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China Building Largest Solar Power Plant In The World

China is constructing the biggest solar power plant in the world in the Gobi Desert that is the largest desert in Asia covering part of Mongolia and China. The plant will cover an area of 10 square miles that, we are sure you will agree, is a huge project.

China is building the largest solar power plant in the world in the Gobi Desert

The largest solar power station in the world is being constructed in the Gobi Desert

It is estimated that the solar power plant will be capable of generating around 200 megawatts of solar power. This amount of energy could be capable of providing power to as many as one million homes. Obviously, China has a huge population but this plant will be of tremendous benefit to a significant number of people.

A plant of this size will no doubt make a huge contribution in reducing the volume of carbon emissions in China that the population of that country will no doubt wholeheartedly welcome as certain areas are renowned for their extremely high levels of smog. It is also expected to make a significant reduction in the use of coal to help generate electricity. China would like to be in a position by 2030 of being capable of reducing such emissions by as much as 20%. This plant will no doubt be a big help in this target hopefully being met.

The building of the plant will no doubt provide work for some of those people experienced in the construction industry. It may also mean that more jobs are required in the solar power manufacturing sector.

Let us hope that we continue to see large solar power construction schemes being taken forward in other countries around the world as it will no doubt require the collective support of us all to do everything that can be done to achieve global renewable energy targets in the coming years. For instance, solar farms can play a big part in providing renewable energy as well as solar panels being fitted to the roofs of residential properties and commercial buildings.

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Hillary Clinton Has Big Plans For Solar Power

If you follow American politics you will be aware that Hillary Clinton, wife of ex-president Bill Clinton, is running to be the Democratic Party’s choice to try to become President of the USA in 2016. Apparently, she is particularly keen to significantly increase solar panel capacity in the USA should she be successful in moving into the White House.

If Hillary Clinton becomes President of the USA she wishes an additional half a billion solar panels to be fitted to homes in the USA within 4 years.

Hillary Clinton intends to have an extra 500 million solar panels installed within 4 years should be elected President of the USA.

It would be her intention to have in excess of 500 million solar panels installed across the country within a period of four years from being elected. That is an awful lot of solar panels to have fitted in such a short period of time and will presumably create extra jobs in the industry in the country.

Those extra solar panels equate to an increase of around 700% in the number of solar panels presently installed. It is forecast that that sort of increase could, in due course, see renewable energy sources generate a minimum of 33% of the USA’s electricity that, we are sure you will agree, is a considerable amount. Mrs Clinton also wishes to see renewable energy providing power to all homes in the USA by the end of her second term.

It will be interesting to see, if she does become President, if she is able to achieve these goals. Support will no doubt be required from government by way of incentivisation. If those targets are met then it will no doubt go a long way towards helping the world reduce its carbon emissions and that has to be a positive factor.

What happens in America can sometimes impact on decisions made in the UK so it will be interesting to observe if our government responds in a positive way from the solar power industry’s point of view should she become President and put measures in place to install as many solar panels as she intends to do in the coming years.

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The UK’s First Carbon Positive Home

A new three bedroomed detached house in Bridgend in Wales has been designed and constructed in such a way that it has become the first carbon positive home to be built in the UK. It incorporates a variety of eco-friendly features and benefits such as solar panels, LED lighting and a heat pump.

solar panels have been built into the structure of the roof in a carbon positive home in Bridgend

A new carbon positive home is using solar panels incorporated into the construction of the roof.

The solar panels have been incorporated into the south-facing roof. There is a battery to provide power to the home when not directly using energy provided by the sun through the solar panels such as in an evening.

There are many features to help improve the energy efficiency of the property and also reduce carbon emissions such as insulated render and panels. Low carbon cement has been used in its construction. It has an air heating system that uses the rays of the sun.

It is claimed that more electricity can be sent to the National Grid than the house will use. Presumably, this will provide an additional welcome source of income. It is interesting to note that the cost of building this home is in line with the cost of the construction of social housing.

The battery and solar power is capable of powering the combined hot water, air ventilation and heating system as well as the electric power system that looks after the heat pump, lighting in the home and the appliances the occupants will use.

We are sure that you will agree this is an interesting move forward in the construction of properties here in the UK. If more homes are built in this way it will no doubt lead to the UK getting that much closer to achieving its renewable energy and carbon emission targets by 2020. Of course, it will also be good for the solar panel industry here in this country if a significant number of properties similar to this are constructed.

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Warmer Weather Impacts On Solar Energy Output

Hopefully, most of you will have been enjoying the extremely warm, sunny weather that the UK has had in the last few days. For those of you that have solar panels installed on the rooftops of your homes or business premises, you will probably have also benefitted by an increase in solar powered energy output

As much as 16% of electricity being utilised in the UK on 3 July 2015 was by solar power as the weather was so good

On 3rd July 2015, up to 16% of electricity being used in the UK was generated by solar power

In fact, it has been estimated that on Friday 3rd July 2015, solar power was generating anything up to 16% of the electricity being used in the UK. We are sure that you will agree that this is a commendable performance and, as more and more solar panel installations take place, this figure will hopefully increase.

