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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    • CommentAuthorjamesingram
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011 edited
     
    http://www.oursolarfuture.org.uk/support-solar/

    Campaign to stop FITs 50% reduction

    for once you can do something useful and make a bit of wedge at the same time.
    dont nick our golden carrot , PV FITs is working , give the stick to fossil fuel to cover the cost if its over budget
    due to its success.
    ok perhap a small reduction will get rid of some of the profitering, but you can shop around and get a good price , rather than be ripped of by the double glazing salemen that feed off the vunerable.

    But then again , can you be 'Gree'n and greedy ? :confused:
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011
     
    I think that the returns from FITs are immorally high at present

    A return of between 5 and 6% on investment at the new 21p tax free for 25 years is a very good one and should be taken up

    It does seem wrong to see a halving of the FIT but it is the right thing to do.

    When solar panel installation costs drop by 20 % that will increase the returns to 6 to 7 % which makes it all viable.

    We had had rose tinted incentives and now fee hard done by -- well no lets be realistic please.
    • CommentAuthorGavin_A
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011 edited
     
    “I support the ‘Cut, Don’t Kill’ campaign to stop the Government cutting Solar PV Feed-in Tariffs by 50%, which would devastate the solar power industry and jeopardise 25,000 jobs.”

    no actually, I don't.

    I support the 50% cut as it's justified by greatly reduced costs, although I wish it had been handled a lot better with eg an across the board 20% cut last April, 20% cut in September, 20% cut in April or something similar.

    What I absolutely do not support is the desire outlined within the impact assessment document of DECC to reduce the number of sub 4kWp installation completed next year by 75% and the number of4-50kWp installations by 95% compared to this year.

    This is what STA etc need to be campaigning on, this current campaign is a counterproductive waste of time that will achieve nothing other than to distract from the necessary task of negotiating an increase in the FIT budget in return for further stages reductions in the FIT rates payable.

    Expecting us to both be able to reduce the costs per unit at the same time as reducing the number of installations completed is economic nonsense. The only possible way of reducing prices is through economies of scale, this is the entire point of the FIT's scheme, and all money spent on the scheme will be utterly wasted if these economies of scale are prevented from happening.

    Basically we're now at the turning point where we can either create an industry that can deliver 10GWp or more of solar PV by 2020 mostly at or around cost parity with offshore wind or better, or we can go back to it being a vanity project / cottage industry delivering a few megawatts installed capacity per year at stupidly high costs per kWH. Unfortunately it seems that neither DECC, now STA/BPVA actually see this, so they're all coming out with stupid positions.
    •  
      CommentAuthorbetterroof
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011
     
    well said Gavin! Spot on as I see things.
    • CommentAuthorGavin_A
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011
     
    ta.

    shame all of us who might actually know what we're talking about are running around like blue arse flies installing, while BPVA, STA and the other apparently clueless bottom feeders of the industry are left to 'represent' us.

    sod that for a game of soldiers, soon as I get our schedueles and equipment orders 100% finalised I'm going to do battle, and sta / BPVA can either get with the programme or see their membership fees disappearing as I'm certain we're not the only ones thinking this.
    •  
      CommentAuthorbetterroof
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011
     
    exactly, it's a nightmare out there at the moment and no one is talking any kind of sense. I'm in the same boat, get the next month out of the way and then marshall my reserves for some sort of conversation with those 'in charge'...
    • CommentAuthorGavin_A
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011
     
    we need to be quicker off the mark than that.

    I reckon I'll just about have everything scheduled and ordered and worked out by tomorrow night, at which point I'm going to have some evening time to spend working stuff up to respond to the consultation / parliamentary committees etc with as well as attempting to give bpva etc a further kick up the arse, although they've yet to respond to my email requesting that they consult with their members before launching the PR campaign they'd hastily arranged.
  1.  
    "What I absolutely do not support is the desire outlined within the impact assessment document of DECC to reduce the number of sub 4kWp installation completed next year by 75% and the number of4-50kWp installations by 95% compared to this year."
    This seems to show they only see PV and solar as a means of ticking the green box in the 'style above substance' marketing politics game,
    Rather than it actually playing a part in our national energy generation mix.

    Your right Gavin , trying to force a reduction in no. of installation makes the whole FITS project a shame.

