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Nissan Installs Solar Panels At Plant

Nissan, the large car manufacturer, has recently had solar photovoltaic panels installed at its plant in Sunderland, Wearside here in the UK. The solar farm comprises of 19,000 solar panels so it is a sizeable array.

solar photovoltaic panels have been fitted at Nissan's Sunderland factory where it manufactures the Nissa Leaf all-electric car

Nissan has had solar panels installed at its Sunderland factory where it builds the Nissan Leaf all-electric car.

The company also has 10 wind turbines in place at its Wearside manufacturing site that is Nissan’s largest plant of this kind in Europe. Collectively, both the solar farm and wind turbines are capable of producing sufficient electricity on an annual basis to help construct in excess of 31,000 cars. In fact, it is estimated that 7% of the company’s electricity at the plant will be generated using solar and wind power. It is also estimated that these two forms of renewable energy could lower carbon emissions by 3,000 tonnes over a 12-month period that would be great from an environmental point of view. The solar panels are capable of generating 4.75 MW of power.

It is interesting that Nissan’s Sunderland manufacturing plant is where the all-electric Nissan Leaf is built. So far, more than 50,000 of these cars have been constructed in Europe. You may also find it of interest to read that 1 in 3 cars are manufactured by Nissan here in the UK so they are certainly a large manufacture of motor vehicles as far as the UK is concerned.

We are sure that you will agree the above news about Nissan going live with their solar farm in Sunderland is a positive thing. It is schemes like this that will help this country go someway towards meeting its carbon emissions and renewable energy targets by 2020 and that is something that many people wish to see achieved.

Hopefully, we will hear of more solar farms being built on a commercial basis in the coming months and years. In addition, we also need to see an improvement in the number of homeowners having solar panels installed on the roofs of their homes.

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Renewable Energy Jobs Increased Worldwide In 2015

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) Annual Review 2016 of Renewable Energy and Jobs, it has been estimated that last year the number of people employed worldwide directly or indirectly in renewable energy rose by 5% to 8.1 million.

There was an increase in the number of people employed in renewable energy in 2015

Worldwide, the number of people employed in renewable energy rose in 2015.

A large number of these people were employed in businesses connected with solar power. In fact, 2,772,000 people were employed in solar photovoltaic with this being 11% more than in 2014. A further 939,000 were employed in solar heating/cooling.

It probably does not come as a surprise to read that the country that was the biggest employer of people connected with solar photovoltaic was China. They employ 1,652,000 million people. Japan employs 377,000 people. The USA employs 194,000 people, Bangladesh employs 127,000 people. India employs 103,000 people. Brazil employs 4,000 people. Germany employs 38,000 people – the most of the countries in the European Union. France employs 21,000 people. The rest of the EU employs 84,000 of which the United Kingdom employed 35,000 people in 2014. The EU witnessed a further drop in employment in this sector.

Of course, here in the UK, we have seen a number of businesses cease to trade that were involved in the solar industry and it is being forecast that further job cuts are likely. The reduction seen in some feed-in-tariffs has probably not helped the situation in this respect as there are fewer people having solar panels installed on their rooftops here in the UK.

It is to be hoped that something can be done to alleviate this situation as it is important that both the UK and countries around the world achieve their renewable energy and carbon emission targets by 2020. Periodically, we hear of innovative alternative uses of solar panels to help generate energy but in order for the aforementioned targets to be achieved it will no doubt continue to require both as many homeowners and businesses as possible to install either roof or ground mounted solar photovoltaic panel systems.

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Solar Panel Platform Developed For Rough Seas

We have previously made reference to solar panels being placed on the surfaces of water such as reservoirs. However, inland waters are normally fairly calm whereas the sea can become rough at times with high waves that could present a problem for solar panels remaining stable.

A Heliofloat platform could be an option to use to have solar panels placed on the surface of the sea but not get damaged in rough seas.

A Heliofloat platform may be a solution to allow solar panels to be placed on seas without getting damaged in rough conditions.

