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« Wegman paper retracted | Main | Climate cuttings 52 »
Sunday
May152011

UKCIP defunded

From the Oxford Mail:

CLIMATE change experts working in Oxford fear their jobs could be lost after funding was cut by the Government.

The UK Climate Impact Programme, set up in Oxford 13 years ago, currently receives £1m a year from the Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The programme, part of the university’s Environmental Change Institute, has been told that there will be no more Government support from September.

(H/T DaveB)

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Reader Comments (56)

Excellent. Let us hope this is the beginning of further defunding and then we might get back to real science!

May 15, 2011 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterDr John

Start with a small scalpel then move on up to a really big chain saw.

let the cutting begin !

May 15, 2011 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterFred from Canuckistan

This'll be a real impact on their climate.

Better retrain as snow plough drivers.

May 15, 2011 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered Commenteralistair

Starve the beast!

May 15, 2011 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

I think you haven't digested the article fully:

Since 1997 Defra has regularly renewed its contract with UKCIP, but it has now decided to award the contract to the Environment Agency instead, with an extra £2m a year added to the budget.

No starvation going on.

May 15, 2011 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

VERY, very bad news for the UK economy.......

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/14/historic-climate-change-deal-agreed-chris-huhne

"Cabinet ministers have agreed a far-reaching, legally binding "green deal" that will commit the UK to two decades of drastic cuts in carbon emissions. The package will require sweeping changes to domestic life, transport and business and will place Britain at the forefront of the global battle against climate change.

The deal was hammered out after tense arguments between ministers who had disagreed over whether the ambitious plans to switch to more green energy were affordable. The row had pitted the energy secretary, Chris Huhne, who strongly backed the plans, against the chancellor, George Osborne, and the business secretary, Vince Cable, who were concerned about the cost and potential impact on the economy.

However, after the intervention of David Cameron, Huhne is now expected to tell parliament that agreement has been struck to back the plans in full up to 2027. He will tell MPs that the government will accept the recommendations of the independent committee on climate change for a new carbon budget. The deal puts the UK ahead of any other state in terms of the legal commitments it is making in the battle to curb greenhouse gases."

May 15, 2011 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Has anyone ever attempted to work out how many lucrative livelihoods depend on AGW alarmism?

From all the publicly-funded university posts – Environmental "Science" Depts, chairs in the psychology of CC denial etc – through the countless researchers looking into “the effects of climate change” on coral reefs, woodlands, butterflies, you name it, through all the environmentalist journalists to the hundreds of Green groups each with their dozens (some, like Greenpeace, must have thousands) of employees paid to spread AGW propaganda.

Then there are the mega- powerful groups: insurance companies eager to make a killing selling “Climate Damage” policies (which will never have to pay out!) to banks eager to take their fat commissions from carbon trading schemes.

Oh, and everyone at the BBC …

This thing is not going away any time soon.

May 15, 2011 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterO'Geary

I agree with O'Geary - the Climate Alarm Industry [CAI] has now become "too big to fail," as so many public-funded jobs, government subsidies and potential profits rely on a continuing drumbeat of alarm. The CAI keeps shifting their shape - from Global Warming to Climate Change to Climate Disruption - as climate skeptics peel away at their follies. The CAI is adept at following the money, most of which is coming from public coffers and self-interested industries. As O'Geary says, "this thing is not going away any time soon."

May 15, 2011 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Maloney

Barry Woods - Dellers has written about this Guardian/Observer article - mentioning of course the number of 'proper' jobs which are sacrificed for 'green' jobs - but I fear that we all fail to appreciate that these people are POLITICIANS - so they have a totally different agenda to the rest of us...

May 15, 2011 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I believe that the climate change "industry" is the biggest and fastest growing industry in the world.

May 15, 2011 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I fear that we have now transformed ourselves into the Planet of the Apes. I can't see any hope for the future. Too bad.

May 15, 2011 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBaxter 75

Barry Woods

The Guardian report you link is disturbing reading, until you get to this:

The new budget puts the government on target to meet a reduction by 2050 of 80% of carbon emissions compared with 1990 levels. The committee has said that to reach this carbon emissions should be cut by 60% by 2030.

