Time was when solar panels and generating electricity from the almost infinite energy emanating from the sun was on the fringe – but not anymore. New generation solar panels are far more efficient than previous examples as the technology and materials have improved. You can also profit from feed in tariffs (FIT) which feeds your excess power generation capacity into the grid. As well as benefitting the environment you get cheaper free converted power from the sun and a generous bonus for your surplus power.
What is a feed in tariff?
A feed in tariff (FIT) is the amount of money you will be paid by a local energy supplier for each kilowatt hour of electricity which your solar panel array or system produces but which you don’t use at that time. The solar market differs from state to state and each tariff is different depending on geographical location. The FIT is made up of two payments one of which is paid by the State Government and the other is direct from the energy supplier, an amount which can be as much as sixteen cents per KW hour.
What system would suit me?
There are many differing system types and capacities available on the solar market and every home owner or business owners have a unique set of circumstances and parameters which pertain to them. Depending on the location of your property or the amount of land you have, free standing systems or roof mounted systems are available to fit in with your lifestyle and/or property location. There are certain mathematic formulas which can be applied to work out the most cost efficient system for your own particular circumstances.
How much do solar panels cost?
The solar market is undergoing big changes which portent great price reductions in the solar panel equipment. As an example the typical price you might have paid for a 20 panel 5Kw system a year ago would have been somewhere in the region of Aus$17,000 to Aus$25,000 a year ago after rebates. In the interim period the same system has dropped to somewhere in the region of between Aus$8,000 and Aus$15,000. The price is being driven down by more efficient manufacturing processes, more efficient equipment and increased sales which always have an effect on market price.
Is it a good investment?
The equipment which is manufactured to generate, distribute and monitor solar energy power generation is a good investment for most people; however it shouldn’t be seen as a get rich quick scheme. Just as you buy property or land with a view to a long term prospect, buying in to solar energy generating equipment should be approached in much the same way. This is why you have to do the sums and get the facts before you take the plunge.
Solar energy power generation is here for the long term and systems are becoming cheaper due to mass production techniques and volumes. As time passes it will become more common place to see panels of varying sizes pointed at the direction of the sun. Is it time you checked out how you can benefit yourself and the environment from solar energy power generation?
Graham Green is a freelance writer and blogger and has a keen interest in the local and global solar market and the emergence of new energy generation technologies.