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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:09 pm 
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https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/solar-energy-and-climate-targets-1.3534834

Quote:
Sir, – The lack of joined-up thinking on meeting Ireland’s carbon emissions targets is captured perfectly in John FitzGerald’s analysis (Business Opinion, June 15th) of the recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report.
An immediate refocus of policy is urgently required that harnesses the potential of roof-top photovoltaic (PV) solar as the technology that can make a real difference to carbon emissions quickly. Homeowners, business and farmers are ready and willing to play a proactive role in adopting solar PV and micro-generation.
The Government should redirect 20 per cent of the existing public service obligation (PSO) levy charged to energy consumers and support those very same consumers to generate some of their own electricity requirements from rooftop or ground-mounted solar PV.
There is enough roof space to build out approximately 5,000 mw (megawatts) of solar PV, and with Government funding support of €100 million per year (equivalent to the current subsidy for inefficient peat-burning electricity generation), we would underpin the deployment of around 250 mw of electricity per year. That would displace well over a million tonnes of carbon per year. We could then say that we are serious about meeting our carbon emission targets. – Yours, etc,
PAT SMITH,
Micro-Renewable
Energy Federation,
The Capel Building,
Mary’s Abbey,
Dublin 7.


Wikipedia tells me that our 3 peat power stations have a total capacity of 346 MW, so even if we assume that Mr Smith is optimistic, it would still only take a few years to replace Peat powered electricity with PV

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_power_stations_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:15 pm 
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the dude wrote:
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/solar-energy-and-climate-targets-1.3534834

Quote:
Sir, – The lack of joined-up thinking on meeting Ireland’s carbon emissions targets is captured perfectly in John FitzGerald’s analysis (Business Opinion, June 15th) of the recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report.
An immediate refocus of policy is urgently required that harnesses the potential of roof-top photovoltaic (PV) solar as the technology that can make a real difference to carbon emissions quickly. Homeowners, business and farmers are ready and willing to play a proactive role in adopting solar PV and micro-generation.
The Government should redirect 20 per cent of the existing public service obligation (PSO) levy charged to energy consumers and support those very same consumers to generate some of their own electricity requirements from rooftop or ground-mounted solar PV.
There is enough roof space to build out approximately 5,000 mw (megawatts) of solar PV, and with Government funding support of €100 million per year (equivalent to the current subsidy for inefficient peat-burning electricity generation), we would underpin the deployment of around 250 mw of electricity per year. That would displace well over a million tonnes of carbon per year. We could then say that we are serious about meeting our carbon emission targets. – Yours, etc,
PAT SMITH,
Micro-Renewable
Energy Federation,
The Capel Building,
Mary’s Abbey,
Dublin 7.


Wikipedia tells me that our 3 peat power stations have a total capacity of 346 MW, so even if we assume that Mr Smith is optimistic, it would still only take a few years to replace Peat powered electricity with PV

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_power_stations_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland


except the 3 peat power stations you refer to are capable of producing when most needed - winter evenings. How much electricity do you reckon solar produces at the time of peak demand i.e. Wednesday 10th December at 17:30
http://www.eirgridgroup.com/site-files/ ... _FINAL.pdf

Solar works well for countries with lots of sun and lots of sun-related demand (i.e. for air-conditioning) - Ireland is further north than all of the contiguous United States - meaning that most American examples are not applicable ( I say this as most people seem to get their electrical engineering knowledge from Facebook these days)

There's a reasonable chance that it might be windy on a stormy December evening - is it really that much of a leap to think that it might be better for Ireland to focus on utility-scale wind generation rather than indulging hobbyists with their PV panels on their (not even optimally aligned) roofs


Chicken P wrote this post a long time ago;
ChickenParmentier wrote:
Against my better judgement, I have decided to make one last post here on the specific topic of PV microgeneration in Ireland which has been left hanging.