As at May 2015, there had been 694,961 Feed-in Tariff solar panel installations here in the UK. This was an increase of 25% in the number of installations when compared with May 2014. That just goes to show the increased number of properties that have had solar panels fitted in the 12 months up to May this year.

The National Trust has announced that it is increasing the amount it has spent on renewable energy schemes as it is making a £30 million investment in renewable energy projects to provide power and heat for some more of its properties that it owns and maintains. This is with a view to having renewables provide half of its energy by 2020 plus it wishes to reduce the use of fossil fuels and lower the use of energy by a fifth. It is estimated that as much as £4 million per annum could be saved in energy bills.

Let us hope that the trend of greater use being made of renewable energy including solar panels in the UK continues as it is important that we make as much use of possible of the sun. As always, we welcome your comments.

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Biggest Water-Based Solar Panel Plant in World

We have previously made reference to solar panels being floated on the surface of water in various parts of the world. Well, a few weeks ago, Japan completed the construction of what is currently reported to be the largest solar panel plant built to float on water in the world.

Could we find that a number of reservoirs are used in the UK to house solar panel plants?

Could some reservoirs be used in the UK to house solar power plants?

Kyocera TCL Solar has built the 2.3 MW plant in Hyogo Prefecture in Western Japan that is capable of producing around 2,680 MWh of electricity each year. To put this into context, making certain assumptions, that is estimated to be enough electricity to provide power for about 820 average sized homes.

To build the solar power station, it has needed 9,072 solar panels. The station covers an area of about 25,000 square meters on the surface of a reservoir so is a considerable size. The solar panels have been placed on a float that has used polyethylene in its construction. Apparently, solar panels that are floated on water are capable of producing a greater amount of electricity than those that are mounted on the ground as the water cools the panels down.

The electricity that is generated by these floating solar panels is to be sold to the Kansai Electric Power Co in Osaka.

Here in the UK, we have a huge expanse of water that could potentially be used more frequently to house solar panels. Just think of the number of reservoirs that we have in this country. Could some of the surface area be set aside to accommodate solar panels? Obviously, the cost of such schemes would need to be compared with the likes of ground-mounted or rooftop based ones that are undoubtedly the most popular ones that we currently see.

We will continue to keep you updated about any more interesting solar panel projects that we hear about but do feel free to tell us about any.

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Solar Independence Plan for Britain Produced by STA

The Solar Trade Association (STA) has just published its Solar Independence Plan for Britain that you may wish to read if you have any interest in the solar power industry. So, whether you are involved in the likes of manufacturing and/or selling solar panels or are a customer considering investing in solar panels for your home or business, you may find the plan interesting.

The Uk needs to increase the number of solar panels being installed to help it acieve/exceed its renewable energy targets

If the The Solar Independence Plan for Britain was followed it may result in more solar panels being installed in the UK

Some of you may not be aware but the UK presently generates in the region of 1.5% of its electricity by the use of solar power. The Solar Trade Association believes that if the Government were to support its Solar Independence Plan significant inroads could be made in the amount of electricity being generated by the utilization of solar power.

For instance, it suggests that the Government increase its solar generated electricity capacity target to 25GW by 2020. In doing so, the UK could be producing 6.9% of its electricity by solar power by 2020. There would be around 2.1 million homes using solar power as well as 24,000 commercial premises with solar panels on their roofs. There would be not far off 57,00 people working in the industry. The roof top installation subsidy could be stopped. Solar power would be competitive with electricity that is produced by fossil fuels. The additional cost to households would be £1.11 per month.

The plan requests that the Government does the following this year: -

1. Feed-in Tariffs should be altered to focus on achieving zero subsidy by 2020 and push forward growth.
2. Contracts for Difference should be adapted so that SMEs and solar benefit.
3. The Renewable Obligation in respect of sub-5MW systems should be safeguarded up to 2017.
4. Solar should receive a fairer share of the budget in respect of the Levy Control Framework.
5. Constraints relating to the grid should be dealt with strategically and decisively.
6. Incentives should be introduced in respect of solar being installed into new built homes and offices.

It will be interesting to see what response the above plan produces from all interested parties.

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Are Solar Panels Going To Be Used In Car Parks?

Solar panel car ports have already been installed in a number of public car parks in the likes of the USA and it sounds like we may start to see some being erected in the UK at some point in the coming years. Hive Energy that is a solar development company would like to be able to introduce these panels on a large scale here in the UK.

Over the next few years will we see public car parking spaces have solar panel car ports installed?

Are some public car parks going to have solar panel car ports installed in the coming years?

Apparently, it is estimated by the RAC Foundation that this country has in the region of 4 million car parking spaces with many of them capable of having car ports fitted with solar panels on top of them. If a large % of them were fitted with solar panels, it is forecast that they would produce enough energy to power just under 1.7 million homes. They will also no doubt make a significant impact in reducing carbon emissions.

Many of these car parking spaces are in the likes of hospital grounds and shopping centres and the solar photovoltaic panels could be used to provide power for those commercial premises. Hive Energy have predicted that solar car park shelters will be frequently seen within the next 5 years.

