Climate Action

UK solar programme guarentees high returns

FiTs opens the door for businesses and homeowners to invest in solar power.

  • 09 April 2010
  • Simione Talanoa

The UK's Feed-in Tariff scheme (FiTs) has opened the door for businesses and homeowners alike to invest in SPS (solar power systems). Goldfields Partners Ltd is utilising the FiTs scheme to provide a low-cost opportunity with a high return all but guaranteed. The programme began on April 1 and will continue as a part of the UK's ongoing attempt to switch to renewable energy.

To purchase a single SPS system, it costs £16,000 per unit plus a 5% VAT (£16,800) although some homeowners may be tax exempt. A %10 down payment of £1,680 is required to begin installation. The potential return for the investment is profitable and secure. Taking the UK's climate into consideration, estimates expect each unit will return £1,200 per year. Adding inflation to the government subsidies, a net return of £42,000 is projected over 25 years of use.

Each unit is expected to generate just under 3,000 kWh, and have been built with the most up to date technology. Solar panels are considered extremely durable, but a 25-year maintenance warranty is also included with each SPS investment. In addition, before installing the unit, the company has guarenteed to inspect the site to make sure that it is suitable and ensure that the SPS is oriented for maximised output.

One aspect that makes this programme unique is that the UK government has chosen not to impose any limits on how many SPS units a person or company can purchase. The investor also need not own or reside on the property that the unit is placed on, and will still reap all of the profts the SPS produces. Businesses and homeowners units can also enjoy a smaller power bill due to the energy costs each SPS units will offset.

While renewables currently account for under 5% of the UK's energy consumption, the government hopes to reach 20% by 2020, and 60% by 2050. Solar power will have a huge role in reaching this goal for the forseeable future.

Michael Good | Climate Action
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