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All Eco Energy Ltd - The Blog

What happens when Solar PV installations don't exceed the deployment caps?

22nd August 2016   |  Author: Chris Sutor

We're regularly asked about what happens to the Feed in Tariff when quarterly solar PV deployment caps aren't reached.  Some in the solar PV industry have, quite understandably, found things rather confusing.  And it it's confusing for the solar installers, then imagine what clients looking to have PV fitted must be thinking...


The first thing to note is that they are not deployment caps.  There is no cap whatsoever on solar PV deployment.  There is a cap on the capacity of installations that can apply for the Feed in Tariff.  When this is exceeded solar PV installations can still continue unabated.


With larger commercial solar PV installations being installed and achieving the deployment caps, the confusion relates mainly to the domestic installations.


The main area of confusion surrounds what happens to the FIT rates.  In previous years, not achieving deployment caps meant that the FIT rate remained the same for a further quarter, provided that it hadn't 

remained the same for 2 quarters previously.  If it had, then there would automatically have been a degression.


However, the current system works in a different way.  Each and every quarter, the FIT rate reduces in line with the schedule set out by the Government.  This degression is irrespective of the capacity installed within the previous quarter.  There is still, therefore, an incentive to undertake an installation as soon as possible to maximise the FIT.


Each quarter the deployment cap sets out a capacity of installations which can apply for the Feed in Tariff at that level.  If this capacity is not fully used up in one quarter then the residual capacity is rolled over to the next, lower Feed in Tariff quarter.


The key word is "lower"...  there is a FIT reduction for the following quarter.


Please do get in touch if you have any queries.  





G59 Applications and Battery Storage

7th July 2016   |  Author: Chris Sutor

 

Many installers are confused about the requirement for G59 applications when fitting battery storage systems.  Hopefully the following will add some clarity...


In summary, the requirement for G59 approval is based upon the sum of the outputs of those inverters that are connected to the AC Grid.


Here are some scenarios (assumed all are single phase just for ease):-


A) No battery storage, a 1 x 3.68kW inverter plus 1 x 2kW inverter

The sum of the connection is above 3.68kW at 5.68kW.  A G59 application is required.

B) 5kWh Battery storage feeding a 2kW battery controller connected to the DC side of a solar 3.68kW inverter

The "connection" to the grid is 3.68kW.  No G59 application is required.


C) 5kWh Battery storage feeding a 2kW AC coupled inverter in paralell with a 3.68kW solar PV inverter.

The "connection" to the grid is 5.68kW, as both the battery inverter and the PV inverter could feed into the grid at the same time. A G59 application is required.


Scenario C is one where there is some confusion, as many installers may set the battery inverter to be controlled to not feed in when there is no power draw from the grid.  Unless there is written acceptance from the DNO, the DNO will assume that there could be a control failure resulting in a feed into the grid at the same time as the PV inverter, therefore a G59 application is required.




How might the EU Referendum Impact UK Solar?

17th June 2016   |  Author: Chris Sutor


With the upcoming In/Out referendum on the UK's membership of the EU, coupled with a recent surge in the polls showing support for "Brexit", it really seems like installers and clients need to consider the implications if Brexit were to happen.  Also, if the polls were confounded and the Remain campaign came out on top then there would also be implications.  Either way, it's worth considering some of the possible impacts...


It's a complex issue - and no one seems to know any facts or have any substance behind their vision of the future...

We don't believe that Brexit will be the end of western civilisation but we do believe that there are profound implications.  Here are some of our thoughts, which may be equally as wide of the mark as many politicians and "experts"...


In the Short Term:-

Currency - there may be a strong swing in the exchange rates - and in which direction is anyone’s guess.  Markets have a tendency to factor in risk ahead of time, and then over react once that perceived risk has either been crystallised, or found to be no longer present.  This may impact on supply prices where supplies are based in Euros or dollars.


Instability - If there is Leave or Remain win then there's going to be renegotiation of the UK's position in the EU (based on neither side having a landslide victory).  If Brexit happened then the UK press would have potentially years of sensationalist headlines ahead of them (perhaps the easy headlines sell more papers and that is why they are backing Brexit so strongly?).  These renegotiations and headlines would be destabilising to the wider UK economy until the dust settles, impacting on investor confidence.

 

In the Medium Term:-

Business & Investor Confidence - there is nothing like stability to allow businesses to flourish. With Brexit there would be an extended period of uncertainty that could be expected to limit investment decisions and causes businesses to "retrench" into saving and stockpiling cash rather than investing the cash.  However the policies put in place for the business environment may make the UK more successful than it otherwise would be, increasing the possible long term investment in solar.


In the Long Term:-

Solar panel prices - With minimal UK solar manufacturing capability, the UK could easily leave the MIP agreement without significant resistance from the German manufacturers.  This would allow a reduction in Chinese made solar PV module prices.  This would improve the returns available to investors and property owners leading to an increase in market activity.


