Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Solar - Do we have a million pounds more than we thought we had?

Regular readers of this blog will recall that the Greens on Kirklees have successfully argued the case for £5 million worth of photovoltaic solar panels on Council buildings. We were able to do this by demonstrating that the Clean Energy Cashback/Feed In Tarrif will pay for the capital borrowing costs of the investment. That is however only part of the picture. What hasn't been taken into account, to my knowledge, is the value of the solar elecricity used in the buildings. So let's do some sums

Assume - £5million buys 1000kWp of solar panels (actually that is a conservative figure)

Assume a 1000kWp produced 800000 kWh at 12p/kWh(don't know what KMC pay for electricity but it will be in this ballpark) Therefore we may have £96000 that we weren't accounting for.

That £96000 will finance the borrowing of around £1million in Capital to help fund essential Council projects. Of course the Council may decide to simply take the revenue saving to save jobs or support services. The key point is that if solar is self funding and generates the Council vital revenue why are we just planning to restrict this project to £5million? Why not £50million (£1million revenue OR £10million capital) or a £100million(£2million revenue OR £20million capital). Imagine what that could do to help turnaround the Council's financial woes.

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