This post is done with the understanding that I am correct in my research.If there are mistakes, please notify me so I can rectify them.
In the last eight years or so, the local government, following our much argued entry into the European Union, has been given grants from the same union to distribute among those who would like to apply for enhanced tariffs and set-up costs in purchasing a Photovoltaic Array… or, as commonly known in Malta, Solar Panels.
There have been a number of differing contracts and regulations to entice a home-user with a free roof to install these panels. As a discerning man who has a fond eye for saving energy, this was a no-brainer for me.
I would get the grant, and instead of paying ARMS for the electricity, I would pay the same (or lesser) amount to a local bank. At a 0% interest rate, I figured that it was a safe bet. And it was, because in these past years, my bill HAS indeed shrunk down to nearly 0.
However, at that time, the cost of each unit (after the agreed upon grant would expire), was talked about as being 16c5, and in my thoughts, I said ”hmm… from 22c to 16c5, that’s still quite decent”. So, I went and applied for the grant and had superb service from them… (solarsolutions.com.mt)
Sadly, the government has shocked everyone with the recently introduced new ‘marginal tariff’.
And that marginal tariff, is, shockingly… 7c5 per unit.
So let me explain this clearly with an example.
In 2018, my panels generated 4190kw… For that amount, I received a Feed in Tariff rate of 22c per kw.
The maths is easy 4190 x 22c = 92180c, or €921.80
With current pricing, that amount will now be… 4190 x 7c5 = €314.25
For that price, I would never ever have given up so much space from my roof. Of course, one could build a structure and what not, but these all add to the price which would thus take longer to recoup.
So, from now, on IF anybody is going to install PV Panels, do yourselves a favour, and go only for NON SPONSORED units. That way, you can negotiate a 20 year contract. I CERTAINLY did not know that this was an option at the time of signing as I would have made a different decision.
So, thankfully there is a second option, which, might perhaps make a bit more sense, and this is partial sell. With partial sell, you are using the direct output of the panels in real time, and whatever is left, is sold to the government at the same pitiful 7c5 marginal cost.
I honestly think that whatever decision was taken, 7c5 is too little, as it sincerely makes the whole undertaking pretty much useless. Who does all this work for a pittance of €290 per annum?
Ok, Partial Sell. This means that with PS, those who are at home between ‘sunlight hours’, (not to be confused with daylight hours!) say 10am to 5pm, will be using the self generated energy to power their homes. It is a fair practice in my opinion, as long as someone IS indeed at home. BUT!!! What use could this possibly be to those families in which all members are at work in the morning?
Personally, this will be ok for me since invariably, with everybody except myself being a regular at home at odd hours, our electricity bills tend to be on the high side.
The energy not utilised (in the old way, exported) will be then sold to the government at the lower priced 7c. From the graph below, for my system, I will have to instruct whoever is at home that washing machines, cookers, toasters, dishwashers and anything remotely connected to a plug should be mostly switched on between 10 o’clock-ish up to 5pm… (SO not happening!)
As for the horribly hot nights we endure in Malta, I will have to start paying premium costs once again. It is not even a question that needs to be asked. Most people use the larger majority of their electricity during the night…
And now, my personal opinion. This sucks on so many levels, it is unreal. Instead of the government agreeing that this is a splendid solution for Malta, we go and cripple owners in such a bad way that it makes it all worthless.
At the first sign of a panel going wonky, then one would do well to just chuck everything outside… because going to a landfill would be too expensive.
Hardly any wonder that some local sites are selling panels at knock-down prices.
I think that this should have been thought out in a better way… such as, leave out the ”in real time” , and simply dock the panels generated amount from that used during the day.
So if my panels generate 16 units, and I use 19 units on that day, then I will simply pay for 3 units. Without obliging people to use their appliances at certain times of day. Of course, it would be stupid to think of any government doing anything for the people, so that is probably not going to happen. This is daft.
Because when one considers how much money Malta is still losing out on from the EU, citizens investing in renewable energy should be encouraged… not chopped on the neck. And THIS idiocy is why we remain ‘only in malta’
Let’s see how things proceed.