An explanation into new Feed in Tariffs

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.

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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…

panels2And 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.

Busy Saturday!

Yeah, I know, Sunday today, but I thought I would pause to let some of yesterday’s many surprises sink in.

First of all we had the Amon Amarth tickets booked. My daughter, being an ardent Metal fan like myself, was over the moon, and I have to admit that I have longed to see the band live.

The fact that the show is in Italy, a few minutes away from the airport is a great bonus, as are the Ryanair flights directly to Bologna.

Following that was the excellent news that our dear friend Franco will be joining us for the show.

A meeting was thus necessary and it was to be that we watched the Juventus – Atalanta match together. An easy 3-1 win and a pleasant chat (some chat – 4 hours!), and it reminded me of how we have bonded so much over the years. A true friend indeed.

Another huge shock was seeing Rachel walk up the stairs in a daze, holding a brand new iPhone7 in her hands… Her boyfriend saw fit to buy her a new phone as the old one’s battery was barely holding up.

At night then, I had the, uh.. unexpected pleasure of having to sleep on the sofa with our two cats who were terrified of the lightning and thunder which hit the islands. I slept all crooked and a number of claw marks decorate my arms and chest. Still, they were like hot water bottles, and I love them… so what can I say really?

The wife seems to be coming down with a tummy bug, and has made the bathroom her dominion for the time being. It means no going out on Sunday, but I can take it. I love my TV room, my computers, YouTube in the background on my splendid XBOX ONE … it will provide ample rest and to continue work on my ‘movie project’ for the time being.

Have a great Sunday!

Live Long and Prosper

Oh happy start…

More often then not, mornings for me are a nervy start to the day. I am quiet, withdrawn and regularly in pain from the damned RA and AS conditions I have. So one can imagine that I am not the best person to have a happy conversation with.

But when I arrive at work, get out of the car and look in the direction of Zejtun, to be greeted by these beautiful ‘paintings’ (for want of a better word), things suddenly start to look better…

Gorgeous hardly begins to describe the images…

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Looking towards Zejtun… 6.30am

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Looking towards Zejtun, with a famous quote…

Horribly bad January 2012

It is the end of January, and I am finally heading back to work after the Christmas holidays. Yeah, I know, it might sound strange, but the sad fact is that I have been extremely ill.

Well it didn’t start on the first, it was a week later, but by then I had already two days of holiday and a day off to hospital for regular checkup time. Apart from finding my cholesterol level a bit high, I was not in too bad a shape… or so the doctor said. I told him that I was truly fessed up and could not really move much.

So when I went back to work on a Friday (6th) the whole bloody factory staff was sneezing, sniffling, or parping into a hanky! None more so than my boss who is a hunting addict(!!!!). This induced me to believe I got this damn infection from him.

Monday 9th I was already ‘on the way’….but Tuesday, boy, was THAT an eye-opener or what…I was so sick that I was literally aching everywhere. I thought it was a little cold, so when the doc said that I would spend the rest of the week indoors, I kind of laughed at him!!! Well the joke was on me as my coughing fits became so strong that I used to lose my senses and pass out.

Frighteningly, this happened to me three times, in which on one occasion I fell specatacularly flat on my face from the sofa, smashing my glasses with my face as my head made contact with the tiles! God it was so scary, coming to, gaining consciousness out of the foggy recesses of my mind…

So yeah, I was very weak and come Sunday, I was not too sure I would go in back to work..In fact on Monday I called my doctor back…he gave me another three days, but I was still ill on Thursday, which necessitated another four day layover in bed..

Even now (1st of February) the cough simply won’t go away…