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Solar photovoltaics (PV)

These systems which are often seen as solar panels or solar roof tiles, use energy from sunlight to generate electricity which can be used to run appliances and lighting.

The greater the intensity of light, the greater the generation of electricity.

  • Panels are not light and installation will be subject to the strength of your roof
  • These systems are best suited for a building with a south facing wall or roof and with minimal shading
  • Systems must be MCS (Microgeneration Certificate Scheme) approved and be fitted by experienced MCS accredited installers
  • PV production has been increasing by an average of more than 20 percent each year since 2002 making it a fast growing energy technology

Cost and maintenance
A typical domestic system is around 2.2 kilowatt-peak units in size and would produce over 40 percent of the electricity needed for a domestic home. A 2.2 kilowatt-peak unit system would cost around £12,500, or between £5000 and £7500 per kilowatt-peak unit.

Solar tiles are more expensive than conventional panels. Once installed there are no running costs, but the inverter may need replacing after 8 to 10 years.

Financial help
This system is eligible for the Feed In Tariff.

Planning permission
For more information about whether you will need planning permission, see renewable energy planning advice for householders.

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