New build market - with immigration comes the need for an increase in housing.  If the "Brexit" team put the brakes on immigration then there will be a significant reduction in demand for new housing.  Whilst the housing requirements may still outstrip supply there is a risk that in the longer term demand will reduce and there will be an excess of supply.  New build solar may be affected directly.  Indirect effects could come from lower workloads, and lower incomes, for huge numbers of people that work in the construction sector.  Both of these effects could have longer term negative impacts on the sector.


UK success impacting investment - Significant investment in UK renewables has come from outside of the UK.  If, in the longer term, the UK becomes so successful after Brexit that the currency strengthens then there will be a drive by these funders to invest in UK renewables.  If the UK economy falters then the investment may dry up.


Market stability returning - At some point after the referendum there will be a return to market stability, whereby businesses can once again plan and make long term decisions for the future.  At this point market activity will once again, no doubt, develop strongly.





Free Solar 2016 - £20m currently available

15th April 2016   |  Author: Chris Sutor


With the recent market changes a number of funding options for solar PV have left the market.  In light of this All Eco Energy has been working with our partners to develop funding offers that allow solar PV to still be fitted at no cost to the client.

The first result of this is a £20m fund (there's more tranches to follow) to provide PV to commercial or public sector premises.  The scheme is open to all installers and a wide range of end users.

The concept is straight forward, as per typical PPA arrangements.  

  • The PV kit is free-issued by All Eco Energy to site
  • The PV system is installed on the roof (this can be by you or we can arrange this to be undertaken by others)
  • The client agrees to purchase the electricity generated and consumed onsite by the PV system


 

  • Government incentives and the power purchase monies go to the fund
There are several key areas that need attention:-
  1. PV systems should be 100kW or over; or in a multi-site portfolio
  2. PV systems should be sized to the power usage requirements of the building - whilst some export is acceptable the focus is on "self-consumption"
  3. The client should be a stable business that has a low credit risk 

In return for the PV system, installers and project developers receive a "Development Fee".  This fee depends upon the yield, client risk and installation size.

If you have projects that require free solar PV then please get in touch.  We will send you an application form which will allow the process to be quickly moved forward.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Has Spring Sprung?  2016Q1 Installation Figures are now available

5th April 2016   |  Author: Chris Sutor

Well, spring has certainly sprung.  With the weather improving and the days getting longer there's some good news in the Solar Sector.

Market activity is up.  Inquiries are up.  Confidence is up.

For those companies that position themselves correctly, and develop the correct sales channels 2016 could be an excellent year.

Now that Q1 is complete, we've analysed some high level data to see where the market may lead, and where installers need to raise their game.

  

Market Activity

The Government have set targets for deployment.  They show some interesting insights based on Feb 8th to March 31st (8 Weeks):-

  • PV < 10kW - 18.843MW deployed (48.4MW Target)
  • PV 10-50kW - 6.604MW deployed (16.5MW Target)
  • PV > 50kW - 15.259MW deployed (14.1MW Target exceeded 24/03/2013 @ 09:01:28:533)
  • Standalone - 9.349MW deployed (5MW Target exceeded 24/03/2013 @ 01:15:11:460)

So, what are the insights from these numbers?


1. Domestic and small scale PV is going to take some time to recover.  

With the scaling back of the larger "free domestic" solar PV schemes the volumes are reduced to significantly below the Government's targets. There are a number of providers that have models developed to offer PV to larger portfolios of houses though, and these domestic numbers may therefore improve in Q2 and Q3 this year.


2.  There is a reason why the Government is going to resist the 20% VAT on domestic solar systems.  

 It's clear that the targets they have set for domestic deployment will take time to achieve; increasing VAT to 20% will cause this time to extend.  In the political world of solar this means that there will be some criticism levelled at an already heavily criticised decision to drop the FIT in this sector.




3.  The decision to give a higher FIT to 10-50kW systems relative to 0-10kW system was right.

This was queried at the time as the whole FIT basis was for decreasing rates as system size increases.  However, the Government seems to have been rather insightful in understanding that these “larger” small scale systems needing an added stimulus.

 

4.  Installers need to be aware of the queueing system for FIT rate confirmation.

The queueing system means that there is a risk that projects can be installed and commissioned only to find that the FIT rate they are going to achieve will be 10% less than originally envisaged.  This is actually a positive for the sector, as it means there is a pressure on clients to have an installation as soon as possible to secure their place in the queue, even if that means installing before the next FIT window.  This could mean an end to the 3 monthly installation surges.  It also means that customers' should be advised of the risk of a reduced FIT to avoid legal action against the installer at a later date.

 

5.  Someone was up early when the new system came in to ensure their stand alone systems got accredited in time.

Standalone PV systems are often the larger systems.  With the cost for planning and DNO connection consent being incurred it was in the project developers incentives to get a registration in as soon as possible.  Certainly worth the early start as the quarterly cap was exceeded on 8th Feb at 01:15:11:460 - on the day the new system opened for registration.

