Sunday, 3 April 2022

Solar Panel 10 Year Review - Green Electricity Generation

Having now had our solar panels for over 10 years it seemed an appropriate time to do a review of how they've performed in that time. We've had over 32,000 kWh of electricity generated as well as all the Feed in Tariff income.

You can see the video here

Our panels on top roof

Solar Panel 10 Year Review - Green Electricity Generation
Solar Panel 10 Year Review - Green Electricity Generation

The shading from trees in early afternoon in winter

Sunday, 13 February 2022

Worst Ever December Best January!

 The worst ever December generation for Dec 2021 has been followed by our best ever January which shows how the solar electricity generated can even out over the year with very poor months compensated by much better months afterwards. 2021 was still overall our worst month for solar but not as bad as it could have been. December along was around 50% of the average we've generated over the last 10 years and that was despite no snow - or possibly because we had no snow. The month was cloudy, wet and dull for most of the days so it made a very low out output month.

The highest day of generation was just over 7kWh which was also our lowest maximum for a December day in the last 10 years.

Luckily January more than compensated with 136kWh of power generated, some 30% above the average for the month.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

FIT Rate April 2022 Solar Feed in Tariff Payments

 The RPI rate for December 2021 has been announced today as 7.5% so this is the amount that Feed In Tariff rates will increase from April 2022.

The current generation rate for pre 2012 installations of 56.03p will increase to 60.23p and the export rate of 3.95p will increase to 4.25p.

My latest FIT payment of £227 would have increased to £244 so it's a nice increase at a time when other fuel prices are going through the roof.

FIT Rate April 2022 Solar Feed in Tariff Payments
FIT Rate April 2022 Solar Feed in Tariff Payments

You can see in the table above how much the rates have increased since 2012 when the generation rate was only 45.4p. 

Friday, 19 November 2021

10 Years of Solar Panels - How Much Electricity Generated & Money Made?

 It's exactly 10 years since our solar panels were commissioned on 19th November 2011

We've now generated 32528 kWh of electricity in that time so an average of 3250 kWh per year.

Our panels paid for themselves in 5 years and we still have another 15 years of Feed in Tariff payments to come, all of which are index linked. The current payment is 58p per kWh generated which looks like it might increase by 6% in April 2022.

The total FIT payments received so far is £16869.12 which includes the export payments as well. We have also had electricity costing approximately £4500 to use as well. The system cost £9000 so taking into account the electricity that we've saved it's been a very good investment.

Have you got a solar PV system installed? How do you find your generation in comparison? Is our production exceptional or similar? Please give your feedback in the comments below

10 Years of Solar Panels - How Much Electricity Generated & Money Made?
10 Years of Solar Panels - How Much Electricity Generated & Money Made?

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Good Inflation News for Solar! RPI Jumps in October

 The news today is all about the high levels of inflation in the UK, the core CPI rate has risen to 4.2% for October 2021 as a result of price increases for used cars, gas/electricity and petrol amongst other things. It might be bad news for consumers but if you have solar panels with the Feed in Tariff it could be good news as your FIT rate will increase by a higher amount.

The CPI rate isn't the one used for calculating the FIT prices, it's actually determined using the RPI (Retail Prices Index) which is no longer consider an official statistic any more so is a bit harder to find. However if you search the ONS website you'll see that RPI for October was a staggering  6%.

If this stays the same it means that the FIT rate will increase from 56.03p per kWh to 59.39p per kWh in April. 

If RPI increases further as is expected then we may breach the 60p FIT level. That'll help to offset the massive rise in gas and electricity prices we're paying!

Good Inflation News for Solar! RPI Jumps in October
Good Inflation News for Solar! RPI Jumps in October

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

2021 Solar Output Drops Compared to 2020

 The exceptional summer of 2020 hasn't been replicated in 2021 and the solar electricity generation from our panels has dropped substantially. I guess this is to be expected as it then averages out the numbers back standard.

It's quite noticeable how much lower output the 2021 months are compared to 2021 for our solar panels in Kent UK.

March 2020

334 kWh

March 2021

260 kWh

May 2020

517 kWh

May 2021

383 kWh

Jump forward to July and 2021 and 2020 are virtually identical at 394 vs 390 kWh.

May 2020 at 517 kWh was the highest monthly generation that we've had from our solar panels over the 10 years that we've had them installed.

2021 Solar Output Drops Compared to 2020
2021 Solar Output Drops Compared to 2020

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Best Months of Year for Solar Panels UK - Not Expected!

We've had our solar panels for over years now so we've collected a lot of data showing the generation over the days and months since 2011. Some interesting patterns have emerged that aren't necessarily what you would expect.

There are the more obvious extreme generation examples where you get very high and very low months depending on the weather but the month that is routinely lower than you would imagine is June.

Over the 10 year average data June is consistently lower than either May or July which is really odd as you would expect June to be the highest month for solar electricity generation as it has the longest days. Both May & July should be lower because the daylight hours are either lengthening or shrinking compared to June.

May total - 4064kWh - average 406kWh

June total - 3943 kWh - average 394 kWh

July total - 4155 kWh - average 415 kWh

So as you can see June is on average lower than May or July. This isn't just a quirk from a particularly bad June or good May or July but seems to be a genuine trend. Out of the 10 years, 5 of them have June lower than May & July and in only 3 years is June higher than both May and July.