Now, this simply isn't going to happen, so the entire exercise is a waste of time and our money. It will not proceed very far before this becomes obvious even to politicians. The 'backtracking' mentioned in the final paragraph is an absolute certainty.

I think we are in the last stages of a farce where the principals are trapped by their own dishonest and silly rhetoric and can see no way out but pressing on, despite the fact that the smarter ones know this is a road to nowhere.

May 15, 2011 at 6:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

There are *two* news items.

Various reports in media around the country. (Ie. has been fed out widely)
Formal complaint lodged with police by another MP who turns out to be an unusual cookie, link after these two: -

http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/notw/_news/politics/1299065/Claims-Chris-Huhne-lied-about-speeding-offence.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1384707/Chris-Huhne-asked-speeding-points-Ex-wife-Climate-Change-Secretary-claims-pressurised-people.html

MP Simon Danczuk. On reading I discover he has real world experience and remarkably knows about getting actual information. His constituency is also where Gordon Brown bit his own foot.
http://www.simondanczuk.com/about-me

So what is really going on?

May 15, 2011 at 6:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterTim Channon

Tim Channon

It's possible that the ex-Mrs Huhne has simply decided that the dish is now cold enough to eat. Although there may be others suggesting that now is a good time to drop the hammer on Huhne. All part of the fun.

May 15, 2011 at 7:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Good news.

Having been in the garden all day trying to get some control of nature, I was struck by the vast number of fruit forming on my apple and pear trees and it looks like another bumper year in the making. Presumably, this is because we had perfect weather while the trees were in blossom (and I have heard it said that the cold winter encourages the trees but do not know how true this is) which has led to the abundant fruit. Now, isn't our country supposed to be good for apples and pears, so we must have had many, many springs of the kind we have just had in order to earn that reputation. In other words, nothing much has changed; our climate continues as "normal".

The Climate Alarm Industry can get back in its box.

May 15, 2011 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterbiddyb

biddyb

If only it were that simple!

Still, am delighted to hear that your apple and pear trees are looking promising. Here (South Coast) things are the same: my apple and pear trees (singular) are looking very happy.

It's interesting though, to consider the first line of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in the light of the unusually low rainfall in March and April:

Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendered is the flour

Okay, we've had a very dry April too this year, but dry Marches seem to have long historical precedent. And when the rain does come, the flowers blossom.

May 15, 2011 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Tim, sorry just another lobby fodder NuLab

MP Simon Danczuk. On reading I discover he has real world experience and remarkably knows about getting actual information.


http://www.simondanczuk.com/rochdales-mp-welcomes-uks-first-ever-climate-week

Mr Danczuk said: “We are all responsible for acting on climate change and history will judge our generation for our response to it. I hope that Climate Week will help to strengthen this work by drawing all our attention to practical way in which we can make a difference.”

May 15, 2011 at 7:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

BBD

>The 'backtracking' mentioned in the final paragraph is an absolute certainty.

I agree. They've set the bar far too high, so although we will have to endure more silliness for a while, the impossibilities will appear far sooner, and should finish off the whole nonsense more thoroughly.

As you can tell, I'm a 'glass-half-full' type, but I will still buy a generator!

May 15, 2011 at 9:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

James P

What, not investing in renewables?

Get a few turbines or solar panels up in a field (do a deal with a farmer - quickly, because the FIT for SPV will soon be reduced for larger installations).

The annual subsidy harvest will pay for the diesel for both your generators.

Never mind 'glass-half-full'. As Brownedoff says: 'trebles all round!'.

May 15, 2011 at 9:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

The 'Historic Climate Deal' story has some interesting new twists. At the Graun itself the 'comments' have all now disappeared, leaving one to wonder whether the story will now be allowed to 'wither on the vine'.
Dellers did preface his article with- 'The story could, I suppose be a flier: a handy leak from the left of the Coalition, to give the Libtard press an excuse to write something positive about Chris Huhne'.
However in the event that Osborne and Cable come out on top, how will this help Huhne.? If Huhne is expected to win the day, why have the Graun erased all the 'comments' ?

