Tuesday, 22 November 2011

I want one!

A month or so ago I had an estimate to fit solar PV panels on my roof. To be fair to the salesman he fully agreed with me that the ‘green energy’ and CO2 stuff was a complete load of rubbish, so all discussion was done on the basis of financial gain – free power and feed in tariff.  (At least it was until we got bored and progressed to Neil Young and guitar techniques.)
On the current (soon to end) 43p/KW tariff the figures worked out quite well in that an installation on my roof paid for itself completely in around 10 years and thereafter lots of free electricity and an income even if the efficiency reduces over time. But I had a number of problems with going ahead. Ironically I had just firmly decided against when the government announced they were to halve the feed in tariff.

My reasons were that when the AGW/CO2 scam is properly and publicly recognised, which can’t be far away now, I believe there will be a serious backlash. I don’t trust the government not to reduce the ludicrous 43p early tariff on early installations, and if they don’t reduce it I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if some hotheads didn’t take it into their own hands to vandalise installations. I happen to have a super south facing roof but I recognise that the whole system is a gross injustice, offering house owners lucky enough to have a good roof a 10%+ return, all paid for by people without a suitable roof, which tends to be all the less well off consumers, who might reasonably get angry when the truth is out.

My other reason is that I don’t believe the projections on future energy costs.  They are certainly high and rising fast at the moment but over 25 years, or even the 10 year solar PV installation payback period, lots of things can happen. Since when have any experts on any subject correctly predicted 25 years ahead?

If public pressure on fuel prices heats up as a result of the AGW scam the government, whichever lot survive the next few years that is, will eventually have to allow shale gas extraction, which could halve prices. Alternately thorium reactors, much safer and cheaper than traditional uranium ones, are under scrutiny and even the diehard AGW/CO2 armageddon proponents can’t fault them.

But what I really want is one of these E-cats. As yet there is still controversy whether they actually work. Yet companies are being set up and early pre-orders are being taken, which suggests something significant is indeed happening. One of these little boxes sitting in the garden producing electricity night and day, rain or shine, seems to me a better bet than counting on government subsidies and sunshine in the north west of England. They have the potential to allow individual affordable cheap to run generators, or for streets and villages to club together and become totally independent of the power grid. Let them try and collect a green renewable energy levy if that happens!

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