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The complete guide to solar panels in 2021


Solar panel information

Solar energy is one of the largest and most effective renewable energy sources in the world. We use the natural energy of the sun to generate electricity, heating and lighting homes and businesses. Your system can generate electricity or heat water while reducing the amount of carbon dioxide produced.


Solar panels provide us with a more environmentally friendly alternative to other forms of electricity, such as central heating, because they do not pollute or emit greenhouse gases during operation. Over the years, many advances have been made in photovoltaic module technology and recent battery storage technology. They are now more accessible and affordable than ever before. Solar energy can save hundreds of pounds in electricity bills for homes and businesses every year.

Solar energy uses a single photovoltaic cell to work. These are connected together to form a solar panel system composed of batteries and conductive materials. They can then convert energy from the sun and generate electricity for use in your home.

We can look at a few things to help you determine if installing solar panels is right for you.

Types of solar panels

First of all, the type of solar photovoltaic panel and which one you choose depends on the purpose you need it for, as well as the space available to you and the money you can spend on it. Solar cells have come a long way since they were born. They are now more advanced, not only more efficient, but also more beautiful. The main types of solar panels available are:

Monocrystalline solar panels: This type of solar panels occupies less space than polycrystalline solar panels, but the efficiency is about the same. However, they may be more expensive.

Polycrystalline solar modules: The process of manufacturing these panels is much simpler. This makes them cheaper, but they are slightly less efficient at high temperatures, but they are not enough to worry about when used for residential purposes. However, they do require more space, because you often need more space.

Thin-film solar cells: These cells work by using substrates and photovoltaic cells and using multiple layers of materials on the substrate base. There are a variety of materials available, they are easy to mass produce, and they are cheaper and more flexible.

Amorphous silicon solar cells: These usually have multiple layers of stacks to increase efficiency, but, compared to other types, these solar cells have lower efficiency.

Biohybrid solar cells: These cells use a more natural method of photosynthesis by combining organic and non-organic substances. This means almost 100% efficiency, but they produce less power overall.

Are there disadvantages?

Yes, there can be some, mainly the cost. The initial cost of installing them is high, although the cost has fallen a lot over the years, and will continue to do so. They have become cheaper and easier to manufacture, which means that the cost of buying them has been significantly reduced. In addition, your energy savings will eventually exceed the initial cost.

The next thing to consider is the dependence on sunlight. They are most effective in bright sunlight; however, they do work on cloudy days. They cannot work at night, so they need to use some electricity from the grid at certain times. The best way to maximize efficiency is to use batteries to store electricity for use at night.

The long-term benefits of installing solar energy do exceed the initial investment because it can save you money. Their maintenance costs are very low, and the warranty period is approximately 25 years-which means 25 years of lower energy costs! If repaired by a certified installer at least once every 3 years, the service life of the panel itself is even longer, possibly as long as 50 years. However, the inverter may need to be replaced after 15/20 years.

Benefits of solar panels

Solar power has many benefits, here are a few:

It is green: solar panels do not produce pollutants when they operate, so by using them, you will use clean energy to power your home or business, thereby reducing your carbon footprint.

Save cash: Any electricity you produce is completely free, and you can use it for free to power anything in your home or business. In the long run, this will of course reduce your energy bills and save you cash. You can also guarantee to make money by replacing FIT’s smart export, which means faster return on investment.
No planning permission: No special permission is required to install solar panels. There are some rules to follow, but most of them are simple.

It is renewable: the sun does not run out quickly, and they can work even on cloudy days, so you should have plenty of free electricity throughout the year. Add a battery storage device to save the generated electricity and use it at night. As a bonus, it will also reduce your carbon footprint.

Efficient throughout the year: They can generate energy throughout the year, not just when the sun is most shining.

Are solar panels suitable for my property?

Before making an investment, be sure to check what is right for your home. You should consider the location and the direction the roof is facing. It is the best in the south of England, because they will receive the sun all day long. Also look at your roof. How big is it? How many panels do you need? Will they be suitable? Make sure they are not covered too much by big trees or the like. It is important to get a quality quote that considers all these factors


The initial cost of the photovoltaic system is approximately £4,000/£6,000. The more roof space you have available, the more you can get rid of the shackles of photovoltaic systems.

For a 21-square-meter roof with a 4kw system, you can see a return of 700 pounds in the first year and 6,750 pounds after 20 years. This is the kind of system that an ordinary house needs, and it costs about £6,000/£8,000. Once your initial costs are covered, you can see you start to make money and save money. When looking at the price of solar energy, there are many things to consider-it does vary from situation to situation. This is a table with some estimates of prices and roof dimensions:

Are Solar Panels Suitable for my Property?

Grants for solar

The feed-in tariff, which was launched in April 2010, will be closed to new customers at the end of March 2019. Customers with existing contracts are not affected and continue to pay. According to the feed-in tariff plan, there are two types of payment, “generation electricity price” and “export electricity price”.