 

6.  The Solar Sector has got it easy when compared with the Wind and AD Sectors.

With 200% of the Government target for projects being registered witin the Standalone category you may think that developers for FIT based larger projects are under some risk.  Wind and AD developers have registered 400% and 300% of the target capacity respectively, no doubt due to the longer development times.

 

 The market will continue to evolve in 2016.  With the lower FITs, stability is certainly much more prevalent.  Those in the market are certainly looking to make it a success, but it's going to take a little time.

What VAT should apply to Battery Storage?

22 February 2016   |  Author: Chris Sutor

 

VAT is currently 5% on domestic solar PV systems.  This may raise to 20% by June if the EU has it's way.


Many solar installers have therefore presumed that VAT on domestic solar energy battery storage is 5%.  These installers need to take some care.


In what follows there may be some errors both at the time of writing and also in changes to regulations that follow subsequently.  It is very important for battery storage installers to ensure they have good and accurate advice from an accountant or HMRC officer to establish that they are charging the correct level of VAT.


Why the issue?


When installing solar PV to a residential property it is accepted that the solar photovoltaic system installation and ancillary enabling works (such as the AC connection to the solar PV inverter and minor roof works) are necessary for the installation of the solar panels.  This is all 5% VAT when done within the same invoice or works package.


Future works to the roof and AC circuits are then not part of the solar PV installation works.  This means that 20% VAT should be applied.


What about Batteries?


Where batteries are fitted there are 2 grey areas:-


a) If fitted at the time of installation are they part of the PV installation?


A battery back up system for the solar PV installation connected to the DC side could be argued that it's part of the solar PV system if it's an "ancilliary supply".


A battery system connected to the AC side could be argued to not be part of the PV system at all.


One or both of these options for solar battery storage installation could be taken to be VAT at 5% or 20%.  Our view is that connecting to the AC side makes it harder to justify that the battery is an integral part of the solar PV system.


Solar PV is considered as:- "photovoltaic (PV) panels with cabling, control panel and AC/DC inverter".  If the HMRC does not agree that fitting battery storage is an ancillary supply there is a danger that the entire installation (including PV system) comes under a 20% VAT rate.  The battery storage needs to be priced as an ancillary supply, and not the main point for the installation.

 

(The benefit of DC side connection to the end user is that the power storage and release process is more efficient; the advantage of the AC side connection is that the battery can be charged up from the AC supply, possibly at night time, for discharge when required without impacting on the customer's ability to collect the Feed in Tariff)


b) If retro-fitted is the VAT rate 5% or not?


Looking strictly at the VAT rates listed under VAT Notice 708 (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rates-of-vat-on-different-goods-and-services) there is no mention of electricity storage being at a reduced rate.  VAT is therefore 20% on retro-fitted battery storage systems.


Key Extracts from the VAT Notice:-


Here's a couple of key extracts from VAT Notice 708:-


Although the installation of energy savings materials is reduced rated, it is normal for other goods and services to be provided at the same time.


The installation of just energy-saving materials with ancillary supplies is reduced rated. An ancillary supply is a supply of goods or services that is a better means of enjoying the principal supply, for example, installing loft insulation but having to cut a new loft hatch in the ceiling and making good to access the loft. Clearly, the cutting of the loft hatch and making good is, in itself, a simple construction supply, but as the services have been carried out solely in support of the loft insulation, they become ancillary.


However, if you replace your existing roof with a new insulated one, the insulation clearly is a better way of enjoying the new roof and so the insulation is ancillary to the new roof. As the roof is standard rated, this applies to the whole job including the insulation.


Sometimes when individual goods and services are provided together, there is not a single dominant supply and so the individual goods and services supplied together have equal importance, often taking the form of something else. For example, a central heating system may consist of a conventional boiler, radiators, copper pipe, radiator values, heating controls etc. Supplied together, they form a single supply of a central heating system.


While some components of the central heating system may be reduced rated if supplied on their own, here they are part of a wider supply of a central heating system and since a whole central heating system is not included in the list of energy saving materials eligible for the reduced rate (see paragraph 2.5) the whole supply is standard-rated.


 

Please do get in contact if you'd like to discuss any of the above in relation to solar PV and solar battery storage systems.  

Challenges and Opportunities for 2016

18th January 2016   |  Author: Chris Sutor


There's a familiar routine with every substantial cut to the Feed in Tariffs.


1. A Boom in the run up to the cut date

2. A big drop off in demand

3. A number of companies exiting the industry

4. A period of consolidation

5. Regrowth of the sector


This cycle provides challenges and opportunities for those that are left.