May 15, 2011 at 10:10 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

But seriously, yes, this cannot go on for much longer. And it's not only me that thinks so:

Guardian Letters, May 13 2011 (emphasis added):

At first reading, the Committee on Climate Change's renewable energy review (Report, 9 May) appears remarkably complimentary to the engineering community. It identifies the key deployment barriers to rebuilding our energy supply infrastructure as finance and planning, not whether the technology will work or industry can deliver. Yet a more thorough reading suggests it has glossed over these vital questions. Experts at the Institution of Engineering and Technology find the report lacks rigorous analysis of many technical issues essential to meeting UK renewable energy targets.

What is missing is recognition of the scale of technical challenges involved in decarbonising Britain's energy supply infrastructure. The fourth carbon budget said that 60% of new cars should be electric by 2030, a figure far higher than industry's most optimistic projections. The document also planned for gas boilers to be replaced by heat pumps in 25% of houses in the same time. These represent huge engineering programmes where the solutions have to be tailored to households and geographical areas.

We also need to rebuild our electricity generation and transmission infrastructure, subject of the CCC's December 2010 report. In the next 20 years, the coal-fired power stations, which provided more than half our electricity last winter, will be closed. All but one of the existing nuclear stations will expire. The CCC's plans say that, by 2030, renewable energy should supply 45% of our needs, compared with 3% today. Given that energy infrastructure is designed for a life of 30 plus years, this is a massive engineering challenge. We have not run large fleets of offshore wind turbines long enough to understand maintenance needs; our experience of wave energy is restricted to a few prototypes; carbon capture has, so far, been limited to a few megawatt prototypes, not the tens of gigawatts that will be required. The CCC should be more upfront about the challenges it is creating.

Professor Roger Kemp

Institution of Engineering and Technology

Now if that landed on my desk, I would read it as a clear statement: rhetoric has far outrun realistic outcomes. Stop talking crap.

May 15, 2011 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

HaroldW made a good point (May 15, 2011 at 3:25 PM) above. Is the beast actually getting bigger under a different label?

May 15, 2011 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterIanB

Folks - these are POLITICIANS - they never see any reason for engineering or economic realities to get in the way of blundering down blind alleys - after all, the taxpayer will always foot the bill...!!

May 15, 2011 at 10:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

IanB

It does look that way. And HaroldW did well to point this out. But I wonder why this has happened? Does anyone know what the UK Climate Impact Program at Oxford did to vex its paymaster?

Over-charging seems unlikely, given the +£2 million addition to the EA budget. Could it be simply Treasury thimble and pea stuff? Perhaps the EA will simply contract the job out - to the researchers in Oxford again.

May 15, 2011 at 10:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

David

Agreed - up to a point. When the lights go out, even politicians need to be afraid of the dark. There are voters in it.

May 15, 2011 at 10:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

£1million/yr of your tax contributions has bought you (wait for it) the stunning Oxford University expert recommendation for 'increasing the size of down-pipes to cope with severe rainfall and adapting the design of care homes to ensure rest rooms do not have too much glass – which could result in residents becoming too hot'.

Whether the English or American definition of rest rooms is intended remains unclear, and may also be a complicating factor in the area devoted to glass.

May 15, 2011 at 11:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

@ BBD on May 15, 2011 at 10:13 PM,

"Now if that landed on my desk, I would read it as a clear statement: rhetoric has far outrun realistic outcomes. Stop talking crap."

Profound statement, I salute your forthrightness and candour.

May 16, 2011 at 12:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan

Athelstan

I think tribute should go to Prof.Kemp. But thank you all the same.

May 16, 2011 at 12:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD; don't expect any support from the IET. I was a member for 20 years but resigned in disgust when their publications got taken over by eco-activists & subsidy farmers - and they started referring to anyone who dissented as a 'Denier'. I'm afraid all the so-called 'professional institutions' are backing this scam 100%. Only those close to retirement can speak out against the madness without damaging their careers.

May 16, 2011 at 1:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterChilli

"...When the lights go out, even politicians need to be afraid of the dark. There are voters in it..."

Disarmed voters. That 60% cut by 2030 won't be hard to achieve, at all.

May 16, 2011 at 5:17 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

That 60% cut probably depends on most of the productive Brits emigrating to Canada or Oz as well as most of the businesses folding. Then the politicians will have their ideal population: An entire population 100% dependent on the government largess. I wonder who is going to pay for it?

