Our Renewable Electricity Generation and Distribution System Abstract and Claims

The Patent Request applied for by Sustainable Lives Ltd, a company dedicated to creating a true cooperative sustainable energy generation and distribution system for the benefit of all, as well as domestic solar PV installation harrogate.

The overall goal of the sustainable energy patent application will be to facilitate the most productive use of Renewable Technology Resources (Labour and Hardware) as well as at the same time creating a more open, accessible and competitive energy industry. If effectively applied this strategy will eliminate fuel poverty and create a realistic platform for achieving the UK’s ambitions for CO2 omissions in accordance with the Kyoto Agreement.

The Schematic for a sustainable energy production and supply system of Electricity which will be facilitated by the “Renewable Energy Sharecropping Meter” along with cooperation and agreement from the Government, the National Grid, the District Network Operators (DNO’s) and the Technology companies will lead to the most effective utilisation of expansion capital supplied by the general public. The foundation to the system links the functional, maintenance and management optimisation benefits associated with commercial farming methods directly to the benefits of having a private micro generating system installed on your own property.

Below is the outlined technical functions of the metering device needed in order to develop the scheme of Sustainable energy Sharecropping in conjunction with the Government’s Policy of the” Feed in Tariff Scheme”.

That being the interoperability of a metering system capable of effectively measure the useage of electricity produced and used from a privately owned micro generating unit located inside a commercial installation and also having the features to account for surpluses being Fed back into the network whilst at the same time being able to calculate any additional electricity usage which is over and above that which is created by the private micro generation plot. At the same time complying with the Government’s policy of the Energy Act 2008 and the terms and conditions associated with the Feed In Tariff.

The” RENEWABLE ENERGY SHARECROPPING METER SWITCHING CIRCUIT” will be located within an electricity usage calculating device and will be activated by the use of a chip and pin card given by the Green energy company under the authorisation of the Government in conjunction with agreement from the District Network operator. The data on the card itself will communicate and access directly a central managed database storing information associated with the feed in tariff contract, signed by the individual based on the number of KW/h his installation generates and the Feed in Tariff rates his contract attaches to that produced electricity. Thereby on a functional basis reducing his balance from the account belonging to the card (when in use) on the central database and most importantly switching the circuit to bypass the Distribution Network Operator Meter within the device. The switching mechanism circuit will be initiated to close when either the balance on the card becomes zero or its attempted useage is outside of the terms of its use, thereby redirecting the supply to initiate the Distribution Network Operator Meter to start counting Kw/h units used within the households normal supply contract with the DNO.

The conceptual past to this patent application is based on the benefits relevant with the practice of sharecropping embedded within a competitive marketplace by directly attaching the rights and distribution to the output of the crop (In this case Alternative energy Electricity) directly back to the owning individual within defined limits for his own personal useage and for that reason outside of the taxation system. This concept falls in line with the Governments current policy with regard to the benefits obtainable from the current feed in tarrif system.

This project specification capability will result in a secure and much superior application of resources currently being utilised within the system of the current feed in tariff system and effectively benefit even those unable at present to invest directly through making the energy markets more competitive and hence lowering prices.

The enviromental benefits of Renewable Energy technology need no explanation here and it goes without question that commercial farming techniques makes for a greatly enhanced effective use of assets.The system illustrated above by means of bringing together a number of operational, business and technology based processes will revolutionise the distribution of Alternative energy.

The following article will attempt to answer the question as to whether the modern capitalist world in which we live will ever be able to embrace the concept of a Sustainable Energy System.

The following article will attempt to answer the question as to whether the modern capitalist world in which we live will ever be able to embrace the concept of a Sustainable Energy System.

Germany the European leaders in the move towards implementing domestic and commercial solar panel systems as the preferred method for providing energy for the future are this year experiencing how a reliance on Solar technology can go very economically wrong. What had begun as a bold experiment in re-balancing energy sources has resulted in a developing economic pricing crisis which has begun to stifle economic development.

This winter output from solar panel installations has been particularly low and Germany has found itself in a position with little choice than to import high cost nuclear generated power from neighboring countries. Furthermore, in the face of the highest energy costs in Europe the government is even opening taboo fuel oil generators to make up the power slack.