Challenges of 2016:-


a) Reduced returns being communicated to customers - the pipeline of orders needs to be rebuilt and remodelled on the new FIT rates.  Customers need to buy in to the reduced returns, if they were approached on the higher returns.

b) Reduction in marketing spend - many companies exiting the market (including the Free Solar companies) will result in a reduction in the marketing spend.  The smaller noise being made by those that are left needs to be carefully planned to avoid being missed by target customers.

c) VAT of 20% - the reduced rate of 5% VAT is set to be removed following an EU ruling.  This will increase the cost of the installation for domestic customers.

d) EU Trade Tariffs - with the EU looking into whether or not they should extend the tariff arrangements, the strange price fixing that the EU has put in place look set to continue for the forseeable future.  This benefits the manuifacturers in China and the EU (they both make a profit) but increases the costs for the end user and prevents real competition.

e) Exchange rates - much of the latter half of 2015 was with a strong £ and relatively weak Euro.  The start of 2016 has seen a shift back in favour of the Euro, making costs of materials priced in Euros higher throughout the supply chain.

f) An end to ROCs for larger schemes.  

g) Falling price of oil

h) Removal of zero carbon homes standard

 

But, there's opportunities in 2016 too.

 

a) A healthier market for those that are left

b) Customers' expectations should be lower, so systems are easier to sell

 c) Those that are left should understand the technology and be more able to promote the benefits than before.  This should give a more conistent message to customers, allowing them to not have a fog of multiple messages.

 d) Less competition for those that are able to obtain the leads

 e) Possible price reductions if the EU trade tariff ends and exchange rates move in the customers' favour

 f) A global trend, that seems unstoppable, towards green energy and self-sufficiency

 

 So, where's the market for solar PV?  

 

a) Commercial high energy users - making maximum use of the power onsite drives the returns on investment up

 b) Power purchase agreements for high energy users - if the energy user is happy to accept smaller savings in return for the "green" credentials of having solar PV fitted, then these can still stack up.  The larger companies where the returns from PV are not as important as the green statement are great opportunities for this.

 c) New build - Even though "zero" carbon may be off the agenda, there's still the requirement to meet various codes for sustainable homes or BREEAM ratings.  Solar PV should still be a feature of the new build landscape.

 d) Ground mount ROC free developments - These are being undertaken at the current time, and low cost finance is key to making these successful.

 e) Homeowner - whilst more difficult to sell, there's still a trend in homeowners to have PV fitted.  There are still 25 million households without PV.  (Ok, there's a lot of those that are apartments but there's still a lot to be going at).  At some point the majority of these will be wanting to self-generate their own power.  It's just a question of when.


So, there's still all to play for.  There's going to be some time before the market starts to ramp up again.  It's a case of the more success there is then the more success there will be.  The foundations are there and it's the the players in the Solar PV Sector, large and small, to build on them and make the industry sustainable.

 

 

 

DECC Consultation Response

17th December 2015   |  Author: Chris Sutor


So, DECC has responded.  Here’s the low down:-

FIT Rates

DECC had 2 mechanisms open to it:-

a) Pause the FIT scheme or close the FIT scheme with 21 days’ notice.  This pause can be to cover periods while changes come into effect.

b) Make changes to the FIT scheme after 40 days


What are they doing:-

a) Pausing the scheme with 28 days’ notice (an extra 7 days, it is Christmas after all!)

b) Making a drop to the FIT’s with 40 days’ notice (Different ways of working the dates will come to the 8th February, or beyond)


How will this work in practice?

a) Installations up to 31st December 2015

    a. 0-4kW – 12.47p

    b. 4-10kW – 11.30p

    c. 10-50kW – 11.30p

    d. 50-150kW – 9.63p

    e. 150-250kW – 9.21p

b) Installations from 1st January to 14th January get a 3.5% FIT reduction

    a. 0-4kW – 12.03p

    b. 4-10kW – 10.90p

    c. 10-50kW – 10.90p

    d. 50-150kW – 9.29p

    e. 150-250kW – 8.89p

 

c) Installations from 15th January to 7th February don’t get anything, as the scheme is paused to new applications

d) 8th February onwards

    a. 0-10kW – 4.39p

    b. 10-50kW – 4.59p

    c. 50-250kW – 2.7p

    d. 250-1000kW – 2.27p

    e. 1000kW+ - 0.87p

     f. Standalone - 0.87p


Other things…

Deployment caps

    a. 0-10kW – 48.4MW, about 5000 installations per month

    b. 10-50kW – 16.5MW, about 160 installations per month

    c. 50kW+ - 14.1MW, this could be 1 installations per month…  if solar farms use up the FIT allocation, or up to 25 installations of smaller systems


FIT Degression

10% if an installation cap is hit


Pre-accreditation

This returns from 8th February 2016, and relates to systems of 50kW


Extensions

 

Systems installed after 15 January 2016 that are subsequently extended will be able to receive the FIT for the original system but not the extension.

 

DECC FIT Consultation Causes Waves in the Sector

28th August 2015   |  Author: Chris Sutor

A busy week has just gone by and things keep moving...

