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Friday, 23 December 2011

Solar PV update from Don

Dear All,

Just a quick note based on an article in the Independent on the 18th of December "The sun hasn't yet set on domestic solar energy".

The FIT has been reduced to 21p/kWhr and this obviously reduces the return on PV but is it still attractive?

Prices for PV installations have dropped massively over the last 18 months to the level that, before the change to the FIT, you could purchase a 4 kWp system for under £10k.

I spoke to one of the local installers and he said that he would be selling a 4kWp system for £8k in the new year.

If you have not yet taken the plunge and have a suitable south facing roof and can obtain this price level, the rough figures, based on results to date, work out at:

Annual income FIT 4000 kWh* £0.21 = £840
Annual income deemed export 2000kWh * £0.031 = £62
Total Annual Income = £902

So based on a capital cost of £8000 (If achievable), the return on investment is over 11% and the simplified payback under 9 years.

If you bear in mind that this is tax free, linked to RPI and guaranteed for 25 years its not to be sniffed at.

A system like this will also offset more than 2T/year of CO2 emissions and contribute a little bit towards controlling global warming.

Parish wide, we now have 12 installations that I know of with a combined capacity of 46kWp offsetting 25T/year of CO2. Our work on the Parish Hall helped lead to the new installation you will have seen on Welland Village Hall.

Merry Christmas


Friday, 9 December 2011

Worcestershire County Council setting broadband targets

Another County Council has set out its broadband plan with the objective of 'faster broadband for all by 2015'. The three keys aims are:
  • 90% of businesses in Worcestershire to have the ability to access Superfast Broadband by 2015
  • Everyone in the county to have access to broadband speeds of at least 2 Mbps
  • Superfast broadband available for 90% of the County by 2015.
"Through the BOLD Programme we are working to deliver the substantial savings required. Investment in the provision of Broadband, however, is a good example of how the organisation is making use of resources to plan for the future. We will, of course, look to access available funding and investment to help us achieve the vision of faster Broadband for all by 2015.

We will also continue to use digital technology to make improvements, facilitate savings and streamline our own services whilst focusing on the needs of the people of Worcestershire."
Cllr David Thain, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Transformation and Change
The council cabinet has given an indicative allocation of £8.5 million towards this goal, and assuming the plans are approved by the BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK) they will gain access to the £3.3m of BDUK funding, funding of £400,000 from the Green Infrastructure Fund and £300,000 from sustainable transport funding is available too.
It is interesting to see a council drawing on transport and green funding, which may be a recognition that good broadband can help to reduce the amount of travel people need to make. The County has a population of around 550,000, of which some 220,000 live in Worcester, Redditch and Kidderminster, where either Openreach FTTC or Virgin Media cable is widely available and Ofcom stats show the county has superfast broadband available to 59%. This means with the current level of funding it works out at around £100 per property, or £200 if operators were to match fund.