A move against fracking has prevented the development of domestic unconventional gas, leaving the country dependent once again on importing volume, primarily from Russia. The overall result being energy rates which are now projected to go up radically. Moreover, this is on top of the already high prices being paid in order for the German energy companies to re-coupe the massive subsidies which they have been paying to fund the feed in tariff system.

So here we have it, the leading renewable energy country in Europe on the verge of being consumed by the economics of restricted oligarchical supply of conventional fossil and nuclear fuels combined with the relative inelastic demand of fuel requirements of a cold dark winter which cannot be supplied from a predominant renewable mix of solar power.

So what can we learn from the situation in Germany? And most importantly what is the mix of energy provision for Sustainability within the economic environment in which we live?

There is no doubt whatsoever as to the way in which energy suppliers intend to re-coupe their costs of the feed in tariff system. They simply raise the tariffs which they charge all of their customers. This has to be done in order to maintain their bottom line profitability, share-price and dividend forecast and for this reason alone it makes perfect sence for the feed in tariff not to be at a level higher than the average per KW/h of standard supply electricity. However, in addition to the per KW/h price inflation pressure of suppliers having to service feed in tariff payments to those who will continue to benefit from the 43p initial rate there are 2 other crucial factors creating real economic problems associated with solar panel systems.

Firstly the feed in tariff of installed systems only increases every year in line with the retail price index and not the inflation index of electricity (which currently and historically for the last 20 years has been substantially more than the former). Therefore, in the context of the current feed in tariff rate being 15.44p per Kw/h (which is less than the current average cost of standard supply per KW/h), not only is there an immediate disparity between the price at which you sell the electricity that you generate (perhaps justifiably  and that which you buy. However, most significantly on a year by year basis the gap between what you are paid for your generated electricity and that which you buy from your supplier will continue to increase disproportionately in the favor of the supplier. Unfortunately this economic policy can only result in a continuous round of price rises by the big suppliers as more solar systems are installed as there is no antagonistic mechanism in place (primarily due to the relatively inelastic demand of energy) which results in a reduced revenue flow from increasing prices.

Secondly and most importantly the above coupled to the nature of the way domestic solar systems operate means a household even with a larger system installed will rarely cut their need to purchase electricity from their energy supplier by more than 25%. Therefore, in the context of the feed in tariff system any forecast of profits from installations will simply be eaten away by electricity price inflation.

So has the feed in tariff system been a success?

In order to kick start an industry without doubt it has, but moving forward without alteration it will do nothing but become a burden on everyone but the shareholders of the energy companies for the reasons already discussed.

So what is the solution?

Without destroying or altering the framework of the feed in tariff system altogether the answer would be to at the very least have the feed in tariff pegged against a weighted electricity inflation rate in order that it is not possible for the energy suppliers to simply inflation depreciate the value of feed in tariff payments and also to act as an antagonistic mechanism to restrict price increases. This in isolation would protect those individuals who already have systems installed and any future households who have systems installed. It is also worth pointing out here that should there be a decrease in the electricity price index then this would also be reflected. A second alternative would be to do away with the economics altogether and keep it simple. I have always been one to believe that the simple solution to a problem is usually the best. If you produce 3000 kw/hrs per year but use 4000 kw/h per year then you pay for 1000 kw/h and a fixed service charge. However, for some reason within the confines of a capitalist system this just won’t do and the reason for this everybody, lets just hold our breath for a moment, is that once you take away the connection to the monetary system and differing inflation rates the figures cannot be manipulated in the favor of capitalism but work in the favor of society.

All well and good i may hear many of you say but what of those people who don’t have a roof over their head which allows them the privilege of protecting themselves? And what will the landscape be after 20 or 25 years when the contracts end?

There are many commercial installations around the country which are yet to get off the drawing board due to a lack of private investment capital available. Why not allow private individuals to invest in these projects utilizing some kind of personal allowance for which they would be able to receive an electrical credit each year corresponding to the size of investment or a personal feed in tariff rate attributable to their own small % of ownership or even better implement a solar energy project such as that proposed by Sustainable Energy and Heating Systems Ltd which is currently at the publication stage with the Intellectual property office in the UK.

As to the matter of the length of time associated with the feed in tariff contracts. That may well be discussed in the next article but for all your solar panel installer needs please do not hesitate to contact us.

