Southern Water are harnessing sun-power and reducing their carbon footprint by installing more than 15,000 solar panels at three of their sites.

Greenpeace reports that recent government cuts to the solar industry have already triggered an estimated 12,000 job losses. But now it’s been revealed the government could allow a huge new tax hike to be inflicted on the industry, one that could leave businesses and schools that install solar panels with a tax bill that's up to 8 times higher.

Last year’s 10:10 petition for onshore wind gave them a foot in the door. The government were non-committal, but they weren’t entirely cold on the future of clean energy either.

Greenpeace have just found out that the government is about to attack solar power yet again. Unbelievably, ministers are planning to hit schools and businesses that invest in solar power with huge tax hikes.

For upto date Feed-Tariff rates, please go here.

Here are the basic details from the Energy Saving Trust:

Government proposals for very large cuts to the feed-in tariff which supports solar and other small scale renewable energy have been widely criticised. The plans to slash support for solar would leave companies high and dry and cause an extra 1.6 million tonnes of carbon to be pumped into the atmosphere. Take action now.

West Solent Solar Cooperative is aiming to raise £2.2 million through a share offer, to build a community-owned solar farm on a 12 acre old gravel-pit site near the sea in Lower Pennington, Lymington.

The number of PV installations has grown dramatically around the world, and due to the value of equipment in solar installations, they’ve become the target of theft. The good news is there are many ways to deter theft and insure against it. See here for the full article.

There is cause for some optimism as more effort is used to harness wind power and other sources of renewable energy around the world. For more information, see the news stories below.

Solar power

Trials in the Netherlands and US are looking at the possibility of using roads as a source of solar energy. Conventional asphalt roads can also be used to harvest solar energy, in the form of heat. Even in northern European sunshine, surface temperatures on black asphalt can reach 50˚C.

Two Solar PV calculators are available. Visit either or

For those who want to go into a bit more detail with planning. This Excel-based programme lets you calculate the output of renewable energy systems more precisely, with loads of standard templates loaded to get you started. Used by professional installers, and also free!

An excellent free online book with a good introduction to the topics as well as lots of technical information and calculation tools.

An overview of the independent generation market in Great Britain.

The former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, Sir David King, has said of the new book by Professor David Mackay ‘Sustainable Energy – without the hot air’ that it ‘sets out with enormous clarity and objectivity the various alternative low carbon pathways that are open to us’. 

Parent topic

This section is about large scale renewable energy schemes. If you are looking for information about renewable energy in your home, please go to our Home Energy section.


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