Earth Day 2021 – Is solar the future?

Since the first official Earth Day in 1970, the movement has grown to an impressive size and is now recognised globally. The aims of Earth Day revolve around enacting a transformative change towards a more environmentally conscious society. A large part of this desired change is the move away from conventional heating sources that require fossil fuels – the UK is now at carbon emission levels not seen since 1888!

Renewable energy sources are also proving to be cheaper than their gas-burning power plant equivalents, so these savings will have an impact on your bills.  By discussing the effects of these energy sources on the planet, and your wallet, we’ll help you to decide what the best option is for you.

The rise of solar

In the almost 140 years since the first construction, solar panels have become a common sight on roofs across the nation. Whilst they didn’t initially catch on when Charles Fritts first invented them, this was due to their efficiency being limited to around 1% which made them unfeasible. Modern equivalents now average between 15 – 22% with the very latest claiming up to 44% efficiency, a huge increase in the amount of electricity that can be produced in a limited area. Building on this increase in efficiency, solar panels are the cheapest that they’ve ever been – down 60% compared to prices in 2010. This means a greater return on investment than ever before.

The cost of solar panels

To put this into more relatable figures, to power a standard three-bedroom house in the UK, you’ll need a 3-4Kw solar system which will set you back between £5,520 and £6,040 for installation. In addition, this will need at least 20 square metres of suitable roof space for a 3Kw system and 25 square metres for 4kw. In terms of the returns on investment, for a 4Kw system you can expect to be paid about £79/year by feeding your excess generated electric into the national grid. Combined with the savings to your existing energy bills, a standard repayment time is between 13 and 17 years in the UK. Given that the lifespan of solar panels is between 25 and 30 years, this will provide you with a conservative estimate of 8 years of profit, with a potential of up to 17 years!

Carbon emission savings

From an environmental perspective, this 4Kw solar system will be avoiding the release of around 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide yearly. This reduction of carbon emissions combined with the growing financial savings on offer makes the prospect of renewable energy more appealing than ever before. For this reason, with current predictions, the installation of these blue silicon panels will become more and more common as we head into the next decade.

There’s never been an easier Earth Day to start making a difference than today! To learn more about our renewables, click here.

Graphic showing the earth and different energy generation methods

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