The “generation electricity price” pays for all the electricity generated by a household. The rate is set by the government and depends on the size of your solar photovoltaic system and when you sign the plan. In the early years, the rates were much higher-some paid more than 50 pence per kilowatt hour, but over the years it was cut and dropped to March 2019, when new customers’ fees were about 4 pence. Once you determine the rate, the rate will be fixed for the duration of the contract, usually 20 or 25 years. Payment reduces the total time required to recover the initial investment. Due to the decline in the price of solar panels and the cheaper prices, the government cancelled FIT this year.

“Export tariffs” pay homeowners the remaining energy they export to the national grid. The rate for the entire contract period is fixed by the government and is close to the electricity market rate. Before August 2012, it was 3.82p/kWh, and then it was 5.38p before the end of the feed-in tariff plan. According to the feed-in tariff, all households pay the same rate, which is 50% of all energy produced by solar panels. The actual output to the grid is not calculated, so no matter how much electricity they output, everyone gets this. This is slightly changed in 2019 and is called the tariff on the power generation rate. Your supplier agrees to pay you a certain amount for every kilowatt-hour of energy you generate. It is important to say that the rates for new projects will change every year and will change according to inflation. The payment will be like FIT and will be paid to you for 20 years or more, as long as the system generates enough energy.

Although the feed-in tariff has ended, some of the excess electricity generated by your solar energy will inevitably return to the grid. According to the current legislation, it is illegal not to pay for this. A new system has been designed. This is where the smart export guarantee works. place.

Since the government cancelled the FIT, the “rent a roof” plan no longer exists.

There is also Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). This can be used with a “solar thermal” system that heats hot water. The payment period is up to 7 years, depending on the heat generated by your system. If you own your own house in England, Scotland or Wales, you can apply through the government website.

Smart export guarantee

If you want to get a return on your initial investment, the Smart Export Guarantee is good news. After the government announced the FIT changes, the new project fell into uncertainty, but the government now has a plan for the future of the solar industry.

So, what is a smart export guarantee? The government announced the final proposal for smart export guarantees on Monday, June 10, 2019. Smart export guarantees require large and medium-sized power supply companies, including SSE, EDF Energy, British Gas, npower, EON UK, and ScottishPower (with more than 150,000 electricity customers), to provide Smart Export Guarantees (SEG). Smaller suppliers can do this on a voluntary basis. Suppliers have begun to provide SEG, but all eligible suppliers must provide you with payment terms for solar, wind and other renewable energy exports by January 1, 2020 at the latest.

This is good news for solar panel owners, because the plan is likely to be market-oriented naturally, rather than subsidized. In the past, Feed in Tariff provided a fixed rate determined by the government. Now, the new guarantee will be a minimum rate, not a subsidy. After the new system is launched, it seems inevitable that there will be competition among energy suppliers to provide better tariffs to win your loyalty.

In order to benefit from the newly proposed export assurance program, you must have an MCS certified installation. Importantly, anyone who installs solar panels between the end of the tariff subsidy and the start of the new program is eligible to participate in the new program.

The Solar Energy Trade Association has always advocated that, like all other generators, the electricity that households contribute to our power system should be paid at a fair market price. There are two obvious ways to define fair pricing. One is through the wholesale price, which is the price at which the market buys electricity and sells it to you-the average in 2018 is about 6p/kWh. The other is the “system sales price”, which the government calls the fair price in its SEG consultation. This is the price charged by large generators for surplus electricity when the electricity produced exceeds the contractual production capacity. Last year’s annual average system selling price was very similar to the previous FIT export tariff payment of 5.2p/kWh (5.4p/kWh).

This is a very positive development for anyone considering buying solar panels but delaying doing so due to loss of tariff feed. Not only have prices fallen sharply over the past decade, the new plan may end up being more generous than the current tariffs. With the cost of solar energy falling by 80% since 2008, now is the right time to review these payment methods. Homes and businesses that install new solar panels will guarantee to pay for the electricity that is fed back to the grid to unlock the smart energy future system. This can only be an important upgrade to the current feed-in tariff plan.

The Smart Export Guarantee will enable electricity suppliers to pay new small-scale energy producers for surplus electricity from households and businesses, which will be reinvested into the energy grid. The new plan can create a brand new market, encourage suppliers to bid for this kind of electricity competitively, provide exporters with the most favorable market price, and provide cleaner and greener energy for the local grid, so that solar-powered households can buy and sell it. Provide more choice and control when powering. Electricity.

Currently, the government only requires power supply companies to purchase electricity at a price higher than zero. The good news is that the power industry is changing rapidly. Many suppliers hope to use smart energy to help provide a more efficient and low-carbon power system. They want customers to participate. Early adopters of the new system include Octopus, which provides flexible and fixed SEG, which provides members with their own electricity bills, any electricity they generate and output to the grid (this only applies to solar customers, storage-only or solar and storage in the same location ), and EON. Assuming that 50% of the electricity generated is exported, the first 500 new solar customers will be paid 5.24p per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy output to the grid.

More complex new systems will take some time to build, but there are still savings to be made. As all large energy companies join and start to compete with each other, the savings will increase.