I have divided this into two sections:

1. Analysis of electricity demand correlate with sunrise and sunset times and PV generation potential for Ireland

2. Summary of results of analysis performed by an Australian generator on the impact of PV generation on the electricity supply market

The analysis is done in the context of the use of PV for microgeneration and whether PV microgenerators should receive microgeneration-related supports and subsidies.

Electricity Demand in Ireland

These four charts show the electricity demand in MW by hour of day for the weekdays for the months of 2013. I have grouped the months into threes: Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep and Oct-Dec. I did not exclude public holidays from the weekdays for the high-level analysis. This is the reason for the outliers in the usage curves.

The sunrise and sunset times are affected by daylight savings adjustments.

Now the demand figures will contain an element of normal cyclical demand and a trend of changes in underlying usage that may be caused by economic and demographic factors. In 2013 as the economy started to recover, electricity demand and usage would have increased over the year, outside normal patterns. I have excluded this from the analysis because it would add greater complexity, take much longer and not add much to the overall conclusion.

The red shaded boxes overlaying the demand curves show the average sunrise and subset times for the months.

Finally the red triangles show the potential PC generation profile for the three months. The actual PV generation profile depends on actual solar radiation.

Analysis for Jan-Mar

For Jan-Mar. the average hours of sunshine across the months is:

• Jan - 53.4
• Feb - 80.8
• Mar - 110.4

So the peak system demand occurs around 6 pm when the sun has set and PV potential is zero.

Image

Analysis for Apr-Jun

For Apr-Jun. the average hours of sunshine across the months is:

• Apr - 164.3
• May - 208.8
• Jun - 173.5

Image

A minor point worth noting is that the peak in these months is lower than for Jan-Mar and occurs later.

Also average electricity demand is lower in the months Apr-Jun that for Jan-Mar.

Analysis for Jul-Sep

For Jul-Sep the average hours of sunshine across the months is:

• Jul - 159.4
• Aug - 150.9
• Sep - 127.1

Image


Average electricity demand is lower in the months Jul-Sep that for other months.

Analysis for Oct-Dec

For Oct-Dec, the average hours of sunshine across the months is:

• Oct - 104
• Nov - 73.2
• Dec - 54.8

Image

As with the months Jan-Mar, there is a pronounced peak around 17:30 to 18:00 that occurs after sunset when PV generation potential is zero.

In general, electricity demand is greatest in Oct-Mar when PV generation potential is at its lowest.

Hours of sunshine in not the only measure of PC generation potential. You also need to consider the energy provided in the sunshine.

This table shows the average hours of sunshine per month and the average energy in kWh per square metre per month across all of Ireland. The sunshine energy numbers are available at http://www.met.ie/climate-ireland/sunshine.asp.

Code:
Month          Sunshine Hours      % of Max     Sunshine kWh/m²      % of Max     Average kWh/m² Per Hour
Jan                       53.4        25.57%              187.61        12.83%                        3.51
Feb                       80.8        38.70%              345.09        23.59%                        4.27
Mar                      110.4        52.87%              684.97        46.82%                        6.20
Apr                      164.3        78.69%             1096.60        74.96%                        6.67
May                      208.8       100.00%             1462.83       100.00%                        7.01
Jun                      173.5        83.09%             1444.78        98.77%                        8.33
Jul                      159.4        76.34%             1371.17        93.73%                        8.60
Aug                      150.9        72.27%             1148.96        78.54%                        7.61
Sep                      127.1        60.87%              816.43        55.81%                        6.42
Oct                        104        49.81%              475.48        32.50%                        4.57
Nov                       73.2        35.06%              230.85        15.78%                        3.15
Dec                       54.8        26.25%              144.69         9.89%                        2.64


So, while the sun shines in the month Oct-Mar, the energy is lower again. Dec has 26.25% of the maximum number of hours of sunshine but only 9.89% of the energy of the maximum month. This is hardly surprising.