A design to make the Energy markets truly competitive and Environmentally Friendly with the ultimate goal of Eliminating Fuel Poverty and Minimising CO2 pollution.

It is recommended that prior to reading the rest of this article that you first view the system overview so as to clarify the overall structure presented in a simple to understand manor.

What follows is the overview of a patent application which has been published and is awaiting confirmation by the Intellectual Property office in the UK that could potentially create a better world for everyone.

The overview outlines a generation and distribution system of Renewable Electricity which with the use of the “Renewable Energy Sharecropping Meter” combines the functional, maintenance and management optimisation benefits of commercial farming methods directly with the current benefits of owning a private micro generating system.

The overall objective of this patent application is to promote the most effective use of Renewable Technology Resources (Labour and Hardware) whilst at the same time creating a more open, accessible and competitive energy marketplace.  If effectively implemented this system will eliminate fuel poverty and create a realistic platform for meeting the UK’s targets for CO2 omissions in line with the Kyoto Agreement.

The conceptual background to this patent application is based on the benefits associated with the practice of sharecropping embedded within a competitive marketplace by directly attaching the rights and distribution to the output of the crop (In this case Renewable Energy Electricity) directly back to the owning individual within defined limits for his own personal usage and therefore outside of the monetary and taxation system.
This design specification functionality will result in a secure and much improved application of resources currently being utilised within the framework of the current feed in tariff system and ultimately benefit even those unable at present to invest directly by way of making the energy markets more competitive and hence lowering prices.

The environmental benefits of Solar Energy technology need no explanation here and it goes without question that commercial farming methodology makes for a greatly improved effective use of resources. This system by means of bringing together a number of operational, business and technology based processes through the design and functionality of the technology based hardware of the metering system proposed will revolutionise the distribution of Renewable energy within the current network of companies operating within the industry. This proposal itself is primarily geared to the Solar Industry but the systems, processes and application of the metering system could equally be applied to any Renewable Energy Technology Company feeding Electricity into the National Grid.

Below is the defined technical functionality of the metering device required in order to develop the scheme of Renewable Energy Sharecropping in conjunction with the Government’s Policy of the” Feed in Tariff Scheme”.

That being the interoperability of a metering system able to effectively measure the usage of electricity produced and used from a privately owned micro generating unit located within a commercial installation and also having the functionality to account for surpluses being Fed back into the network whilst at the same time being able to measure any additional electricity usage which is over and above that which is produced by the private micro generation plot. At the same time complying with the Government’s policy of the Energy Act 2008 and the terms and conditions associated with the Feed In Tariff.

The schematic diagrams within this application outline the business process design, the system functionality requirements and most importantly the functional design of the technology hardware necessary to implement the scheme of “Renewable Energy ISA Sharecropping”. (Theoretically at least this system could be applied to the promotion of the renewable energy industry on a global level, being “Tweaked” where necessary in order to be embedded in any political economy and electrical supply structure.)

To date the current Government framework for promoting Micro generation by individual households has been predominantly via private installations, fixed to private homes with produced electricity being utilised for their own private consumption and surpluses being sold back to the Distribution Network Operator. This policy was set out in the Government Energy Act in 2008 and has been a success in getting the ball rolling with regard to the overall implementation of Micro generation.

However, the inherently high costs of installing this technology individually onto peoples homes means that it is highly unlikely that the targets which we have set ourselves with regard to such aspects as the KYOTO agreement will be achieved under the present system.

Why and How the Government in conjunction with the Big Energy Suppliers Sacrificed Thousands Of Jobs In The Solar PV Industry.

This review of the Solar PV Installation industry was written by myself (Simon Hamblett) shortly after it was announced that the Feed InTariff Rates would be reduced to 21 pence per KW/h in a timeframe which was substantially altered from that which was originally scheduled by the government. Following on from this article i will be publishing another with details of how the industry has been affected by this radical change in policy and finally details of the patent application which i have pending. This application outlines a potential solution of how best to alter the structure of the energy industry in such a way as to create a platform for competition and a realistic opportunity for regular families and individuals to benefit from investing in Renewable Energy.

It seems ironic to me that the 31st of October 2011 after months of planning, deliberation and money invested on training for a new career in the Renewable Energy Industry I finally sat down to focus on looking for my first position working in the industry.

