United Kingdom Makes the Most of Solar Energy Sources

United Kingdom Makes the Most of Solar Energy Sources

The United Kingdom has recently embraced its role as a leader in renewable energy, and solar power is one of its main targets. Solar water heating in the United Kingdom is one of the more attractive aspects of utilizing the sun’s energy. In accordance with the European Union’s plan to generate at least 20% of its power by way of renewable energy, the UK has set their own goals to lead the low-carbon, or even carbon-free, charge.

Whether by powering homes with photovoltaic (solar) energy, or by heating water with water heating systems, the UK hopes to reduce its carbon footprint significantly in the coming years. Photovoltaic energy is that which is used to power a home by converting sunlight into electricity, but even with government grants and incentives such as feed-in tariffs, the upfront installation cost can still scare some potential customers away.

Solar water heating systems, on the other hand, have a much lower initial cost to install than photovoltaic systems. Whereas photovoltaic systems cost around A�12,500 to set up, a 2 kilowatt solar water heating system generally requires the much lower sum of A�4,000 to A�5,500. With a return of around A�500 annually for the next 20 years, more citizens view this method of renewable energy as the way to go.

Although a relatively large number of citizens in the United Kingdom have voiced an interest in solar heating as an appealing use of renewable energy, some question what they are supposed to do in the winter months when the amount of captured solar rays is not enough to heat the water in their homes. A modest boiler or compression tank is usually an adequate method to back up a solar system. Because the boilers and compressors are not performing the entire workload and receive assistance from the solar system, the carbon emissions remain low.

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There is even more incentive for citizens of the United Kingdom to install a solar heating system. In addition to the A�500 annual return that solar heating already affords, the UK government has enacted the Renewable Heat Incentive. This act calls for the payment of A�400 per year for those who apply heat pumps, biomass boilers, and solar energy systems.

Because of the relatively cheap installation costs, solar water heating is likely to be preferred route of homeowners partaking of the incentive. Along with governmental incentives and grants, the attraction of the returns presented by solar water heating is sure to spur the United Kingdom’s renewable energy efforts further.