Conversely, while the number of hours of sunshine in Jun and Jul is lower than the maximum, the amount of energy it contains is close to the maximum.

This final chart in this section shows the weekday maximum and minimum demand for workdays in 2013.

Image

This confirms that, electricity demand is greatest in Oct-Mar when PV generation potential is at its lowest.

Australian PV Analysis

This analysis was done on mass market electricity tariff pricing structures, pricing models and recovery of transmission and distribution costs in the context of increased PV generation.

PV generation is considerably more realistic in Australia and other locations such the South-West of the US than in countries like Ireland.

The following shows the profile of PV output during the day.

Image

PV generates electricity well is the middle of the day.

Quote:
Solar PV has a hollowing out effect on the day time off-peak load. More importantly, the PV portfolio is not making any significant contribution during the peak load. Peak load is a key driver of capacity investments in network elements. The following pictures highlight the hollowing out effects of the solar PV on the consumption profile, assuming 40 % propensity for solar PV uptake.


Image

Quote:
As the network business are rate of return regulated so if the energy volume drops resulting in a decrease in the network revenue, the energy price has to go up, to protect the return. Hence, the tariff charged to the customers increases.


Well off customers with Solar PV will experience:

Quote:
Consumption of Grid Power reduces, resulting in lesser network revenue.
More benefits provided by Government for increased PV


Financially weak customers without Solar PV will experience:

Quote:
Consumption of Grid Power alternative option
Need to pay more due to increased tariff rates


Quote:
Thus it is a regressive approach, where in the financially strong customers are incentivized at the cost of poor one.


Quote:
The main problem in the current As Is approach is the formation of the Vicious Cycle. As the electricity transmission and distribution are regulated monopoly businesses, so network tariffs are based on a regulated return on their asset base at the start of each regulatory period. If underlying energy growth rates decline, (due to the hollowing out of the day time load by the Solar PV) network tariffs (which form nearly half of final electricity prices) have to be increased if regulated returns are to be met under the current regulatory framework. Falling underlying energy consumption results in higher tariffs, because the heavy fixed costs of networks are spread across fewer units of output, (primarily non Solar PV user) holding all other variables constant. These in turn results further shifting towards solar PV by the consumers (having solar PV) resulting further increase in tariff for the consumers without solar PV. The following figure highlights the “Vicious Cycle “arising out of this situation.


Image

Conclusion

I have nothing against people investing in PV generation for the own use, saving and well-being.

I do have an issue with those people expecting a subsidy in the form of payments for token amounts of expensively generated electricity supplied to the network at times of the day and days of the year when it is not needed.

For those who want electricity outside hours when sufficient can be generated from PV, there will always be a need for conventional generation and a conventional electricity transmission and distribution network. Those who want to supply their PV generated electricity to the network also require a conventional electricity transmission and distribution network.

Capacity planning in any system is complex. You have to decide what peak you are catering for: daily peak, monthly peak, annual peak or lifetime peak.

You have to consider what happens when demand exceeds the peak. In many systems, the result is no more than increased queueing times reflected in slowness of operation. For electricity the result is considerably worse. This can be compensated for to some extend by the use of Demand Side Units (see http://www.eirgrid.com/operations/ancil ... sideunits/) where a user allows their supply to be reduced in return for a payment.

Again, this complex balancing of supply and demand in response to the variability of renewable generation requires an a large-scale conventional electricity transmission and distribution network.

Installing PV generation is a lifestyle choice. You will not save the planet with PV.


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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:55 pm 
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Short answer, any future use of renewables will be a combination of solar, storage (of all kinds) wind tidal & wave. Fossil fuels will still need to be available to cover gaps for many years to come.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:53 pm 
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dolanbaker wrote:
Short answer, any future use of renewables will be a combination of solar, storage (of all kinds) wind tidal & wave. Fossil fuels will still need to be available to cover gaps for many years to come.