With dire predictions of stock shortages, job losses, projects being delivered and projects being shelved, there is no easy way to go through the next few months.


There's a ground swell of optimism over the future, and once the bumpy ride has passed things should settle down and begin to grow once more.

 

SEUK 2015 - the UK Solar show -proved to be busier than expected, with a complete mix from those that were downbeat to those still with the energy that's going to be needed to take things forward in the solar PV sector.

 

Common trains of discussion centred on DECC, the changes to the FIT and what could happen.  There were some great ideas floated and we would encourage all those with an interest to take just 5 minutes to respond to the consultation.

 

Here's the LINK:- https://econsultation.decc.gov.uk/office-for-renewable-energy-deployment-ored/fit-review-2015/consultation/intro/view


You don't need to answer all the consultation questions, and just answering the key ones will be better than answering non at all.  Now is the time to have your say!

 

Ideas floated by installers and the STA are:-

 

  1. Split the investor lead PV from the owner occupier PV to maintain employment
  2. Split the Housing Association style PV from the rest, and have funders reverse bid for these
  3. Move funding that's ear marked for less successful initiatives (and that has been sat there for some time unused) into the PV pot
  4. Review the model used in the DECC consultation report that the proposed FIT changes are based upon, and make it realistic rather than optimistic

 

There have been some high profile people getting involved in the debate:-

 

UN Scientist Jacquie McGlade - 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-34555821

"The UK appeared to have abandoned its leadership on climate change, while 150 other nations were making unprecedented pledges to shift towards clean energy"

 

Former Energy Secretary Greg Barker - 

http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/greg_barker_slams_pretty_poor_decc_evidence_base_2345

"The secretary of state has made clear that the proposals on the table are just draft proposals and I think most people agree that the evidence base that went into this first draft of tariffs has been pretty poor"

 

What can pressure do?

And there's been something to think about when it comes to putting pressure on Government to get long term support...

 

Our friends in the steel industry are facing an uncertain time.  They are very experienced at putting pressure on the Government to save jobs, and keep investment.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-34346124

 

One thing that we should learn from is the pressure that Government ministers feel to keep jobs, and maintain healthy industries.  The UK Solar Sector is as important as our steel making sector.  

 

What are DECC Doing?

28th August 2015   |  Author: Chris Sutor

Well, as the dust settles on what appears to be quite earth shattering confirmed changes, sorry…  “proposals for consultation”  in relation to the FITs the Solar Sector is rightly left thinking about the future.

 

At first glance it seems like everyone in the sector should “fill their boots” to the end of 2015 and intend to sit on the beach in Barbados for 2016 in melancholy retirement, dreaming of how it all might have been… 

 

DECC seems to be backing CFD funded non-distributed generation.  This seems to be a priority over the health of the solar PV sector.

 

But, closer inspection may reveal that actually DECC has done it’s research and its going to turn out alright in the end…  provided that installations are cost effective and well sited.

 

There is likely to be lots of negative marketing to generate sales, pulling demand into 2015 from 2016.  But after then, if these changes come in, there will still be a buoyant solar sector – if we can make it that way.

 

MAIN CHANGES

 

Firstly, let’s have a look at  the key proposals that are likely to have the most significant effect:-

 

1.       Revised (cut) FIT rates across the board

2.       Use deployment caps to restrict volumes of installations by denying access to FITs for “late comers” in a period

3.       Prevent further systems being able to receive FITs if cost controls are not working

 

These are the secondary proposals that may not be so important:-

 

1.       Change the FIT bands to more relevant bands for varying property sizes

2.       Change the degression mechanism to increased steps

3.       Link tariffs to CPI rather than RPI

4.       Prevention of extensions receiving FITs

5.       Raising of “D” threshold to “C” for EPC requirements

 

Many other proposals within the document are tinkering around the edges of the above points.  Although still are very important to the overall market.

 

ANALYSIS OF FIT RATES

 

The Solar PV Sector has been based upon FITs for the last 5 years.  They’ve done wonders for deployment and companies rely on them to generate a sale and justify to the end user that investing in solar is a great financial decision.  Any cut is therefore something to be feared, as it changes the returns, and therefore the demand for solar.

 

The proposed FITs seem to be ridiculously low rates, with up to an 87% reduction.  As these rates are so low we’ve marked future FIT degressions as not significant to the sector – cutting something small doesn’t make much difference…

 

Interestingly the sub-10kW receiving lower rates than over 10kW:-

 

  • <10kW - 1.63p
  • 10-50kW - 3.69p
  • 50-250kW- 2.64p
  • 250-1000kW - 2.28p
  • >1000kW - 1.03p

 

Those in the sector are left wondering what DECC’s thought process could be to come up with these rates.