May 16, 2011 at 5:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterRhoda Ramirez

BBD

"the FIT for SPV will soon be reduced for larger installations"

I thought it already had been. Are you saying that existing installations will remain subsidised, come what may? I was rather hoping the rug had been pulled from under them!

May 16, 2011 at 8:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

James P

My understanding is that already complete installations can claim the full 41.3p/kWh FIT degressing over 25 years. Applications submitted and accepted before Aug 01 this year will also qualify. Worse still, scammers with plans in the pipeline will be 'fast tracked' through the approval process.

See here, from the DECC Consultation on Fast-track Review of Feed-in Tariffs for Small Scale Low Carbon Electricity:

9. Specifically, this consultation (see Chapter 1) seeks views on proposed reductions to the tariffs for solar PV above 50 kW. This is in line with changes being made to FITs for PV elsewhere in Europe. As well as addressing the concerns described above, the proposed reductions are also intended to ensure that the tariffs for non-microgen solar better reflect evidence of significant reductions in the costs of PV since the FITs modelling was undertaken. The proposed new tariffs for solar PV installations are:

>50kW – ≤ 150kW TIC: 19.0p/kWh

>150kW – ≤ 250kW TIC: 15.0p/kWh

>250kW - ≤ 5MW TIC and stand-alone installations: 8.5p/kWh

10. Subject to the responses received to this consultation we aim to introduce these changes by amending the FIT Payment rate table in Annex 2 to Condition 33 of the Standard Conditions of Electricity Supply Licences. Subject to consultation and the Parliamentary process set out in the Energy Act 2008, and any necessary state aid approval from the European Commission, our intention is that these changes will be made in July 2011 before the House rises for summer recess, and take effect from 1 August 2011, and will apply to all installations with an eligibility
date on or after that date.

11. As the coalition has repeatedly stressed, the Government will not act retrospectively and any changes to generation tariffs implemented as a result of the fast-track review will only affect new entrants into the FITs scheme. Installations which are already accredited for FITs at the time the changes come into force will not be affected. date on or after that date.

May 16, 2011 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Having seen the feature in The Sunday Times 'In Gear' supplement - I'm now looking at emigrating to Venezuela - where petrol is.... wait for it..... 1.4p/litre......
So - how do European governments manage to charge us poor s*ds the thick end of 140p/litre for the same stuff - and then say its all in the name of 'reducing carbon/climate change/whatever'...?
Its a joke, isn't it..??

May 16, 2011 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

David

What's the average weekly wage in Venezuela vs UK? You need to know this before you go ;-) It might be that petrol is rather more expensive there than it seems from over here.

May 16, 2011 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

http://notrickszone.com/2011/05/15/alternative-energy-%e2%80%93-solar-power/

Useful analysis here of the use of solar panels..

"A solar power solution requires vast areas, with a high environmental cost that probably cannot be paid, and the waste heat load would make any projected CO2 warming look benign. Solar plants are not the long-term solution to our energy requirements."

May 16, 2011 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

BBD, the FIT for solar PV already depends on capacity. You only get 41.3p/kWh (actually it's now been raised by the RPI, so it's 43.3p/kWh) for systems with less than 4kW peak power retrofitted to existing buildings. Solar farms would currently get 30.7p/kWh. Full tables here. The proposed cut is still very substantial however.

May 16, 2011 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterOxbridge Prat

These feed in tariffs will inevitably be reduced.

In Spain, they have found a large number of providers of solar feed in energy are employing diesel generators (particularly at night, cloudy conditions) since the provider is able to make a profit on running a generator! It is difficult to police these schemes and as usual those seeing the chance of a quick buck will exploit it for all its worth.

Whilst one should invest in research into new technologies including that of mass producing the new technology, new technologies should not be rolled out until they are broadly competitive, ie., broadly able to compete with minimum subsidy. Paying solar providers 15p per Kwh would be a huge subsidy (eg., about 50% more than its sale value on the basis that the consumer pays about 10p per Kwh). The subsidies are way too high.

May 16, 2011 at 4:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Oxbridge Prat

Indeed you are right. Thanks for the link.

