Peter Kruger's blog

Green Deal or a Bad Deal

The Green Deal is a sector wide initiative just like the NHS’s National Program for IT, only minus the massive funding. In fact funding for the Green Deal is no more complex than a railway franchise. So what can possibly go wrong?

Free Electricity from PV Solar – Trick or Treat?

”Free electricity,” Said the householders for the sixth time. The phrase was being repeated like a mantra throughout the testimonial for their PV solar installer. “It was up and running in just one day, and now we can enjoy ‘free electricity’” (seventh time.) There was no mention of the feed in tariff subsidy: perhaps the deal they got involved the installer keeping the government handout. In that case the householder was left with just their ‘free electricity’ and this, after all, is how solar PV will be marketed post government subsidy.

Moore’s Law and Photovoltaics – Why Solar Panels Are Different From Semiconductors

Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. For ‘number of transistors’ read ‘processing power’ and you have a road map for a silicon based device that becomes increasingly more cost effective over time. It was tempting to believe the same would hold true with photovoltaic devices and that over time these too would provide more watts per square metre and hence more watts per Dollar or Euro.

The Summer That Put Solar Energy In The Shade

We have had a few laughs in the past at the expense of the PV installation industry. Solar panels on the north wall of a multi-story car park (wrong on so many levels) being one such example. And there are plenty of real life cases of inappropriately placed panels. However this year quite a few installers installed panels in an extremely shady place – the UK. According to the Met Office this summer has been the second wettest on record, which has cast a long shadow over the country’s rooftop power station.

Big Renewable Energy Ideas for Tall Buildings

The use of renewable energy in the building sector is currently dominated by the application of solar domestic hot water and PV systems in single-family houses. This project, which as it has no UK partners is less well known here, is aimed at buildings with a small roof area compared to the floor area (“high-rise buildings”) and for existing buildings that generally have a higher energy demand than new buildings. The project addresses some of the issues that need to be addressed if urban heat islands are to be illuminated; for example:-

Architects Sharman Knowles Help Brighten Up The Dull End Of The House Market

Gable ends are usually the least attractive aspect of a building - they are also an underused source of renewable energy. Now we have teamed up with architects Sharman and Knowles to address both these issues. A series of designs have been drawn up that turn our passive solar energy system into a feature that will be suitable for both new build houses and house extensions. more...

Making Renewable Energy Pay its Way

26th April 2012

Prime Minister David Cameron has said energy should be sustainable from the point of view of both its environmental and economic cost. This will prove difficult, as the environmental cost of fossil fuel is seldom included in the price a consumer pays when they turn up the heating. The renewable energy industry has found itself at the wrong end of a steeply sloped playing field.