Sunday, 10 July 2011

Solar PV - Kirklees slips down the rankings

The Microgeneration Top 10. Kirklees isn't in it!
AEA Technology are providing a valuable service monitoring the take up of microgeneration technologies through the Feed In Tariff. This is broken down by region and local authority with top tens for microgeneration as a whole and also broken down by technology. Kirklees has slipped out of the top ten for Microgeneration as a whole. The top six local authorities make a lot of sense intuitively. 3 scottish authorities with a good wind and hydro resource. Sedgemoor scores highly with its anaerobic digestion facilities. The large new authority of Cornwall also features with its high PV resource with the best solar potential in the UK. Then coming in at 7th, 9th and 10th places respectively we have Barnsley, Sheffield and Rotherham. 'Er what!' I hear you say. Well much as there's some good work going on in these local authorities this uptake in PV is largely due to a company called 'A Shade Greener' based in Tankersley who are offering free solar PV to householders in return for signing over the feed in tariff. Properties have to have reasonable sized roofs and be southerly facing.

Kirklees doesn't do so badly when you look at the solar PV top ten coming in at a respectable 9th with 1 megawatt of installed microgeneration capacity. Much of this will be due to the award winning RE-Charge scheme a Green Party initiative that is now completed and ' A Shade Greener' has done some installs in Kirklees as well. There was a time when we could claim to be producing 5% of the UKs solar PV capacity but not anymore. We can now only claim to have 0.933% of the UK's microgeneration resource.

So what are future prospects like for Kirklees in the microgeneration league? There are plans for putting solar PV on a thousand council houses and a lot on Council buildings so this looks good doesn't it? Maybe but procurement rules, as interpreted by Kirklees, seem to be slowing things up and of course other authorities have plans as well - we're not operating in a vacuum. Now RE-Charge is over the Council has no strategy or plans to promote the take up of microgeneration in the private sector at present, but is looking to link in with the Green Deal which is over a year off . There remains uncertainty as to whether or not it will be a compelling offer anyway (see previous posts). Of course if the government imposes its cap on the feed in tariff all plans to increase take up of microgeneration could come to naught.


  1. Free Solar panelsare a great idea for people who can't afford the initial out lay to own their own solar panels.

  2. They are indeed. The nearest company to us is A Shade Greener based in Tankersley but there are others. They generally want large south facing roofs though.