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20 year payback for PV installations

Dear Sir,

Regarding your article page 3 in the 16 November issue, you refer to the government reference to a 30% reduction in the cost of solar panels. As there is no time period on this, it has no meaning.

Cigarettes have gone up by 700% (since 1965), but petrol has only gone up 0.5% (since last Tuesday).

Basing the cost make up of a solar panel installation as being equal thirds; material + labour + overhead & profit. This would mean that the cost of the panels would be around £4k on a typical £12k installation.

A ‘30%’ reduction would mean that the material cost has fallen by only £1.k. (again, since when). The current cost of the total job is now around £11k. If the payback was estimated at 10-years at 43.3p/Kw., at 21p, its in the region of 20-years.

With such tidal changes that we expect of the government, I believe end users, will wait until the next ‘sale’, we’ve all got used to not paying full price, because we know at some stage there will be a special offer.

At a 20-year payback, are they really viable?


Derek Stokes