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DECC spin line that large scale solar farms no longer needed subsidy

An upbeat assessment of the future of solar PV in the nation’s energy mix was spun by the DECC as proof that large scale solar farms no longer needed subsidy; cue outrage from the solar ‘industry’ which increasingly sounds like a subsidy junkie. Those of us who remember the interesting times around the first major reduction to the Feed in Tariffs in 2011 will remember the wailing and gnashing of teeth from solar industry elders who took every opportunity to cite this sensible cut as the end of solar in the UK. 

They were wrong then and they are wrong now; large scale solar farms only get built because of the subsidy they attract. The fact that the energy is usually  produced a long way from where it is needed means high infrastructure costs to get that electricity from a field in the middle of nowhere to where is can actually be used. 

When solar is sited at the point of demand, the costs are lower and the economics stack up; the value of electricity produced from a 100kWp system is worth around £10,500.00 if it is all used and replaces grid energy. The capital cost of such a system will be around £110,000.00 giving an initial return on the investment of 9.5%; any company with a large electricity bill and either cash languishing in the bank or access to the absurdly cheap finance available for funding solar at the moment would be mad not to do it. On top of this,  commercial installations continue to attract FiTs of 9-12p per kWp, depending on the size of the system. Your company is effectively getting paid to secure fixed price electricity for the next 20 years. In the case of the 100kWp example, around 2,000,000 kWh of electricity at a fixed rate of 5.5p/kWh. 

Read the full article at BBC News.

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