Automobiles account for more than 75% of fossil fuel consumption (Williams, 2010). To promote the use of green and clean energy systems, the UK government has initiated a project that funds and supports solar energy by residential homes (Bullis, 2012). The proposal is called ‘ Feed-In Tariff – FIT’ . This project involves encouraging households to install small solar panels with solar PV that can generate electricity. The Department of Clean Energy of the UK government has provided a number of subsidies, concessions and other benefits to householders who install these units.
The UK government plans to buy back the power generated from these units and give tax breaks or a reduction in the regular utility power consumed by the householders (Lewis, 2006; Lock, 2007). There are different categories of FIT users and this depends on the amount of installed capacity of the plants. The installed capacity in the UK for solar energy was 1000 Mega Watts and this is about 0.001% of the UK power requirements. With the FIT program, the government wants to provide solar PV to around four million homes and this should help to generate 22,000 MW of clean energy.
As per the Kyoto protocols, the UK government must generate at least 12% of the total power consumed by means of renewable energy (EPIA, 2011). The above sections have highlighted the ambitious program of UK government to meet the clean energy requirements. However, a number of technical and financial challenges and barriers are present that can prevent the plans from being met. These are discussed below. This section provides a brief overview of solar energy. The section will show that solar power is a very viable source of power in deserts of the Middle East and not necessarily in the UK that is under snow and rain for many months.
Small photovoltaic cells are used to generate solar power. The solar cells are made of the photo-conducting substrate that reacts when the cell is exposed to sunlight. The exposure helps to generate a negatively charged electron. The electrons develop potential differences between the p-n junctions or the positive and negative junctions in the cell. The potential difference creates a direct current, this introduces a charge and makes the electrons flow (Rayotec, 2012). Since a single solar cell generates only a very small charge, hundreds of solar cells are placed in a solar panel.
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