Well, you may be interested to read that TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology, Austria) may have come up with a solution to enable platforms of solar panels to be installed on the rough seas around the world. It has developed what is called a Heliofloat.

This system uses open floatation devices that face downwards that are made from a flexible material that is soft with the top section containing air. However, the seawater and the air that is not sealed are in contact with one another. This has the effect of creating a shock absorber with only minimal force being placed on the walls of the side of the buoyancy units. Apparently, a platform sits on top of these buoyancy units and when these units are correctly positioned the waves do not have an adverse effect on the platform that remains stable.

Platforms as big as 100 metres in length could potentially be created to be placed on the sea. Investors are being sought with a view to take the Heliofloat scheme further.

This would appear to be an interesting development that, if it does prove to be successful, could be used on the many rough seas bordering onto a variety of countries around the world thus enabling much greater use to be made of water surfaces by companies wishing to install solar panels on a commercial basis. This in turn would no doubt help countries go some way towards meeting their renewable energy targets and also lead to a reduction in carbon emissions that is something that countries are striving to achieve. We will keep you up to dare with developments.

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Why Do People Decide To Install Solar Panels?

There are no doubt many reasons why homeowners and business owners decide to have solar panels installed on the roofs of their houses and commercial premises. Two of the most popular reasons are probably the potential cost saving over a number of years plus the fact that solar power is a renewable energy source and thus helps the environment by lowering the amount of carbon emissions.

There are no doubt quite a few people that have solar panels installed following a recommendation from a friend or neighbour

Some people no doubt have solar panels fitted following a recommendation from a friend or neighbour.

However, according to data provided by SolarCity in the USA, a reason why people show an initial interest in the possibility of having solar panels installed is as a result of a friend or a neighbor recommending the product.

Apparently, over a third of customers of SolarCity have had solar photovoltaic panels installed due to such a recommendation. In fact, in Fort Collins in Colorado, the research revealed that 69% of solar panel installations were due to a neighbor or friend recommending the product. In Kailua-Kona in Hawaii 64% of new installations were due to such recommendations and in Gloucester Township in New Jersey 62% of solar panel systems that were fitted were due to these sorts of recommendations.

Of course, people buy a variety of products often on the recommendation of others so the above information perhaps does not come as a surprise to too many people. Nevertheless, it does make for interesting reading which is why we thought we would share it with you.

It would be interesting to know if similar research has been carried out in the UK by anyone so that the two sets of data can be compared between the USA and this country. There will no doubt be quite a lot of people that have had solar panels installed on the roofs of their homes or business premises that have done so following recommendations from their many friends, family, work colleagues and neighbours.

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San Francisco Makes Solar Panels Compulsory On Some New Buildings

It is interesting to hear that San Francisco in the USA has recently made it a legal requirement that all new buildings from January 2017 that are less than 10 floors in height are to be fitted with solar panels on their roofs. This new legislation was put in place by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors a few days ago and it is the largest city/town in the USA to do so although there are smaller cities in California that have a similar law in place.

From January 2017 solar panels must be fiited to all new buildings in San Francisco that are less than 10 floors in height

From January 2017, all new buildings less than 10 floors high in San Francisco must have solar panels fitted.

Until this ruling, the position had been that all new properties in California must set aside at least 15% of their roof area to have solar panels fitted at some point in the future.

Obviously San Francisco is keen to achieve its renewable energy and carbon emission targets. In fact, in this respect, by 2020 the city hopes that all its electricity is produced via renewable energy.

Is this sort of legislation something that could be introduced here in the UK? Surely, you would have thought that, if it can be implemented in San Francisco, USA, it could be put in place across the Atlantic Ocean here in the UK.

Here in the UK, should as much as possible be done to encourage home and business owners to have solar photovoltaic panels fitted either to the roofs of their properties or to have ground mounted solar panels placed on land close to those buildings? Yes there have been many solar power schemes introduced over the years and we continue to see solar farms being built in various parts of the UK and solar panels fitted to the roofs of various properties but anything else that can be done to help us achieve our renewable energy targets by 2020 has got to be welcomed. It will be interesting to see if the Government in this country makes any comment about the above decision taken in San Francisco.