With respect that's a political talking point (the solar part, at least within the Irish context). If something is viable generally it's going to be viable for more that the small fraction of time that solar is productive at Irish latitudes. If something is a stopgap solution, like a Woodstove in a passive House on a very cold day it's because it's cheap to install.

99% of Norway's electricity comes from hydro. Obviously we're not blessed with melting ice/ Fjords or whatever but why not import energy from the right sources rather than import solar panels from China which will only work a fraction of the [wrong] time which wastes money as well as manufacturing energy.

If people want to buy PV panels then off they should go, renters and people who live in apartments etc who can't do so will subsidise the middle class suburbanites who have the roof space and capital to install the panels.

Given the very low wholesale price of electricity at night we should be encouraging nightrate electricity for immersions and improving storage heaters, that's the real low hanging fruit.

The wind will still blow at night, and it's a more convenient time charge your car then too...

Tip: I've got into the habit of putting the dishwasher on delay timer every night. It's easy to do buy default after dinner and then you can put you tea cup in afterwards without forgetting to do so


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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:14 am 
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Quote:
Here's the one thing everyone should understand about clean energy: the learning curve. Every time the amount of solar in the world doubles, prices drop 29%. That's been consistent 40 years. For batteries, it's 18%. It's a slow-motion explosion, and we're just feeling the bang


https://twitter.com/tsrandall/status/10 ... 43520?s=12

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:30 am 
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slasher wrote:
the dude wrote:
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/solar-energy-and-climate-targets-1.3534834

Quote:
Sir, – The lack of joined-up thinking on meeting Ireland’s carbon emissions targets is captured perfectly in John FitzGerald’s analysis (Business Opinion, June 15th) of the recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report.
An immediate refocus of policy is urgently required that harnesses the potential of roof-top photovoltaic (PV) solar as the technology that can make a real difference to carbon emissions quickly. Homeowners, business and farmers are ready and willing to play a proactive role in adopting solar PV and micro-generation.
The Government should redirect 20 per cent of the existing public service obligation (PSO) levy charged to energy consumers and support those very same consumers to generate some of their own electricity requirements from rooftop or ground-mounted solar PV.
There is enough roof space to build out approximately 5,000 mw (megawatts) of solar PV, and with Government funding support of €100 million per year (equivalent to the current subsidy for inefficient peat-burning electricity generation), we would underpin the deployment of around 250 mw of electricity per year. That would displace well over a million tonnes of carbon per year. We could then say that we are serious about meeting our carbon emission targets. – Yours, etc,
PAT SMITH,
Micro-Renewable
Energy Federation,
The Capel Building,
Mary’s Abbey,
Dublin 7.


Wikipedia tells me that our 3 peat power stations have a total capacity of 346 MW, so even if we assume that Mr Smith is optimistic, it would still only take a few years to replace Peat powered electricity with PV

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_power_stations_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland


except the 3 peat power stations you refer to are capable of producing when most needed - winter evenings. How much electricity do you reckon solar produces at the time of peak demand i.e. Wednesday 10th December at 17:30
http://www.eirgridgroup.com/site-files/ ... _FINAL.pdf

Solar works well for countries with lots of sun and lots of sun-related demand (i.e. for air-conditioning) - Ireland is further north than all of the contiguous United States - meaning that most American examples are not applicable ( I say this as most people seem to get their electrical engineering knowledge from Facebook these days)


I'm well aware of the problems with PV, but like it or not we signed up to the Paris climate agreement so subsiding burning peat to generate electricity is the dumbest thing we could be doing, its a lose lose situation, there is no up side, PV does at least have an upside

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:42 am 
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Joined: Jan 31, 2007
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the dude wrote:
slasher wrote:
the dude wrote:
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/solar-energy-and-climate-targets-1.3534834