 

 Reasonable Returns

Looking back at the previous mega-cuts of 50%, and then 40%, DECC seemed to be looking at the cost of installation, working out a return and then assuming that the sector would catch up. 

 

DECC’s view is that 4-8% IRR (not ROI) is a reasonable return.  For investors that actually understand what IRR is 4-8% in the current financial markets is a great low risk return.  Even without a FIT, the right installations at the right price can achieve this IRR.  Buildings should be simple to install upon, face the right way, and be big users of the power. 

 

What’s missed

However, many businesses don’t understand IRR, and focus only on “payback time” – or effectively the time until the “risk” has passed.  They also don't think like investors, sat in an office investing someone else's money.  4-8% IRRs push the payback period out to year 10 and beyond.  This puts the time period over a typical business cycle, and crucially puts the time period over a typical decision makers time in office.

 

Homeowners even more so do not understand IRRs and may be more difficult to persuade into action.  10 years can seem like an age away - even if many people stay in their properties for much longer than this.

But do DECC know more than the market?

DECC has no doubt spent a lot of money for their reports to be drawn up prior to preparing this consultation document.  They did it before for the previous mega cuts and many thought the solar sector was dead and buried back then.  But with recent developments in novel financing arrangements, better working practices, and possible price reductions on the horizon as the EU trade tariffs come to an end (assuming that they are not extended) there could be reductions in the cost to the installations.  This could be passed onto the end users.

 

DECC was right before, but will they be right again…

 

 

DEPLOYMENT CAPS

 

This is perhaps where the real “industry killer” could come in – unless it’s accepted that no FIT is required.

 

  • <10kW - c. 5,500 installations per quarter
  • 10-50kW - c. 310 installations per quarter
  • >50kW - 34 installatons per quarter

 

With, say, 3000 registered MCS installers for solar PV, the above figures relate to an average of 2 installations per installer per quarter.  This will not enable businesses to drive solar forwards.  Take out the significant number of new build properties applying for the FIT each quarter and what would be left?  Not a great deal!

 

If these deployment caps come in, then any business that wants to be significant in the sector is going to have to base their operations on a world without FITs.  If the market were to pick up then it’s unlikely that FITs could be guaranteed.

 

And if basing businesses in a world without FITs, there’s then no need for installers to be MCS registered.  To many that would be a real joy! 

 

RIGHT TO CANCEL THE FITS IF COST CONTROL DOESN’T WORK

It’s difficult to see how a combined FIT reduction of 87%, and a cap on installations being accredited for FITs could not control costs.  But DECC are giving themselves an out with the oft repeated threat to cancel all FIT applications if things get “overheated”.

 

Again, businesses in the sector for the long term need to be focusing on life without FITs, and treat the FITs at any level as a bonus.

 

HOW COULD THIS IMPACT THE SECTOR?

 

With the proposals, it’s difficult to see how all sectors will be able to adapt to a low FIT/no FIT world.

 

a)      Homeowners (paid for installations)  – Energy savings, and the right mind set being created during the sale could mean that this sector remains buoyant.  Significant adaptation of the sales methods will be required.

b)      Businesses (paid for installations) – Big energy users may still find solar PV attractive, provided that they have the spare capital

c)       New build – With “carrot and stick” approaches, New Build has always relied mainly on the “stick” element, so these installations may be unaffected.

d)      Financed installations – Low IRRs from PV, at or below borrowing rates, mean that financed installations may be difficult to justify economically

e)      Free solar – Without a significant PPA with a large energy user, free solar may no longer be viable.  Administration costs of smaller, residential schemes can form a significant part of the lifetime cost.  Free solar may be restricted to the larger sites, although the PPA may negate the benefit to the site occupier without a "stick" approach also being included.

 

LET’S BE POSITIVE

Ok, it’s difficult to be positive in the face of huge changes.  But let’s see some light…

 

·         It could be busy between now and Christmas

·         Moving to a basis of no FIT means that we can the build an industry without worrying about future FIT rate cuts

·         Without worrying about FIT cuts, there’s no danger of clients pulling out because the numbers no longer stack up

·         There could be future price reductions in materials and installation costs helping to address the need to get prices to a level that meets customers' needs

 

WHAT ALL ECO ENERGY ARE GOING TO DO

We will be making a full response to DECC, strongly proposing a slower FIT reduction rate and a more gentle tapering of support for the sector, without installation caps.  Businesses should have time to adapt, and customers should have time to make decisions.

 

We will be constantly reviewing our product line up to drive costs down for solar – without compromising on quality.  It’s what we’ve done for the last 6 years.

 

We will be working with our customers to build a positive industry, where everyone is successful.  That means advice, support, technical backup and help building a strong sales proposition.

 

And between now and the end of the year we'll have many MW of panels available to our customers, new and old, at great prices.  We are the low risk (check our company credit report) supplier bringing our expertise in design, and ability to tailor supply and credit to our customers' requirements.

 

There is an interesting journey ahead.


