and let us hope that we continue to make progress in this respect in the coming years. Whilst there has been a fall in the number of households having solar panels fitted to the roofs of their homes or having ground mounted solar panels erected in people’s back gardens there are still many that are choosing this form of electricity generation.

There are many suppliers and fitters of solar panels here in the UK. So, if you are considering this as an alternative to the traditional source of electricity, you may wish to obtain a number of quotes from suitable businesses. As part of your due diligence, you may also wish to visit a number of homes where people have had solar panels fitted to obtain the opinion of the homeowner on the business that supplied and fitted the solar panels and whether they have proved beneficial.

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Huge Solar Power Plant For Iran

When you consider that solar panels are claimed to work at their best in sunshine it will not come as a surprise to read that one of the biggest solar panel farms in the world is going to be built in Iran which has an abundance of sunshine during the year.

Apparently, an investment company by the name of Quercus here in the UK has come to an agreement with the Energy Ministry in Iran to assist in the construction of a solar power plant that is capable of producing 600 megawatts of electricity. This would make it the sixth largest solar power plant in the world.

It is expected to cost in the region of 500 million euros that we are sure you will agree is a considerable amount of money. This is potentially great news for the UK economy and relations between the UK and Iran.

Such projects of this magnitude are few and far between so it is great news to hear of the UK’s success in this respect. It must have taken a considerable amount of time and effort in negotiating such a sizeable project and it will be interesting to observe its progression once, as expected, the building of the solar power plant gets under way sometime next year.

It is these sorts of projects that will be a major contributor towards helping the world achieve its renewable energy and carbon emission targets in the years to come. Let us hope that there are many more to come.

Solar power is certainly becoming a major source of energy both in the UK, Europe and beyond. It will be interesting to see if this type of energy ends up being the major source of helping generate electricity in the future. Here at Solar Panels UK we will continue to keep our readers updated with interesting news articles about the solar power industry.

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Thousands Of Social Housing Tenants To Benefit From Free Solar Panels

You may be interested to read that a considerable number of tenants residing in social housing are to have solar photovoltaic panels fitted to their homes with the occupants of these properties not having to pay anything for the solar panels.

Many social houses occupied by people on low incomes are to have solar panels fitted.

This will no doubt come as welcome news to these people as it is estimated that their fuel bills could reduce by as much as £240 per annum. That, we are sure you will agree, is a considerable sum of money thus freeing up funds for other needs by many people who are currently on low incomes.

Apparently, some 800,000 homes are to benefit from having these solar panels fitted to their properties both in England and Wales. The scheme is being supported by the Government with a company from Holland called Maas Capital putting some £160 million into the scheme. It is expected that it will take up to five years for all these homes to have had solar panels installed. A company by the name of Solarplicity will be making the solar panels available.

It is expected that in excess of 290,000 homes in the North West of the country will have such panels fitted with other social housing in certain other parts of the UK benefitting from the scheme.

As well as saving the residents of these properties a significant sum of money on their energy bills the installation of these solar panels will also help this country towards achieving its renewable energy targets as well as lowering carbon emissions here in the UK. It will be interesting to monitor how this scheme progresses over the coming months and years and, if it proves successful, if the Government decides to come up with a similar scheme in the future to benefit even more people on low incomes and living in social housing whether provided by local authorities or private landlords.

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Does Fitting Solar Panels Increase Property Values?

If you have wandered if having solar photovoltaic panels fitted to the roof of your home or having them ground mounted in your garden has any impact on how much your home is worth then you may wish to look into the research carried out on behalf of Which?

Does installing solar panels increase the value of your home?

Apparently, 1,252 estate agents took part in the survey and gave their opinion as to whether they felt that if a homeowner was to have solar panels installed it would make a difference to the value of their property. The research was carried out in June of this year.

It is interesting to note that only 8% of those estate agents were of the opinion that if someone was to have solar panels fitted to their property that such an installation would increase its value.

There were 17% of estate agents who were of the opinion that having solar panels installed had a negative impact on the value of the property resulting in its value dropping. This seems to be an interesting opinion. Could it be due to the fact that many installations are on the roofs of homes and potential purchasers of properties could be put off by the sight of such panels?

However, 67% of estate agents felt that if someone was to have solar panels installed at their home then this would not make any difference to the value of the property.

The remaining 8% of estate agents did not know whether such an installation would make any difference to the value of the property.

Whilst it would be good if having solar panels fitted to your home did increase its value, a major reason for having them installed is the potential saving that may be made in your fuel bills. Another reason for such installations is that solar power is a renewable energy and helps lower carbon emissions on a worldwide basis.

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Worldwide Solar Power Capacity Grows In 2016

Those of you involved in the solar power industry and the general public may be interested to note that, according to a REN21 Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century report published this year, solar power capacity grew by more than all the other renewable energy sources in 2016.

Solar pv capacity increased globally in 2016

In 2016, renewable energy capacity rose by 161 gigawatts around the world. 47% of this figure was due to solar power. 34% was due to wind power. 15.5% was due to hydropower. The amount of solar pv capacity grew from 228 gigawatts in 2015 to 303 gigawatts in 2016. The top five countries in 2016 in respect of additions to net capacity, investment on an annual basis and productions were China, USA, Japan, India and the UK. It is pleasing to see that the UK has managed to feature in fifth position.

It is interesting that some 9.8 million jobs exist within the renewable energy sector around the world. Of these jobs, in the region of 2.825 million work within the solar energy sector- that is a significant number of people and just goes to show how beneficial the renewable energy industry is in providing much needed jobs in many countries around the world.

We are sure that you will agree that the above figures make for interesting reading but more data can be found in the report that can be viewed on the website of REN21 so why not take a look to find out more information. We are sure that you will find it very interesting and informative.

It is going to be interesting to observe what happens in respect of UK and global solar power capacity for the remainder of this year and for many years to come as the world attempts to achieve its global renewable energy and carbon emission targets to help ensure that we all have a more environmentally friendly planet in which to live.

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Chinese Solar Panel Manufacturing Predicted to Grow In 2017

It is well known that China is a huge manufacturer of solar photovoltaic panels that are then used in solar panel installations in China and a number of other countries around the world. Well, it is being forecast that China is to significantly increase the number of solar panels it builds this year in comparison to 2016.

Solar panel manufacturing in China is predicted to increase significantly in 2017

Apparently, last year China manufactured solar photovoltaic panels that had a capacity of 48 GW. In 2017, it is being forecast that solar panels will be built with a capacity of 60 GW. That is a huge increase of 25%. Those panels will be used both in China and certain other countries around the world.

Of course this will be excellent news for those working in the solar panel industry in China as, presumably, it may lead to more jobs being created that the Chinese people will no doubt welcome.

China has certainly become a big player within the solar power industry and it looks set to grow its manufacturing output significantly. China has previously become involved in a trade war with the likes of the USA and countries within the European Union over solar panels.

China’s solar capacity target that was set for 2020 is being forecast to be reached before that date which is perhaps an indication of how keen China is to encourage the take up of solar power within its own country. Whilst there will no doubt be significant interest in solar panel installations in China it will be interesting to see just how quickly things progress.

It will be interesting to monitor the manufacturing output of solar panel manufacturers in other countries such as the USA, Germany and the UK to see how it compares with China in 2017. We will continue to keep our readers updated periodically as and when information becomes available about the above.

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