December 01, 2019
Solar Energy advantages, disadvantages and UK incentives

While solar power has a reputation for being available and affordable, the vast range of possibilities is often still poorly communicated to the general public. In addition to standard solar panels, there are also solar thermal technologies, which are increasingly gaining attention as viable alternatives to fossil fuels. More ambitious applications, such as solar canopies on parking lots, are also emerging worldwide. 

Major advantages:

  • No fuel or pollution
  • Decreased electricity bills and profit from sales back to the grid
  • Low investment barriers

Major limitations:

  • Fluctuating output level
  • Need for battery storage
  • Insufficient in some climates

Available incentives in the UK:

  • Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) – This scheme allows producers of solar energy to sell any extra electricity to the grid and receive long-term payments for each Kw installed, as well as other benefits. FIT closed to new participants in 2019, but the existing members can continue to reap benefits
  • Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) – A new scheme that is widely regarded as a long-term replacement for FIT, SEG functions in a very similar way and provides cash incentives for clean energy producers. All low-carbon energy-generating technologies qualify for this program, including solar panels or various solar thermal systems.
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