Solar energy during a total eclipse

Tonight, at approximately 19:30 local time, parts of the world will gather to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse.

Here in the UK, we will only see a partial eclipse, with the full-blown total eclipse occurring over the US and parts of South America. Nevertheless, the moment in time when the Moon deprives us a view of the Sun never fails to fascinate, but it’s also worth considering if and how this impacts solar energy…

 

On average, a total eclipse lasts 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Throughout this time, there will be no energy generated by solar power. California produces the most solar energy in the US and, during the eclipse, it’s estimated that there will be a 4.2 gigawatts deficit.

To put this into context, that is enough to power over 400 million LED bulbs!

 

Speaking of which, energy efficient lightbulbs are just one of the suggestions being made by California Public Utilities Commission as part of their campaign ‘Do your thing for the Sun’.  The campaign is designed to ask consumers for their energy saving ideas on the day of the eclipse to compensate for the drop in solar generation.

 

And what about the impact of the eclipse for off-grid energy users?

For those who have solar installations at their homes, they will experience a drop off in power during the eclipse should they have no storage available. However with time to prepare, they should have no problem in dealing with this.

 

So, in a nutshell, a total eclipse does impact solar energy, but nothing approaching catastrophic. In fact, the hope is that it could lead to consumers having a more efficient mentality going forward.

 

Oh, and you may be wondering when the next total eclipse will be visible from the UK; with the last coming in 1999, the next is not forecast for another 73 years. There will be, however, a very large partial eclipse in August 2026, which the solar industry is already planning for. So, plenty of time to prepare, and it does makes you wonder how prominent solar energy could be in the UK by then…

 

Read more about the eclipse here

 

Trust the Energy Saving Trust

Since its inception in 1992, the Energy Saving Trust (EST) has been devoted to promoting energy efficiency, energy conservation and the sustainable use of energy. As an independent, not-for-profit organization funded both by government and the private sector, there are few more trustworthy voices. So it’s good to see that they continue to highlight the benefits of solar electricity every chance they get!

On the Energy Saving Trust website, they’re currently highlighting all the benefits of switching to solar – which are many and varied. In particular, they focus on…

  1. Cutting electricity bills – after all, as the EST puts it, ‘sunlight is free’
  2. Get paid for the electricity you generate – here the Energy Saving Trust mention the government’s Feed-in Tariff… which pays you for the electricity you generate, even if you use it
  3. Sell it back to the grid – this is another huge selling point, with the EST pointing out that if you’re producing more electricity than you need, you can sell it back to the grid through the Feed-in Tariff scheme
  4. Going green – cutting your carbon footprint is good news for the planet, and with a typical home solar PV system you’ll save over a tonne and a half of carbon dioxide every single year

Plenty of reasons to choose solar… and all coming from a truly TRUSTworthy source.

Part-solar-powered car charging system

When you go on holiday in the summer, chances are you look for some fairly familiar things. Sun, sea, sand and a way to switch off, relax and enjoy yourself for one or two blissful weeks of doing as little as possible. The ideal place: Devon Cliffs Holiday Park, one of Haven Holidays’ most idyllic vacation destinations on the beautiful Jurassic coast. These days however, the 21st century holidaymaker expects even more – especially if they are looking to reduce their carbon footprint. And that’s where Solarplicity come in with a part-solar-powered car charging system.

New Car Charging Partnership for Solarplicity

We’re excited to announce an innovative, forward-thinking initiative in association with Bourne Leisure and POD Point: a 10kwp part-solar-powered car charging system with 2 x 7kw charge points situated at Devon Cliffs. With capacity to charge four electric vehicles at any one time, it represents a positive step forward for the ever-increasing sustainability-minded, electric car driving community – as well as a convenient way to ensure that vehicles remain powered up throughout the holiday and for that all-important drive back home!

The installation of this charging station shows that Bourne Leisure have the same kind of progressive way of thinking as Solarplicity, which is something we’re really delighted about. With electric vehicles set to become very much ‘the norm’ in years to come, this could really be the start of something big. Watch this space.

 

Solar. Is it fact or fiction?

Solar panels are one of the most cost-efficient ways to generate your very own domestic energy. However, there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about solar… from how much it costs to whether or not there’s any point in installing them given the less-than-sunny UK climate! So let’s separate the fact from the fiction…

FICTION: Solar is expensive

In years gone by, solar might have had a reputation for being pricey. But that’s all changed. When you choose Solarplicity, a typical 3kW system consisting of 12 panels will

cost as little as £3,500 – and remember, you’ll earn money due to the government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme too. And that’s on top of lower electricity bills.

FACT: Solar doesn’t need the sun to work

Whilst it’s true that solar panels are more effective in sunnier weather, they will still generate substantial amounts of energy even when it’s a cloudy day. Also worth considering: the world’s leading solar power is Germany – a country with a similar climate to the UK!

FICTION: You can’t switch electricity providers

The solar panels on your roof – along with your Feed-in Tariff – are yours. Because they’re not linked to one particular energy supplier, you’re free to switch as often as you like, so you always get the best deal.