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Huge Rooftop Solar Panel Installation In Telford

You may be interested to read about the recent construction of what is presently the fourth largest rooftop solar photovoltaic panel in the UK. It has ben fitted on commercial premises in Telford in Shropshire.

Here in the UK, we need more solar panel installations to help us achieve our renewable energy and carbon emission targets.

More solar panel installations like the one mentioned in this news article are needed in the UK.

Lyreco has had the solar panels fitted to the roof of their National Distribution Centre by EvoEnergy with work having commenced back in October 2015 and finished in January of this year. There are 13, 860 solar panels capable of producing an annual output of 3,200,000 kWh. Carbon emission savings could amount to as much as 1,700,000 kg and it is estimated that the company could save in excess of £53,000 per annum on their fuel bills which we are sure you will agree is a large sum of money.

We have reported on a number of large solar panel installations both in the UK and overseas in the past. Collectively, such schemes will go some way towards helping this country and the rest of the world meet their renewable energy targets.

However, of late, there has been a drop in the number of solar panel installations taking place in the UK so it is good to hear about large schemes such as the one mentioned above. There is no doubt that such solar panel installations fitted to the roofs of commercial premises are much needed and let us hope that there are many more planned in the future to help the UK meets its carbon emission and renewable energy targets.

If you use the motorway network here in the UK to travel around you cannot help but notice the number of ground mounted solar panel installations that have been placed in a number of farmers’ fields. They come in a variety of sizes with some covering a small area of land to those that cover many acres of farmland. Collectively, these will also help the UK achieve the previously mentioned targets.

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Increase In VAT On Solar Panels May Not Proceed

It had been intended that VAT would go up on solar panels from the 1st August 2016 from 5% to 20% but it would appear that this may not be going to happen. This is because, apparently, Labour, a number of other opposition parties and even some conservative members of parliament had opposed this VAT increase in the recent Finance Bill and were proposing an amendment to the bill that is not going to be opposed by the Government.

The proposed increase in VAT on solar panels from 5% to 20% may not take place.

The proposed VAT increase on solar panels from 5% to 20% on the 1st August 2016 may not now happen.

It is no secret that the solar panel industry has been struggling in recent months with fewer installations and, if the proposed VAT increase were to go ahead, it could have serious implications for the industry. For instance, it could see consumers having to pay around an extra £900 on a solar panel installation that was costing say £6,000 plus VAT. Such an increase could end up putting off quite a lot of people from having solar panels installed on their rooftops. If this were to happen it could make it harder for the UK to meet its renewable energy and carbon emission targets by 2020 and this would be such a shame.

It could also result in companies involved in the solar panel industry having to make some of their workforce redundant that is something that has been happening in recent months. This would not be good news for the solar photovoltaic panel sector nor for the country as an increase in unemployment is unwelcome for a number of reasons.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will keep our readers that have an interest in the solar panel industry informed as and when there are any further developments in this respect. Many people and companies will be hoping that VAT is not increased on solar panel installations as had originally been intended.

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A Bicycle With Fully Integrated Solar Panels

Most people that use a bicycle to cycle around on use pedal power to propel the bike forwards. However, for some time, there have been a number of bikes that are manufactured that use a battery to produce electricity to help transport someone with less effort being required on the cyclist’s part. There are also a number of bikes that have been built that use solar panels to help charge a battery that generates the power.

solar panels incorporated into the frame of a bicycle have been used to help provide the power that the bike needs to propel it.

Sunlight can be utilised to help power an electric bicycle that has incorporated solar panels into its frame.

However, a company is now claiming that it is producing the first solar electric bicycle that has fully integrated the solar panels into the structure of the bike. The company is called LEAOS and is based in Italy and was only set up in 2012.