Quote:
Sir, – The lack of joined-up thinking on meeting Ireland’s carbon emissions targets is captured perfectly in John FitzGerald’s analysis (Business Opinion, June 15th) of the recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report.
An immediate refocus of policy is urgently required that harnesses the potential of roof-top photovoltaic (PV) solar as the technology that can make a real difference to carbon emissions quickly. Homeowners, business and farmers are ready and willing to play a proactive role in adopting solar PV and micro-generation.
The Government should redirect 20 per cent of the existing public service obligation (PSO) levy charged to energy consumers and support those very same consumers to generate some of their own electricity requirements from rooftop or ground-mounted solar PV.
There is enough roof space to build out approximately 5,000 mw (megawatts) of solar PV, and with Government funding support of €100 million per year (equivalent to the current subsidy for inefficient peat-burning electricity generation), we would underpin the deployment of around 250 mw of electricity per year. That would displace well over a million tonnes of carbon per year. We could then say that we are serious about meeting our carbon emission targets. – Yours, etc,
PAT SMITH,
Micro-Renewable
Energy Federation,
The Capel Building,
Mary’s Abbey,
Dublin 7.


Wikipedia tells me that our 3 peat power stations have a total capacity of 346 MW, so even if we assume that Mr Smith is optimistic, it would still only take a few years to replace Peat powered electricity with PV

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_power_stations_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland


except the 3 peat power stations you refer to are capable of producing when most needed - winter evenings. How much electricity do you reckon solar produces at the time of peak demand i.e. Wednesday 10th December at 17:30
http://www.eirgridgroup.com/site-files/ ... _FINAL.pdf

Solar works well for countries with lots of sun and lots of sun-related demand (i.e. for air-conditioning) - Ireland is further north than all of the contiguous United States - meaning that most American examples are not applicable ( I say this as most people seem to get their electrical engineering knowledge from Facebook these days)


I'm well aware of the problems with PV, but like it or not we signed up to the Paris climate agreement so subsiding burning peat to generate electricity is the dumbest thing we could be doing, its a lose lose situation, there is no up side, PV does at least have an upside


Even the micro generators wouldn't exhibit most of their demand when they themselves are generating it so if you mandated local storage with PV installations it might smooth the curve - I've no idea how much that affects the cost efficiency but it's not positive. That's a lot of powerwalls.... and it doesn't fix the seasonality problem. Maybe a holistic approach - if the ground area around a wind turbine had equivalent PV capacity to the turbine - you get power 'hail or shine'.


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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:03 am 
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Some PV experience in Ireland. It generates throughout the year, oodles of it in the summer. With a powerwall or two from mid-April to mid-September I'd be effectively off grid, even on cloudy days. Even in the winter, there's a chunky reduction - up to 20% even in the depths of winter, and that's with an electric (geo-thermal) heating system.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:13 am 
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owenm wrote:
the dude wrote:
slasher wrote:

Wikipedia tells me that our 3 peat power stations have a total capacity of 346 MW, so even if we assume that Mr Smith is optimistic, it would still only take a few years to replace Peat powered electricity with PV

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_power_stations_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland


except the 3 peat power stations you refer to are capable of producing when most needed - winter evenings. How much electricity do you reckon solar produces at the time of peak demand i.e. Wednesday 10th December at 17:30
http://www.eirgridgroup.com/site-files/ ... _FINAL.pdf

Solar works well for countries with lots of sun and lots of sun-related demand (i.e. for air-conditioning) - Ireland is further north than all of the contiguous United States - meaning that most American examples are not applicable ( I say this as most people seem to get their electrical engineering knowledge from Facebook these days)


I'm well aware of the problems with PV, but like it or not we signed up to the Paris climate agreement so subsiding burning peat to generate electricity is the dumbest thing we could be doing, its a lose lose situation, there is no up side, PV does at least have an upside