We hope that you’ll be on that journey with us.

Devolved Ministers Slam Renewables Changes

13th August 2015   |  Author: Chris Sutor

Scottish and Welsh ministers have criticised changes to solar PV subsidies by DECC following the recent budget.

Read more =>

 



Posted in: All Eco Energy, FIT

RPI FIT Rates Increases

FIT Degression Latest 

06th August 2015   |  Author: Chris Sutor

So, we all know that the Feed in Tariff is RPI Linked. Right? Yes absolutely.

But... did you know that there is a different cut off date for installations to be done by to gain from the NEXT RPI increase?

Here's how it works:-

Read more =>

 



Posted in: All Eco Energy, FIT

RPI FIT Rates Increases

COMMENT: Forecasting the Future

05th August 2015   |  Author: Chris Sutor

All Eco Energy MD Chris Sutor takes a look at the future opportunities for solar pv in light of recent subsidy changes

 

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Posted in: All Eco Energy, Company News

Runestones

 

Solar News Round Up

05 August 2015  |  Author: Chris Sutor

The last few weeks have seen some major changes in the solar PV world.  All Eco Energy rounds up the top developments

Read more =>

 

Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV 

Newspaper man

 

Was The 2015 UK Budget Good For Solar?

08 July 2015  |  Author: Chris Sutor

The Chancellor has revealed his spending plans. What has been the effect on solar PV

Read more =>

 

Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV 

George Osbourne

 

SOLAR GENERATION SOARS AS SUMMER ARRIVES

08 July 2015  |  Author: Chris Sutor

The recent summer heat has seen a significant increase in solar power generation with up to 15% of the national power needs being met by Solar PV

Read more =>

 

Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV

Summer Sun

 

ABB HELPS SOLAR IMPULSE IN CIRCUMNAVIGATION ATTEMPT

08 July 2015  |  Author: Chris Sutor

Test

Read more =>


Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV

Solar Impulse

 

LONDON REACHES 15,000 SOLAR PV INSTALLATIONS

08 July 2015  |  Author: Chris Sutor

London celebrates its 15,000 solar PV installation. Campaigners call for more solar on public buildings.

Read more =>

 

Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV

London

 

CLIMATE CHANGE COMMITTEE URGES ACTION

08 July 2015  |  Author: Chris Sutor

The Committee on Climate Change has found support from one of the UK's largest business organisations for its latest report

Read more =>

 

Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV

Climate Change Committee

 

Introducing EGing

08 July 2015  |  Author: Chris Sutor

With new models, boasting superb performance arriving at All Eco Energy shortly, there has never been a better time to Get to know about EGing.  

 

Read more =>

 

Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV

EGing Panels

 

EAST AND WEST FACING ROOFS AND SOLAR PV

17 June 2015  |  Author: Chris Sutor

Many roofs are can be smaller than ideal, and careful thought needs to be given to where to site both domestic solar PV systems and Commercial Solar PV Systems.

Read more =>

 

Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV

Panel

 

REDUCED RATE VAT RATE FOR DOMESTIC SOLAR PV FAILS ECJ TEST

09 June 2015  |  Author: Chris Sutor

The UK’s long standing reduction in the VAT rate from 20 % to 5% on energy reduction products has been ruled unlawful by the European Court of Justice.

Read more =>

 

Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV, 

VAT

 

THE POLITICAL FUTURE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY AND SOLAR PV

19 May 2015  |  Author: Chris Sutor

Elections often bring changes far beyond politics, and for Solar PV and the rest of the renewables sector the slight change in government has already brought about a shift in the landscape.

The emergence of a fully-Tory administration, has seen the role given to Conservative MP Amber Rudd, a move that has been welcomed by many in the industry.

Read more =>


Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV, 

Elections and Solar PV - Party Logos

 

THE GENERAL ELECTION - WHAT COULD IT MEAN FOR SOLAR PV?

30 April 2015  |  Author: Chris Sutor

The General Election is approaching fast, which means the political parties are trying to impress us with a host of promises about what they will deliver over the next five years.  

As the UK political scene becomes more fractured, the range of views, particularly on the environment, has diverged from the middle ground.  

With this in mind what does the future hold for renewable energy, and in particular solar PV? 

Read more =>

 


Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV, Company News


Elections and Solar PV - Party Logos

 

NEW FIT RATES FOR SOLAR PV FROM JULY 2015

28 April 2015  |  Author: Chris Sutor

Data released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change suggests that the Feed In Tariff (FIT Rate) for Solar PV is set to be reduced by a further 3.5% on July 1st 2015. 

OFGEM, the regulator of the Feed In market has yet to confirm the change. 

Read more =>

 


Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV, Company News


Meter

 

TIC and DNC -  DON’T BE CONFUSED

24 April 2015   |  Author: Chris Sutor

When completing the ROO-FIT Application process for solar PV installations you’re faced with needing to answer the question of what is the TIC and DNC.  

