Sweden’s prime minister announced his country will work towards becoming ‘one of the first fossil fuel-free welfare states of the world’
Renewables account for over half of Sweden’s energy, while here in the UK we have one of the lowest renewable energy shares in Europe.
In 2015, Sweden’s prime minister announced his country will work towards becoming “one of the first fossil fuel-free welfare states of the world,” in a speech to the UN General Assembly.
Between 2013 and 2014, 51.1 per cent of Sweden’s energy needs were met by renewables, according to data from Eurostat and the Renewable Energy Directive.
Latvia was the second greenest country, with a RES of 37 per cent, followed by Finland, which had a RES of 36.8 per cent and Austria, with an RES of 32.9 per cent.
In contrast, Luxembourg had the lowest RES at 3.8 per cent, followed by Malta and the Netherlands.
The UK had the fourth lowest RES at only 5.7 per cent, followed by Ireland with 8.2 per cent.
Countries around Europe are building increasing amounts of renewable energy capacity in order to reduce their carbon emissions and boost supply security.
Last year, Denmark’s wind farms supplied 140 per cent of demand, in an achievement hailed as “the key to stop global warming”.
On Sunday, clean energy supplied almost all of Germany’s power demand for the first time.
Last week, Portugal hit a significant milestone in its bid to become entirely reliant on renewable energy sources by running for four days without using any fossil fuels.
In 2009, an EU directive set a target of 31 per cent share for renewable energy sources to be part of Portugal’s energy mix by 2020.
Only Sweden, Austria, Latvia and Finland are expected to have a higher share by 2020 – while the UK, comparatively, has a target of 15 per cent.
So well done Sweden, but why are we Brits seriously falling behind?
The ups and downs of the Governments feed in tariffs have been disastrous not only for the householders wanting to install a renewable energy source such as Solar PV, but for the companies involved in installing.
Although not currently accurate, due to the rate that solar installing companies are going bust, it is estimated from the available data that only 46% of companies registered as MCS (microgeneration certification scheme) installers remain.
Why are so many companies disappearing?
It’s no surprise that the weaker firms went first, others holding only one certification for MCS, such as solar will not be able to turn their hand quickly to other MCS products such as Biomass, ASHP (Air source heat pumps) or Solar thermal.
One such Essex based company Silvercrest Energy Ltd, and its installation arm Solartherm UK have shown the way as a multi product MCS certified company, qualified to install almost all renewable energy related equipment and products.
Managing Director Dan Bovill says: people do not realise there is still a feed in tariff available. OK so it’s lower than we started out with in 2010, but then systems now cost 50% less!
It’s no longer just a financial incentive, you have to look at it as a lifestyle choice. If the UK has a target of 15% by 2020, people and business really need to start getting serious and contact us or their local installer.
Also we are seeing a real big drive towards combined products to bolster the financial incentive if people still have just a vested interest in payback. Such as, solar thermal hot water systems to gain RHI payments alongside their Solar PV electric system.
Or simple devices such as the fabulous Solic 200 solar hot water device that can transfer exported solar energy that you get paid for regardless, being transferred into your immersion heater to heat water for free during the day.
Of course the biggest thing to come to market is energy storage, and coupled with the latest intelligent optimising equipment such as SolarEdge, we are now able to not only boost the solar power production of an older system, but store the energy for evening use as well.
Currently the retro fitting of older systems on the higher feed in tariffs is very popular. It’s surprising to see how many older Solar PV systems were vastly underperforming when the customers thought otherwise.
We have come across damage to panels clearly from the installation stage. Panels never ever connected. Damage to wiring, or faulty or underrated inverters that were shutting down during times of peak production.
Most inverters despite the claims of installers at the time only came with only a 5year warranty, or the warranty is no longer valid when the installer has gone out of business.
By installing our new product into an existing system not only do you get a 25year warranty on the exterior optimisers Solartherm UK with manufacturers backing will give an additional 12-year inverter warranty. When you realise this can give a proven increase on power of up to 25%, and alongside a re-connected a panel or two this has people very excited.
If your system has gone down, or the company that installed it, it’s best to get in touch.
Solartherm UK are an authorised seller of Tesla Powerwall and the U.K. Strategic partner of SolarEdge technologies.
T: 01268 552868