Such car ports would also provide some shelter for vehicles that park under them which would make parking a much more pleasant experience for people that are visiting the likes of hospitals and supermarkets and local town centres. No doubt they would be lit up much like under cover car parks are at the moment that we see in cities and towns.

It will be interesting to see how the above progresses in the future especially when you consider that the focus seems to be moving away from having ground mounted solar panels installed in the countryside.

As ever, we would welcome the thoughts of our readers about the above.

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Solar Power Capacity To Be Increased By Bernard Matthews

In the past, many of you will have enjoyed a Sunday lunch that has included turkey farmed and produced by Bernard Matthews that is the biggest farmer of turkeys in the UK. The company is also a keen supporter of green energy initiatives including solar power, wind turbines, waste and biomass. In fact, in respect of the later, it has the biggest installation in England.

Bernard Matthews is increasing it solar power capacity at a number of its farmsr

Solar capacity is to be increased at a number of Bernard Matthews farms

With regard to solar power, it already has a solar farm covering 55 acres at Holton in Suffolk that is capable of generating 10.1MW of electricity. The 110,000 solar panels are capable of providing enough electricity to meet the needs of 3,000 homes so it is a huge development. It also has a solar farm at Weston in Norfolk covering around 30 acres.

Not wishing to stand still, it is to increase its solar power capacity at a number of its farms in Norfolk. It is installing around 10,000 solar photovoltaic panels at 11 farms that will provide up to 2.5MW of capacity.

By 2020, the company is trying to lower its carbon footprint by 100% by using the likes of solar power, wind turbines, waste and biomass boilers.

Bernard Matthews is to be complimented for its actions in making as much use of renewable energy initiatives as possible. It will no doubt save money on its energy bills but will also help to reduce carbon emissions in the UK and that is something that the country needs to do to ensure that its targets in this respect are met by 2020.

Of course, there are many companies in the UK that are supporters of installing solar panels whether that is roof or ground mounted. We have previously reported on some including the likes of Sainsbury’s that has installed solar panels on many of its commercial premises. There are also numerous smaller businesses here in the UK that are benefitting from solar power.

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Survey Reveals Two Thirds Of Homeowners Would Consider Solar Panels

A survey carried out by Mintel, a market research company, has indicated that in the region of 60% of homeowners who do not currently have them would think of having solar panels fitted. We are sure that you will agree this is potentially good news for the industry.

about 60% of homeowners would consider having solar panels installed according to a survey

According to a survey, 60% of homeowners would consider having solar photovoltaic panels fitted to the roofs of their homes.

Apparently, there is a great deal of interest amongst the public at the moment in having solar panels installed under what is called the “rent-a-roof” scheme. This is where the installation companies agree to provide and install the panels with no charge but, in compensation, receive the income generated by the spare electricity that goes to the National Grid. Interestingly, of those that have already had solar panels installed, 20% of them used the “rent-a-roof” scheme and 70% actually bought them.

The survey did reveal that 40% of homeowners were not interested in having solar photovoltaic panels installed for a variety of reasons such as the potential impact on the value of their homes and concern about repair costs. With the warmer, sunnier weather hopefully not too far away, this may result in an increasing number of people making enquiries about having solar panels fitted to their roofs.

This industry looks set to continue growing not only on the residential sales side but also on the commercial side with the possibility of more and more businesses looking to have panels installed on the roofs of their commercial premises. There are still a number of solar farms being built. Collectively, all these developments should help the UK as it strives to hit its renewable energy targets in the next few years. Here in the UK, we will no doubt wish to continue to play our part in helping Europe and the rest of the world achieve these targets.

As always, we would welcome your thoughts on the above subject.

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Permitted Development Threshold Raised For Commercial Rooftop Solar Installations

We have been saying for quite some time that, in order to help the UK meet its renewable energy and carbon emission targets by the year 2020, the number of commercial solar panel installations will need to be encouraged. We have reported on a number of occasions about some major companies that have had solar panels installed on top of some of their business premises including the likes of Sainsbury’s – the supermarket chain.

will more and more businesses now install solar panels on their roofs?

Are we now going to see an increasing number of solar panels being installed on the roofs of business properties?

We are pleased to inform you that, late last month, it was announced that the permitted development threshold in respect of installing solar photovoltaic panels on commercial premises had been increased from 50kW to 1MW. Very roughly, the later figure would equate to an area that could cover the roof of a big warehouse. This means that, in many instances, such sizeable installations will not require planning consent.

Therefore, this will no doubt encourage an increasing number of business owners to further investigate solar panel technology as a way of reducing their energy bills. Not only will this be good news for them but there will also be a benefit to the environment as we see CO2 emissions reduce even further in the coming years. It may even mean that, for those businesses that are able to save funds, those monies could be used to further improve the business in some way. For instance, some companies may be able to take on more staff or increase stock levels to further improve their order books.

We are sure that you will agree that the above is great news for the solar power industry. Some people are quick to level criticism at the government in this country but the above is a good move on their part. Who knows, it may result in more jobs for people looking to work within the solar panel industry.

We will continue to keep you up to date with any new, interesting things within the industry.

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