    Still, nice to earn a few quid by doing something useful , make a pleasant change :smile:
    • CommentAuthorGavin_A
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011
     
    problem is though that installing 6-7 days a week doesn't leave a lot of time and energy for this side of things, luckily someone invented coffee.
  2.  
    Where waiting on kit til the 16th ( no mid brackets , argh !) then its the big 4 week push,
    got to get my other general buiding work out the way first or rescheduled.
    like you said lets hope the weathers favourable.
    • CommentAuthorGavin_A
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011
     
    yes, it appears that our mid clip order for the sanyo / hyundais that we put in for delivery this week seems to have slipped a week.

    luckily our rail drought looks to be set to come to an end on Friday, just in time for us to go back and install on all the jobs that currently only have brackets up as the panels have also slipped by 6 days.

    hopefully we'll not be getting 6 day slippages on the orders for the end of november / start of dec or we might be a little pushed.

    put an order in for 4 lots of decent worklights and head torches last night though, so we'll be kitted out for working in the darkness if need be.
    •  
      CommentAuthorbetterroof
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011
     
    now that's not a bad idea. If you put together something coherent can I pinch it to send to my reps? I'm struggling with the workload on top of a screaming teething 9 month old so the old grey matter is more like primordial ooze at the moment :confused:
  3.  
    headlights, good idea ,
    I remember years ago, a few days before xmas, thincoat rendering the front of a house
    In the dark , with work lights , whilst it was snowing heavily . Not much fun at the time.
    thank god for X7 rapid set.
    • CommentAuthorGavin_A
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011
     
    Posted By: betterroofnow that's not a bad idea. If you put together something coherent can I pinch it to send to my reps?

    no problem, was actually thinking about putting together a bit of an open letter that I'll post up here and a couple of places for comment and then get any installers who want to to sign it, and / or use it as a template to write to their MP's / work up responses to the various consultations, and potentially email to all customers etc to ask them to also put some pressure on.

    I've done my fair share of campaigning back in the day, reckon we ought to be able to get something fairly productive going pretty easily with this if we get the message right in the first place, which seems to the missing ingredient here.
    •  
      CommentAuthorbetterroof
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011
     
    sign me up! cheers Gavin
    • CommentAuthorjamesingram
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011 edited
     
    i've had emails from Pv clients that i've already installed systems for asking if there's anything set up where they can voice their view/campaign etc. I've only done a few installs and so far the FITs return has not been the driving reason ( though it made it affordable) for them going for PV and now they have it. there even keener supporters
    Be good to have something better than the above campaign to support.
    I've heard very vague rumours that DECC may be reconsidering the change slighlty , perhaps delaying the date ?
    •  
      CommentAuthorbetterroof
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011
     
    that will just prolong the madness and kill us all with overwork, it won't address the larger long term problem...

    My experience is similar - most people I install for aren't doing it for the FiTs
    • CommentAuthorGavin_A
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011
     
    reckon with us it's about 50/50, but most would still be happy with 7-9% returns, which tbf is what we're already able to offer from January onwards even with the 21p fit rate as we've now cut our prices significantly for anything from January onwards.

    did a trade fair this weekend with the new january prices, and big signs up along the lines of 'january sale, upto 25% off' etc and got something like 50 fairly firm inquiries for post January, so I really don't think the FIT cut itself is the issue.

    The issue for me is firmly in the small print, which seems to indicate that if this doesn't work then they'll just keep on cutting the rate until they finally manage to achieve their arbitrary goal of keeping the FIT budget in check by slashing the number of installations regardless of how much better value for money the scheme will already be compared to it's original plans which wouldn't have had 21p rates until the back end of the decade IIRC.
    • CommentAuthorGavin_A
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2011
     
    btw, in order to achieve those price reductions, we're having to base our assumptions on doubling the number of installations we're doing from 2-4 per week, and thereby cutting the amount we need to make per installation to cover our overheads in half.*

    This is why it's not possible to both significantly cut the number of installations and significantly cut the cost per installation at the same time.



    *well, that on top of general price reductions, and additional bulk discounts we're getting as a result of the amount of orders we've recently placed.
  4.  
    If that's the case, they clearly have no real interest in mircogeneration , perhaps because once it up and working they can't tax it.
    • CommentAuthorwookey
    • CommentTimeNov 8th 2011
     
    As ever Gavin talks enormous sense. Trying to reduce installations by 75% displays a fundamentally wrong view of the problem.
  5.  
    This is the part I'm struggling to understand: they're cutting the FiT because their budget won't cover the existing installation rate & they argue that this is OK because the costs are now lower. However, they're only lower because of the higher installation rates!