They are important for ROO-FIT, but what are they?  And how can you calculate them?

 

 

Read more =>

 


Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV, Company News


Meter

Wishes for 2015

5th January 2015   |  Author: Chris Sutor

We're delighted to be into 2015 - a year that promises to be more than successful for a lot of companies in our sector.

With the busy Chrismas period over, it almost feels like we've never been away. Our friendly team is ready to give you help, advice and great prices for all our projects this coming year.

Read more =>

 



Posted in: All Eco Energy, Company News

Happy New Year 2015

 

Complete kits from All Eco Energy

6th March 2015   |  Author: Chris Sutor

All Eco Energy Provides pre-designed Solar PV Kits per voltage.

4kW complete Kits from:- £2,300
10kW commercial kits from:- £5,100
50kW commercial kits from:- £24,500
250kW commercial kits from:- £122,000

Read more =>

 


Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV, Company News

How to bring up FIT payments when considering direct connection, or connecting to buildings that don’t achieve a “D” rating.

2nd March 2015   |  Author: Chris Sutor

If you’re NOT connecting a solar PV system to a qualifying building and doing a direct connection, you may thing “great”, we will get 100% export (you still need to fit an export meter).

Sadly, you will have the reduced rate of Feed in Tariff for “standalone” systems… with a FIT rate of c. 6p/kWh. This can be a common occurance with ground mounted solar PV systems.

Read more =>

 


Posted in: All Eco Energy, Technical, FIT

Go South, Go North? Is there ever a right time to install to north facing roofs?

18th February 2015   |  Author: Chris Sutor

There was a time, not so long ago, when solar PV was all about Energy Yield. Energy Yield being kWh/kWp or “KK factor” as some like to call it rather more obscurely.

Investment in solar PV was an expensive business, and for every £1 invested the maximum rate of return was expected.  Yield was key.

Read more =>

 


Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV, Technical

Advantages and disadvantages of solar energy

3rd February 2015   |  Author: Chris Sutor

Solar PV is a great technology. There is no doubt that the proliferation of high quality cost effective Solar Photovoltaic modules has really brought the luxury of solar energy into the reach of the average man and woman. As with all technologies though, there are times when it's just not the right thing to have.

Here we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy. You may find that the advantages of solar pv panels outweighs the disadvantages of solar panels, in which case they will be right for you.

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Posted in: All Eco Energy, Renewable Energy, Solar PV

Advantages and disadvantages of solar energy

Spotlight on Solar PV Inverters Warranties

21st January 2015   |  Author: Chris Sutor

There's been a growing trend across 2013 and 2014 for longer solar pv inverter warranties as standard. Whilst 2012 saw inverters with 5 years as standard, today, in 2015, many solar PV inverters come with 10 years warranty as standard. 

Longer warranties from the manufacturers are provided for three reasons: competing in the market, better wuality of construction and a better understanding of failure rate. 

Read more =>

 

Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV, Solar PV Inverters

Spotlight on Inverters Warranty

Jinko Smart Solar PV Modules

21st January 2015   |  Author: Chris Sutor

What is a smart module or Smart Solar PV Panels?

Smart PV panels, or smart modules, are panels where there is some level of control integrated into the panel.  These can take several forms.  The current market leaders are those with integrated optimisation or micro-inverter technology.

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Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV, Solar PV Panels

Jinko Solar PV Modules

Merry Christmas!!!

17th December 2014   |  Author: Chris Sutor

Merry Christmas from the team at All Eco Energy.

We’re pleased to have worked with you over 2014 to make a successful year, supporting your projects from 0.25kW to 1.94MW.

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Posted in: All Eco Energy, Company News

Merry Christmas

Winter storms trigger low insulation resistance

28th November 2014   |  Author: Chris Sutor

A GUIDE TO RESOLVING LOW RISO ISSUES

Low installation resistance is an indication that the insulation resistance to the Photovoltaic field is less than a safety threshold in the inverter, typically 1Mohm.

The required action is to ascertain where the fault is. A low RISO is very seldom a fault with the inverter. To find the fault the following checks should be made:

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Posted in: All Eco Energy, Technical, Solar PV

Winter Storms trigger low insulation resistance

Preliminary Accreditation

20th June 2014   |  Author: Chris Sutor

The guidelines for connecting solar PV installations recognise that getting set up with all the elements to make a successful project can take time.  This is shown with the option of obtaining "Preliminary Accreditation" for solar PV systems.

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Posted in: All Eco Energy, Solar PV

Preliminary Accreditation

RPI FIT Increases

1st December 2013   |  Author: Chris Sutor

So, we all know that the Feed in Tariff is RPI Linked. Right? Yes absolutely.

But... did you know that there is a different cut off date for installations to be done by to gain from the NEXT RPI increase?

Here's how it works:-

Read more =>

 



Posted in: All Eco Energy, FIT

RPI FIT Rates Increases

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