Yes I’d been sold on the concept. A government backed initiative in its origins (“The feed in tariff!”)  to save the world from the global impact of CO2 pollution, global warming,  a strong policy enabling Britain to catch up with it’s European counterparts and on an international scale to give Britain a firm foundation for making good those targets set by the Kyoto agreement.

Understanding the current state of our stagflation impacted economy and an unstable to say the least coalition government I truly felt after reviewing the progressive and responsible staggered reduction of the feed in tariff over the next few years that the Solar PV industry (my primary focus initially) would be a safe and reliable investment. Not the case unfortunately if we see things play out as the energy companies would ideally like. Instead we have recently seen the media systematically destroy the very fabric of the environmental  and informed economic argument by outlining a simple one dimensional story,  “Energy company customers without renewable energy generating technology in place (such as Solar PV) are in fact paying the investment returns of those that have by way of the feed in tariff”

However, rather than simply taking this story on face value should we not consider promoting the real economic and political agenda which needs little more than a basic understanding of  economics and how big business seeks to control political policy through its use of the media in order to grasp its origins and ultimate conclusions. This is far from a new story but never has there been a better showcase to outline the corruption and lengths people in positions of power and authority will go to in order to perpetuate their standing.

Energy companies and their shareholders have a vested interest in maintaining the current status quo over the energy prices and profit margins. This is a simple fact (would any shareholder of a major energy company cast a supporting vote for a board of directors that didn’t ensure their investment returns were performing well and secured sustainable profits into the future? NO) and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that Ofgem the regulatory body has failed in its capacity to achieve a truly competitive energy marketplace. If it had we wouldn’t  keep seeing the constant levels of price rises we see every year.

The reality is, we’re dealing with the truest form of an oligopoly know to the planet which makes regulation virtually impossible and if there’s a single person currently reading this article who actually believes that the senior executives of these very same energy companies don’t communicate with each other at board level in order to set price levels in a self serving interest both for financial benefits and to maintain the organisational power structure within the industry then you need to stop and think for a moment.

Who does it really benefit to strangle the forward march of a realistic competitor to the current energy companies and who are the people who can currently make a stance and turn the marketplace into a truly competitive industry?

Please hold that thought as the economic and political roadmap that follows will answer this very question whilst at the same time justifying why this whole rational to cut the feed in tariff from it’s previously planned reductions to a revised level of 21p/Kwh by the 12th of December 2011 has been enacted by the current Conservative government majority.

The original tariffs were put in place in order to protect a fledgling industry, to give it time to develop for the greater good of all and specifically to encourage those people who could afford to make a capital investment to do so based on the rational and widely taught product life cycle theory that over time this investment would result in technology cost reductions and ultimately access to this technology by the greater part of society. Lets just take the computer industry and the flat screen TV market as two prime examples (how many homes in the UK are without these today regardless of household income?)  and lets for one moment presuppose that the manufacturing giants are on the verge of developing production models which could allow the same targets to be achieved without any support of a feed in tariff but just requiring  access to an electricity grid in order to support the characteristics of Solar PV’s  very nature of power generation.

The answer is simple as far as the energy companies are concerned, it needs to be stopped or the very nature and profitability of their business model will have to change forever!

When the feed in tariff was enacted by the previous Labour government a continued uncertainty still existed as to whether the technology companies could deliver a realistic alternative to fossil fuels and little attention was really given to the industry by the energy bosses as a serious competitor. In addition to this any negative PR directed at the Renewables sector at the time would simply have done nothing more than confirm the generally held  opinion that the only inerest these giant organisations held was to continue their pursuit of profits at the cost of the depletion of our fossil fuel reserves with little regard for trying to solve our well documented ecological problems.

However, what we have witnessed since then and withstanding the current economic environment is a rapid growth and a potential explosion in the industry backed up by recent installations exhibiting returns of between 10-15%, primarily due to the improvements in the underlying technology and reductions in unit costs brought about by mass production and economies of scale. Caused most significantly by the very nature of a truly competitive solar PV energy market created by the vast array of solar panel manufacturers and installers competing with each other.

