Launch of APSE's new research publication 'the virtuous green circle: creating a revolving fund for local authority solar energy', at Birmingham City Football Club. The report demonstrates a business case as to how you can undertake renewables projects in local government on a self financing basis.
In opening the conference my role was to place this in the context of the financial cuts facing local government at present. My emphasis is that for local government this is the one bright shining light at the end of a long dark tunnel of cuts.
David Owen an expert on Solar Photovoltaic energy followed me along with Stephen Cirell who is the author of the APSE report, Steve pursued a line that any authority who are not looking at this at present are missing out as it is the only game in town with in excess of a 17% return on investment. He added that he believed in this so strongly that he had a 4kw system fitted on his own house the day before.
Neil Saunders from Swindon Commercial Services gave a first class insight into how you develop a financial model for this type of project. In the afternoon Tim German of Cornwall Council spoke about the programme of Solar PV that they are pursuing on non domestic properties and Jonathan Edwards presented on the scheme Wrexham BC are rolling out on their council housing.
The debate flowed with great enthusiasm all day with a straw poll identifying that around 80% of the audience were already engaged in developing Solar PV programmes. The message is definitely getting through on this, now all we need to do is to get the Government not to tinker with the feed in tariffs.