The LEAOS Solar costs in the region of £6,000. A display tells you how much energy is being obtained and how much charge is in the battery. Its range, if it were just using solar power is anything up to 20 km per day based upon medium usage. The bike can also operate from an alternative power source if there is not enough solar power. In pedal assist mode, on a full battery, it can travel around 62 miles.

The bike’s battery will continue to charge whether it is being ridden or not. The solar panels are incorporated into the frame of the bike that certainly looks an innovative design.

This is just another example of what solar photovoltaic panels can be used for. We have previously mentioned that they have been used on the back of rucksacks to generate electricity that could be used for say charging up a mobile phone. They have been placed on the roofs in car parking lots where they are used to help re-charge electric vehicles. Solar power really does have so many uses and there will no doubt be other things that people discover that such panels can be used for in the coming years.

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Reservoir To House Largest European Solar Panel Farm

You may be interested to read that work is almost complete on a solar panel farm that is water based here in the UK. This project is being completed on the Queen Elizabeth 11 reservoir that is situated at Walton on Thames. The solar power farm will have 23,000 solar panels.

It will be interesting to see if greater use is made of reservoirs in the UK to construct solar photovoltaic panel systems on the surface of the water

Are we likely to see more reservoirs being used to site solar panel systems on the surface of the water?

It was only back in November of last year that we mentioned a solar farm that was to be constructed on Godley Reservoir that is located in Greater Manchester. Some 12,000 solar panels were to be placed on the surface of the water that would possibly have made it the largest water based solar panel system in Europe.

The project at the Queen Elizabeth 11 reservoir is even bigger than the one in Greater Manchester and is so large that it will become the biggest water based solar panel farm in Europe. It may even become the largest one of its kind in the world although how long it may hold those records for remain to be seen.

The scheme has cost in the region of £6 million. Presumably, because the solar panels are placed on the surface of the water, the installation costs are greater than that of a conventional ground mounted solar panel system. Electricity generated via this solar farm will be used for water treatment plants in the area that play their part in producing drinking water.

It is interesting to see that this is another example of a reservoir being used here in the UK to site a solar panel farm. With so many reservoirs and lakes dotted around the UK it will be interesting to see if even more are used to help generate renewable energy in this way. Here at Solar Panels UK we will keep you up to date with any interesting solar power projects both in the UK, Europe and elsewhere in the world.

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Australia Has 5GW Of Installed Solar Power

According to analysis carried out by SunWiz, a solar consultancy business in Australia, it is estimated that the country now has solar panels installed that are capable of generating a minimum of 5GW of electricity. When you consider that the country has an overall total electricity capacity of 56GW, solar power is accounting for around 8.93% of that figure.

The number of solar panel installations in Australia are estimted to be capable of generating a minimum of 5GW of electricity

It is estimated that Australia now has solar panels installed that are capable of generating at least 5GW of electricity.

Australia has come a long way in a relatively short period of time in terms of its take up of solar photovoltaic panels to help generate electricity. Back in 2010, the country had the capacity to generate around 0.5GW in this way.

In terms of States, Queensland has the biggest solar powered electricity generating capacity with 1,479,089 kW followed by New South Wales with 1,230,517 kW. In third place is Victoria with 894,711 kW.

Each year, from an including 2011, Australia has installed solar panels capable of generating in excess of 800,000 kW of electricity. Its best year was in 2012 when just over 1,000,000 kW of solar powered electricity generating capacity was installed. Last year the figure was about 913,000 kW, meaning that no other source of power made a larger contribution to the country’s electricity generating capacity.

Here in the UK, as at the end of 2015, the number of solar panels deployed was capable of generating 8,667,000 MW of electricity. To date, the total number of installations was 842,005. Last year, some 3,319 MW of solar powered generating electricity capability was added.

There are challenges to face in the solar panel sector this year so it will be interesting to see the figures for the UK for January 2016 and future months. Renewable energy plays a significant part in helping not only the UK but also the rest of the world lower carbon emissions and solar power is a major source of renewable energy. We will keep our readers up to date with how the year progresses in terms of solar photovoltaic panel installations.

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