Operation Requirements and Costs for a PV System
From the above list we will examine a PV Panel Array, as fitted to the roof of a standard four-bedroom house in the south of England.
PV panels operate best in bright sunshine, however the still operate under cloudy conditions, albeit at reduced output. Their output is rated in peak power (kWp) as measured in bright sunshine and this rating is used to calculate the amount of panels to meet your house electricity consumption.
The panels are normally fitted to the building's roof. At present there are many designs which are ergonomic, blending in with existing roof tiles or slates, and there are no planning applications required for fitting PV panels, although listed buildings can sometimes be an exception.
The PV panels produce DC electricity which must be converted to grid AC current using an inverter. Inverters run notoriously hot, some giving off fumes, so make sure they are located in a ventilated area (garage?) There will also be a special electricity meter(s) required to handle power generated, power consumed, and power exported, however the whole of the UK is changing over to "smart meters"’ in the next few years, so this one meter will do all the above operations.
Although feed in tariffs have been widely subscribed to in Europe, the USA are lagging behind. It would appear that the USA government decision makers prefer to rely on previous schemes to reduce fossil fuel use such as tax incentives, subsidies and grants, for users of renewable energy devices. The solar industry in particular has received massive funding for development and grant aid for users.
However, some states such as Florida are implementing a version of FITs, where the local supplier is offering $0.32 per kWh for electricity generated and used by a renewable source, being guaranteed for 20 years.
Vermont has joined Florida, and other states including Michigan, New York, and Wisconsin have indicated a definite interest in FITs.
Energy Saving Trust UK - Feed In Tariff (Clean Engergy Cashback) scheme
Renewable Energy World - FIT Coalition Launches North America Campaign