This investment return potential has increased at a rate that neither the government nor the energy companies themselves could have foreseen, as a result of which, linked to the fact that the political landscape has changed radically since the feed in tariff was enacted the energy executives decided the time was right to make their move to undermine the industry. Utilising a sophisticated PR strategy,  manipulating the press and media in an anti Feed In Tariff campaign in order to destroy the protection it was designed to give the industry at it’s inception. Their campaign has been so swift and effective in its timing and magnitude through its use of the media that it has effectively managed to influence the opinion of the growing financially marginalised households in the UK, by highlighting the feed in tariff as the root cause of much of their energy price rises.

The reality which truly needs to be highlighted is that there is no serious justifiable accounting and profit related rational at this point to support this and that the real cost per household is only a couple of pounds per year. In fact the very same energy produced by Solar PV in domestic installations is bought at 3p/KWh from the microgenerator and sold to those who elect to purchase it for a premium as quoted by eon of  27.657p/kWh for the first 225 kWh per quarter followed by 13.598p/kWh thereafter.

Without doubt this massive anti renewable marketing campaign has specifically highlighted  this technology as a them and us political weapon. Them who can afford it and them who cannot and whom are being marginalised by the increased cost of their bills due to the rebates paid out by the energy companies required by the feed in tariffs.

What they have failed to publicly market is exactly the additional cost per household in order to put it into perspective and that this small contribution in the short term will ultimately lead to the freedom of the masses (in what may well be a far shorter time frame than we anticipated) from price fixing through complex influences of controlling supply in an energy marketplace characterised by inelastic demand (a characteristic of economic supply and demand theory where the amount people consume is changed very little in relation to the increase in it’s price) in the long term.

In fact to go just one step further as renewable technology rolls out, the energy companies will be forced to re-evaluate their own pricing structure and become more competitive by reducing prices and therefore benefiting everyone.

Solar  technology whilst advanced in it’s scientific design is little more complicated than fixing a radiator to a wall and I would go as far as saying that anyone with a normal adult brain can be easily trained to work in small teams to do so. The most significant aspect to this whole debate is the absolute movement of labour away from supporting the continued existence of the energy companies in their present form to an industry which we are now 100% sure can grow, survive and be competitive. Indeed many people have already made the jump, me included.

I would love to have faith on an economic and socio-political level to believe that there has been foresight enough by the present government to arrange for the energy company executives along with the solar pv manufacturing companies to sit down around a table with those in power to assess if the industry can indeed withstand a cut of this magnitude in such a short time-frame. However, more importantly were the original reductions and continued phasing out of the feed in tariff not specifically put in place in order for companies and individuals to effectively plan business strategy for their payback on investment through future forecast cash flows. Unfortunately,without doubt there are many new companies out there which will be forced to adjust their cost structure accordingly and redundancies are likely.

However, in a political domain currently characterised by the need for cheap support and votes the government in its capacity has failed to rally and publicise the true long term impact and go against the tide of the financial might of the energy companies but use the path of least resistance for their own cheap gains in votes.

The anti Feed In Tariff campaign has been so effective in it’s implementation through the PR mechanism that the reaction by the government can only be viewed as rolling with the media tide in the quest for winning these votes from the very marginalised households that the original policy was intended to help liberate from fuel poverty in the first place.

It is my opinion that the reaction within the industry will be one of a sustained approach to achieving reductions in capital costs and performance improvements of panels and inverters by the manufacturers in line with feed in tariff reductions, thus making access to the technology more affordable. However, it does have to be highlighted that there does exist a price level at which the equipment will simply not fall below based on production cost factors and demand driven by the commercial installation sector which through its operational efficiency is now not far from achieving grid price parity with non renewable sources.

When this point is reached which is probably not that far away, coupled with the continued feed in tariff reductions, unless the system capacity output itself is capable of making a significant reduction on the amount of electricity bought by the household from their existing supplier then the installation will simply prove to be nothing more than a small scale financial investment decision within a false economy where this return will simply be compensated for by another round of price rises by the energy companies.

It remains to be seen where the cut off point finally materialises as to the minimum domestic system size which will need to be installed in order to act as an effective protection measure against continued energy price inflation. However, unless we see massive efficiency improvements of domestic appliances i would suggest that ultimately when the feed in tariff reaches its minimum level over the next few years anything less than a 3.68 Kw grid tied domestic system (which is the maximum permittable by the distribution network operators) should recieve careful consideration as to it’s economic and functional viability.

Written By Simon Hamblett ( simonhamblett@solar-panel-installs.com )

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