Even the micro generators wouldn't exhibit most of their demand when they themselves are generating it so if you mandated local storage with PV installations it might smooth the curve - I've no idea how much that affects the cost efficiency but it's not positive. That's a lot of powerwalls.... and it doesn't fix the seasonality problem. Maybe a holistic approach - if the ground area around a wind turbine had equivalent PV capacity to the turbine - you get power 'hail or shine'.[/quote]
There are a number of solar projects (id estimate 0.5GW) in planning with attached storage in some cases (not sure on these figures). It clearly would be better to have grid scale storage. None or very few will be built without a sizable subsidy or until costs fall.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:07 pm 
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yoganmahew wrote:
Some PV experience in Ireland. It generates throughout the year, oodles of it in the summer. With a powerwall or two from mid-April to mid-September I'd be effectively off grid, even on cloudy days. Even in the winter, there's a chunky reduction - up to 20% even in the depths of winter, and that's with an electric (geo-thermal) heating system.

I have about 3.5Kw of PV and right now it provided 100% of the energy requirements between 2 hours after sunrise until 2 hours before sunset on most sunny days.
My next project is to install a windturbine with about 1Kw generating capacity, this should generate sufficient power for lighting most evenings then the batteries will come later.
I'm not planning to go off-grid, but I do want to be able to generate and store/consume up to 90% of my power requirements.

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:22 pm 
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dolanbaker wrote:
yoganmahew wrote:
Some PV experience in Ireland. It generates throughout the year, oodles of it in the summer. With a powerwall or two from mid-April to mid-September I'd be effectively off grid, even on cloudy days. Even in the winter, there's a chunky reduction - up to 20% even in the depths of winter, and that's with an electric (geo-thermal) heating system.

I have about 3.5Kw of PV and right now it provided 100% of the energy requirements between 2 hours after sunrise until 2 hours before sunset on most sunny days.
My next project is to install a windturbine with about 1Kw generating capacity, this should generate sufficient power for lighting most evenings then the batteries will come later.
I'm not planning to go off-grid, but I do want to be able to generate and store/consume up to 90% of my power requirements.

Have you looked at storage yet? A single large powerwall would do me, but the cost is still prohibitive (I've 6kw, so in the brighter months we switch to using the washing machine during the day. Like you, we cover everything for most of waking hours, heat as much water as we need with some of the excess and export to the grid; even on a cloudy day, it'll generate 1.5kw, more than enough to power the house and heat water).

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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:02 am 
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Joined: Aug 8, 2008
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Location: Cathair na dTreabh
Most of the residential suppliers are increasing their prices this summer by ~8%
However the PSO Levy is due to decrease by 45% pa from October https://www.bonkers.ie/blog/gas-electri ... -decrease/.


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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:00 pm 
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Grant of up to €3800 to install a solar PV and battery storage system in homes built before 2011
https://www.seai.ie/grants/home-grants/solar-pv/


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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:02 pm 
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temene wrote:
Grant of up to €3800 to install a solar PV and battery storage system in homes built before 2011
https://www.seai.ie/grants/home-grants/solar-pv/


Interesting. I'm looking at their maths here

Quote:
How long does it take for solar panels to payback the investment?
This depends on several factors like the direction and accessibility of your roof, your location in the country, and the amount you currently pay for your electricity. Using a typical system of 1.5kWp, you would get a grant of €1,050 and save about €200 a year in electricity. On average this would give a payback of around 9 years. Using a system of 3kWp, you would get a grant of €2,100 and save about €330 a year in electricity. On average this would give a payback of around 13 years.


1.5kWp: 200 a year savings x 9 years = 1,800 + 1,050 grant = 3,850 installation cost?

3kWp: 330 a year savings x 13 years = 4,290 + 2,100 grant = 6,390 installation cost?


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 Post subject: Re: Why isn't electricity cheaper?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:39 pm 
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Real Estate Developer
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Joined: Mar 25, 2008
Posts: 858
Location: North Dublin
temene wrote:
Grant of up to €3800 to install a solar PV and battery storage system in homes built before 2011
https://www.seai.ie/grants/home-grants/solar-pv/


Thanks for that! that might make things worthwhile....


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