I believe there is a clever scam to get around this which is being actively considered by local councils.

The idea is that local authorities can lease the roofs of large numbers of council houses to a single 'funding partner', which uses VC to finance a big array (eg 2 MW or above). The maximum 41.3p (43.3p) FIT per unit can be claimed as each individual dwelling is considered as the beneficiary of the panels on its roof. But the finance partner pockets the FIT as it owns the panels.

I think this is how a large UK utilities and energy supplier gamed the system for a couple of years. It put up 'free' panels on a lot of private housing, and trousered the 41.3p on every single one. Think of it as a very large, widely distributed array ;-)

If you know different or know more, please comment, as I am extremely interested in the mechanics of these schemes. My local council is trying get one through planning approval right now.

May 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Very interesting, but I don't see it working in the long term. David Cameron gives the appearance of being intelligent and he is a politician after all, so it shouldn't be too long before he works out that forcing the country back to the Middle Ages, and furthermore making people pay for it themselves in the form of a renewables subsidy/tax will quickly make his party unelectable for years to come.
DonaldC

May 16, 2011 at 9:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterD C M Corbett

All this talk about FITs for solar PV, but did anyone besides me actually do anything about it by responding to the consultation at http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/fit_review/fit_review.aspx?

May 17, 2011 at 6:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

May 16, 2011 at 9:34 PM | D C M Corbett

Please confirm that you forgot to put "/leg-pulling off" at the end of your message.

May 17, 2011 at 6:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

BBD, my direct knowledge is confined to small domestic systems (I am the happy owner of a 2.5kWp PV system, taking the hard nosed view that if the government is going to forcibly transfer money from A to B then I would rather, on the whole, be B and not A). However the system you describe doesn't seem fundamentally different from the schemes in which a company installs PV on your roof for free in exchange for you signing the FITs over to them - the roof owner keeps any savings from generated power they consume, and I'm not sure what happens to the 3p/unit export rate. Google indicates that several councils, such as Birmingham, York and Wrexham, are indeed thinking about schemes of the type you mention. The various schemes seem to vary in detail as to who gets how much of the profit, with the "standard" package being that the occupier gets access to free power and the council and the installer split the FITs.

These schemes don't strike me as any more silly than the basic FIT idea; recall that part of the aim of high FITs for home installation is to "normalise" PV and wind by providing highly visible examples in the cityscape, and arrays of PV over council house roofs would seem to convey the additional message that PV is not just for posh gits like me. PV is basically a form of advertising, not a form of power generation.

May 17, 2011 at 7:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterOxbridge Prat

Philip Bratby

Yes. I am doing a great deal to try and prevent my local council pushing its SPV scheme through. And it's bloody hard work.

May 17, 2011 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Oxbridge

All fair enough. Although Monbiot hates you, you know :-)

Now you've had a look at the scam I spend most of my time worrying about, you can see why I am stuck in the mode of thinking that the FIT for a large array is 41.3p (43.3p)/kWh... even though it shouldn't be.

I should add that the council in question is trying to push this scheme through for several reasons:

- to meet district and regional CO2 emissions reduction targets
- to make some money (although my understanding is that the 'financing partner' gets most of the profit)
- to cover itself in a thick coat of greenwash to be used for political gain (eg getting certain councillors re-elected by the local bien-pensants).

These schemes don't strike me as any more silly than the basic FIT idea

It's the regressive taxation aspect that appals me. You touch on it above, but at a personal level. Here we have a collection of rich bastard VCs funding a subsidy harvesting scam.

Their giant, privately-owned subsidy farm is going to be plonked on top of social housing. By the council. And I find that beyond-belief offensive.

May 17, 2011 at 1:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD: being hated by Monbiot? That's not a bug, that's a feature.

FITs are just a slightly unusual tax and subsidy scheme, and I see no reason why either individuals or companies shouldn't use them just as they use any other loophole. The moral fault lies with the government that set up the scheme, not the people who exploit it (as I said I take a pretty hard nosed view of this sort of thing). What worries me about FITs is not that they are wasteful or ineffective or downright stupid (most government schemes manage at least two of those three) but that they are off balance sheet, just like PFI. The growth of off-balance sheet spending and borrowing is not a good thing IMAO as it removes one of the small number of limits that restrain government stupidity.