    It doesn't matter what industry you're in, you can only reduce cost to the consumer by increasing volume. Reducing cost means investing in research & development, manufacturing facilities or delivery infrastructure. Recovering the cost of those investments without increasing the unit cost means increasing the volumes.

    So if they achieve their objective of reducing installation rates then someone somewhere will be out of pocket!

    David
    •  
      CommentAuthorbetterroof
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2011
     
    ok, here's something I've been struggling with - and I may just be really thick at the moment, but please put me out of my misery:

    Everywhere I look states that the FiT is paid by the utility companies - i.e as part of the RO they pay you for generating the electricity. If this is correct then what is this big lump of cash from the government that's nearly all gone, hence the reduction in the FiTs?

    I am confused! If the utility companies aren't paying for it, why the hell not? It all seems ridiculous....
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2011
     
    The money paid out for FiTs is balanced with related income to the suppliers, and then any discrepancy is shared around by Ofgem to balance/net the numbers out.

    The 'limit' is the fact that the Treasury is treating the total sum of FiTs paid as a tax/levy for accounting purposes, so even if not a penny of this passes through the Treasury, they still try to cap the total flow.

    Ted explained it better, and there's a decent doc on the DECC site I think.

    Rgds

    Damon
    •  
      CommentAuthorbetterroof
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2011
     
    sweet, so it is confusing and basically nonsense, thought so. good! back to it chaps!
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2011
     
    bottom line is it costs the government nothing
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2011
     
    Posted By: tonybottom line is it costs the government nothing

    Except that it pushes a few more people into fuel poverty and that has a cost as well as a missed target.
    Don't do it as fast as a 15% price rise though.
    •  
      CommentAuthorbetterroof
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2011
     
    It just seems completely bizzarre to me. The utility companies have the renewable obligation to meet, so removing some of that burden by using us to generate a small portion of that at no set up cost to them, and then charge them for it makes absolute sense. The government stepping in and reneging on the 'incentive' just seems like a result of blatant lobbying from the energy sector.

    Don't get me wrong - I think a reduction is definitely sensible, and it should never have been so high in the first place, but this is just crippling the industry by unbalancing it hugely.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2011
     
    I've now written on this topic to my MP (twice, but he's not ever answered any of my emails on any topic by any route ever: count me unimpressed), and the PM last night (ahem, while tipsy on the way home from a comedy club).

    That ought to rattle the political establishment! %-P

    Rgds

    Damon
  6.  
    open letter from Jeremy Leggett, Chairman, Solarcentury to the PM

    "4 November 2011

    The Right Honourable David Cameron MP

    Dear Prime Minister

    You will recall that five years ago you chose to host your first Shadow Environment team ‘meet the media’ event at Solarcentury. I was very proud to welcome you to the “frontline” of Britain’s then fledgling solar PV industry. Throughout the Conservatives’ period in Opposition we worked tirelessly as a company to assist you in developing a coherent and indeed leading position on “green” issues including proposals for a feed-in tariff.

    In the early months of your premiership, again I was very proud to be able to accompany you to India and genuinely welcomed prospects for the “greenest Government ever.” 18 months on after the election, this company has done everything asked of it by your Government. We have invested, innovated, researched, exported, manufactured, supported “Big Society” projects and created jobs winning a Queens Award for Enterprise only last year. But today, surveying the wreckage caused to my company by Monday’s DECC announcement, I have to ask you Prime Minister, where did it all go wrong?

    The immediate impact of DECCs unlawful decision on Monday for my own company and the industry is that bad news is hitting us from almost every quarter.

    The absurdity of this totally avoidable situation was reinforced yesterday by publication of the Government’s own Impact Assessment on the feed-in tariff changes. Prime Minister, an entire industry is being destroyed inside 6 weeks for the sake of “saving households” a sum of money roughly equivalent to purchasing one copy of the Daily Mail per year. The Impact Assessment published yesterday reveals that the cost of delaying the 12th December deadline to a date consistent with Energy Act procedures can be measured in pennies rather than pounds on average annual household energy bills. That is the true context in which this industry is being told by your Ministers that “there is no alternative.”

    I am appealing to you therefore to intervene personally on this issue to safeguard the livelihoods of 25,000 solar staff and to reduce the number of bankruptcies that are set to engulf the industry as a direct result of this decision. Please will you do so? Please will you meet with me and other representatives of this industry as a matter of urgency to thrash out a sensible way forward? I hope you will agree with me that this sector deserves no less.

    Yours sincerely,

    Jeremy Leggett, Chairman, Solarcentury"
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