One of the most common objections we hear from clients with regards to installing solar energy is that it is still too expensive, even with the substantial grants that we can attain through the government initiative. There is some validity in those objections but of course it does depend on the nature of the requirement and how long term the investment is. With energy prices continually on the rise, and the public finances in very bad shape, it makes a lot of sense to be installing solar energy now whilst the grants are still available.

For those who may object to the idea of taking advantage of the government grants when public finances are in bad shape, it is worth noting that the money for the grants was allocated some time ago and is sitting there waiting to be used specifically for these purposes. So, the allocated money will be used for solar grants one way or another.

However, for those who aren’t in a position to be installing solar yet but would like to do so at some point in the future, then there is a lot of development happening that could make solar much more affordable further down the line, specifically in photovoltaic solar technology, used for electricity. Ironically, it is the much derided ‘carbon’ that could set us on the path to more affordable solar energy.

Scientists have now found that they can use graphene – a form of carbon much like graphite used in pencils – to absorb sunlight instead of silicon. One of the reasons, solar collectors are relatively expensive is because of the silicon used, and carbon is far cheaper than silicon. Although, it is not as efficient as silicon, it is far cheaper and more flexible in its uses. For example, they are already imagining having curtains in properties made of sheets of graphene!

However, don’t put that solar installation on hold because it will be a long time yet before they get these new developments into commercial uses.

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