The Times reports (13th July), that the government will shortly implementing ‘feed in tariffs’ to the National Grid. It is thought that by April next year, these tariffs, which have existed in many European countries for some time, will allow customers who have Solar Panels, or Wind Turbines, to feed energy back into the National Grid, and receive cash back for doing so.
Ed Miliband, the Secretary for Energy and Climate Change, stated that the schemes could “help create the clean energy of the future”. It is thought this will come at a price, though, with experts suggesting that the schemes could end up costing households £230 a year on their annual energy bills. The government has reluctantly admitted there will be a ‘bedding in’ cost, whilst the schemes form and grow.
However, those who can afford the ten to fifteen thousand pounds that it costs to have Solar panels installed, will indeed benefit from doing so. Solar panels work by generating renewable energy from light, which is then either stored for use later, or imported into the National Grid. Solar Paneled houses are fitted with two way meter clocks that monitor the amount of energy that is both given, and taken, to and from the National Grid.
It is thought that offering cash back to communities may ‘generate’ the same level of enthusiasm here, as it has in Germany, where whole villages and communities have joined together to install solar panels and wind turbines. Under the “clean energy cash back” initiatives, this has seen villages earning up to fifteen thousand pounds a year. Whether this community spirit exists Britain today remains to be seen.