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Solar PV is an abbreviation of Solar Photovoltaic
Solar PV (Solar Photovoltaic) panels are fitted on to the roof of your home where they absorb solar energy from the sun and allow you to generate your own electricity. Solar PV panels work on daylight and they don’t necessarily need bright, direct sunlight to generate electricity so they still work on cloudy days.
By generating your own electricity you do not need to buy as much from your electricity supplier, so you can save on your energy bills. In addition to that, you will receive the Government’s Feed-in tariff payments for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity you generate. As the term suggests, Feed-in tariffs are paid for feeding the electricity your solar PV system generates, into the national grid. The value of the Feed-in tariffs you receive will be based on the size of your solar PV system, when it was installed and the results of your home’s EPC (Energy Performance Certificate).
Solar PV Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Scheme
With the solar PV Feed-in tariff scheme you can save or earn money in three separate ways:
- Cutting you energy bills – Because you are generating some of your own electricity from the solar PV system on your roof, you will not need to purchase as much from your energy provider. This means that your electricity bills will be lower.
- Generation tariff – The solar PV Feed-in tariff scheme will pay an amount per kilowatt hour for the total amount of electricity which your solar PV system generates. The exact amount payable is dependent on the installation date but at 1st July 2014 the generation tariff was 14.38 pence per kWh for a solar PV system with a total installed capacity up to 4 kilowatts.
- Export Tariff – The export tariff is paid in addition to the generation tariff in respect of that part of the electricity which your solar PV system generates but which you do not use. This electricity is exported in to the national grid. The exact amount payable is dependent on the installation date but at 1st July 2014 the export tariff was 4.77 pence per kWh. To calculate the export tariff it is assumed that 50% of the total amount of electricity generated by your solar PV system is exported to the national grid, though at some time smart meters may be introduced.
Solar PV Feed-in tariffs are payable to the homeowner for 20 years and are not subject to income tax. The feed-in tariff scheme (FITs) applies to solar PV and other sources of renewable energy such as wind turbines, hydroelectricity, anaerobic digesters and micro combined heat and power systems (CHP).
How does solar PV work?
Solar PV systems consists of solar panels which are fitted on to your roof, an inverter and a generation meter. When sunlight hits the silicon cells on solar panels a small electrical charge is created. Electricity from this charge flows through a cable, is converted from DC (direct current) to AC (alternating current) and is then fed into your household electrical system where it can be used to power lighting and electrical appliances.