I can see your position, but the point of exploiting loopholes is to exploit them properly, not in some half-hearted way. The councils are over a barrel: when they see an opportunity to meet some silly government target and to buff up their trendy green credentials and to make a little bit of cash on the sidelines, what are they meant to do? The venture capitalists are just doing their job, exposing the true nature of the scheme, and subsidy harvesting wholesale is no more immoral than subsidy harvesting retail. And the tennants to get some small benefit in the form of free electricity (about 100 quid in savings a year in typical cases). Of course they're going to get royally screwed by higher fuel bills, but that's going to happen to all of us anyway.

The really interesting thing about PV FITs is that they expose quite how inefficient PV currently is in the UK: installing a domestic PV system is a marginal investment decision. What tips it over the edge is that the income is tax free, which for a higher rate tax payer is quite a consideration. My personal estimate is that PV is a sensible investment if (1) you're a higher rate tax payer, (2) you have already maxed out your ISAs, and (3) you still have the cash to invest up front. Otherwise it isn't worthwhile, even at 41.3p/unit.

May 17, 2011 at 10:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterOxbridge Prat

Oxbridge

Sorry. I can't bring myself to call someone who talks resolute sense a prat ;-)

We are in complete agreement. The moronic inferno kindled by renewables heats my brain and engenders rants.

May 17, 2011 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Oxford P. May 17, 2011 at 10:08 PM

I think that this "exploiting loopholes" also applies to investing in windfarms, but with the added bonanza that there seems to be no limit to what you can receive in compensation from National Grid in the event that your MWh output is not required - see http://tinyurl.com/5tyyd7e for the story.

All this was highlighted in the Bishop's item "Windfarms paid to switch off" dated 1 May 2011.

May 18, 2011 at 7:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

BBD and Oxbridge Prat - what I don't quite follow is that council tenants are going to benefit to the tune of £100 pa off their electricity costs - I thought the deal was that the tenants get free electricity and any surplus is then sold to the grid, or, are you saying that tenants only get £100 worth of free electricity and the rest is sold to the grid? Is it that the council has sold the rights to the tenants' roofs in return for £100 worth of free electricity to the tenants

OP - how long have you had your PV system? How big is it - how many panels? How much did it cost? What is your anticipated pay-back period? How much electricity have you generated, used for your own use, and how much have you sold to the grid and benefited from the FIT?

I'm curious to establish whether it has been worth it for you, personally. From what you say, I would infer that it is not. Even with the FIT, the return on your investment must be minimal. And if others don't catch this particular boat by August this year, the FIT will be reduced and effectively stop the whole shebang as no-one in their right mind would want to go the PV route.

Presumably, as we draw closer to midsummer you are generating more power (and using less) than in midwinter and are able to sell more to the grid. Have you had a winter bill/refund/statement to compare with a summer one?

I thought about PV panels fleetingly, for the same reason as you, OP, but dismissed it as I thought the capital outlay did not justify the payback period, coupled with the fact that I think they look horrendous, plus I don't have much roof space facing south that is not obscured by trees in the summer, plus my resistence to what I consider is morally wrong in a rather convoluted reasoning.

I ask because I wonder how we can gather this sort of information from the electricity suppliers to demonstrate how much PV and the FIT is costing the nation from the subsidy we are all paying in our fuel bills. Do suppliers have to provide this information to Government and how do we get our sticky mits on it?

May 18, 2011 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterbiddyb

biddyb

The council states that tenants will benefit by an approximate sum - I think the latest version is between £85 and £125 per annum. It isn't much and it definitely isn't a case of 'free electricity provision'.

The problem arises because there is no storage - power from SPV must be used as generated or fed to the grid. So unless people use power on sunny summer days, they do not benefit.

So yes, the council has sold the rights to the tenants' roofs for a paltry sum. But for all its misdirection and rhetoric, benefiting its tenants is not what it is interested in.

Rather, it is trying to benefit itself, first by meeting local emissions reduction targets, and second by converting greenwash into votes.

May 18, 2011 at 4:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

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