Photovoltaic panels

Morning all.

Does anybody have a rough idea of the cost of having PV panels installed for, say, a 2 bed house?

really useful info, we're currently considering pv mainly because of power outages and to try to reduce the ongoing running costs for our next home as part of our renovation near beziers. my hubby likes the idea of the sunny boy, but I am concerned about the cost overall of a pv solution particularly now grants are reducing and there seems to be consolidation in the pv market making it difficult to know who to consider. I like the idea of pvt. I suppose in order of investment i think geothermal with underfloor heating and reversible cooling like Jane is my number one priority, then i think heating water is next, folowed by pv. I guess we have options for heating water, which do you think is most economicaly viable? our current edf bill is about 2400 per year and I expect it to increase as my 3 girls get older and our next house will be twice the size of our current one.

What Julian is saying regarding panels, yes, its right, the Chinese have picked up tremendously due their holistic approach. (Hick, I'm German to say this) German industry wasn't lucky to get the funding and if a entrepreneur was asking for support he was forced to apply to regulations that would kill his buzz... That's why they have moved to Italy (there is a company in Milano which has better priced panels) But its really all this, what is coming along with it, from inverter to cabling, all this work intensive (costly) things. Here in Uzes is it only the combination of wind&sun, could get away with 10.000 €uro, (lots dyi) and this is still just a back-up plus the supply for hot water (I do it also via the wood burner) and deep freezer for a 5 bed. Forget washing machine, cooker and all this other things. So 10.000 plus is what you pay in 10 years now. For me it was primarily not to worry about power cuts. If you wait 5 more years I believe prices will drop to a countable level.

No, when my friends have a completely equipped installation for €16,000 why would I?

So Brian , 24,500euros is the price for installing a complete system for a Castle you say. Well after reading Theo and julian's reply's , maybe you have changed your mind ??.

I love a guy who knows his stuff !!!!

Way to go julian !!!

"With the low cost of power, solar in France.." - low cost, where did you get that info? I think a lot of people might laugh before crying!

I live off grid, so finally bit the bullet and spent 34,000 euro for a huge system with a 24 battery pack- and that powers three houses. But I do use gas powered fridges in two of them during the winter months.

If I lived in a grid connected house then frankly I would be very doubtful about installing PVs as others have pointed out the return on capital is not all it's cracked up to be, however I would strongly consider Pt, Photothermals and a new Pt friendly boiler- the outlay is in the region on 5-7,000 euros, the systems are robust and they estimate its around a 5 year return on capital, with long term savings on energy bills. Most regions give a small grant, and the material costs can be off set against tax.

My wife always said I obsessed with such basic things in life, but as we once have had enough to run the basic devices over 2 days she suddenly stopped complaining. She is of course right, having worked in so many "gulags" where people think the best way straight to democracy and freedom is cutting off power supplies of their "enemies" has left me with impressive experiences on dependencies to do my work. The first years in France I wondered why many of French friends all used UPS or battery / flywheel backups for TV and computers, till 2 of my desk tops died through sudden "electrocution", so just the minimum has been done for a back up also with an auto switch, because then you do not realize it any more what's going on at EDF.

Yes Theo, we have several cuts from seconds to hours every week. A few nights ago our power went on and off up to 20 times one night, again a few seconds to a couple of times around 10 minutes. We have had four hours off recently and once had a day and a half. At these times solar systems are pointless if you are on a sell back scheme because you have no power to work the accumulators, etc for PV and no pumps for solar water heating. So it is good whenever possible to have self-standing systems. You can drive all of your equipment with your batteries, so nothing stops and if you have good quality and sufficient storage you can at the very least sustain a night without power from the main supply. Wind is superb but works best in combination. No matter what enthusiasts say, there are days when it can be too calm and the wind flow insufficient to turn it. It is also not cheap and needs skilful installation. The point is right, the technology is brilliant for the sakes of being independent but not necessarily for people's bank balances.

First answer to your question: 25000 (independent from EDF, not subsedised when you go for old technologies) Its the mix which is making the difference

A lot about this confusion with renewable energy is that certain interests groups hate the idea of de-centralization of power-supply, means there is the strong unwillingness to break up monopoles that are state assets when it comes to satisfy shareholder interests.

So, When you go for the dept/credit-option you have to give first into the EDF grid. Funnily, with power-shortcuts you will not have electricity even if you have 3 KW on your own roof. I aspect increases in power shortcuts in the countrysides. A friend who has a gite was without electricity for 4 days last year after heavy rains and storm enjoying nice candlelight in front of a fireplace...

It makes much more sense when you want independence that purchase the panels yourself and you also have to purchase the storage units. They are adding much to the installation costs (the Chinese accumulators are the best and availabe in France). These units need extra space, its a lot of cabling and switches to really use all options to have a steady 24/7 supply.

Here is a sample of a carport roof generating 2 kw

(good for your future electro car)
and adding a wind generator with 2kw. Windgenerators are much cheaper but work also during the night. There is for an example Neil Cook, a English guy in Bavaria who is developing a quite nice one with 1,3 kw already at windspeeds with 1,5m/s... Have a look here...

Then such self supplying system really does not only makes a difference in your bills, but also offers nice independence.

I do not see what else you could call it. The State/Impots give you (at the time we were going to have panels installed) 40% credit des impots on all parts ( Labour is not counted ).

A. It had to be installed by an approved electricien.

B. The planning application also had to be approved. ( which thankfully for us was refused, on the grounds that we live in an UNESCO "site", and less than 500mt from an historical building). I say thankfully now, as the sums would never add up to make it economically worthwhile.

C. If you have the means to install such wonders, then go right ahead, and good luck to you. Some of us have to put food on the table, before trying to save the planet. And yes I do recycle.

Yours David

So true !!

Still hiding! Yes, in principle quite true, but name a government that is honest enough to do what it might preach? In and around one English city I know very well there are literally thousands of both type of solar collector. It does happen and as technology improves may well become statutory eventually.

Good on you Jane! It is all very well for people to say X about costs and no gain for them, but in terms of taking responsibility for our use of ever scarcer resources I salute people who do what you have done. I'll repeat myself, I am not a raving green and do plenty that is not clever too, but if this family can do some things right then we shall. Like you, we do not expect to make a gain and our attitude is 'so what!'.

if they were such a good idea they would be incorporated into the DTU (building regs) and everyone would be forced to have them.

Geothermal heating is not cheap, we do not expect to make a gain, but it is what we wanted to do when we were renovating our buildings. It is used for underfloor heating in the gite and the newly renovated part of our own house. We can also reverse it in summer to provide some cooling. It also heats the swimming pool.

We had three wells, each about 90 metres deep, at a cost of about 12,000 euros and then about the same for the pump and equipment. We had to run the piping quite a way across our courtyard, so for the cost of a two bedroomed house, I assume it would be considerably less.

We have two houses here and the older one is already heated by oil, and we kept that and installed a wood burner as well.

We also discovered water and installed another purely water forage for watering the garden and topping up the swimming pool.

I have 3 Devis for an installation complete, when I was considering a complete installation in 2008/9. The cheapest was 24,500 euros. True at that moment I was looking at recovering 40% of the Parts cost, about 6,500 euros, so I was looking at a cost of roughly 18,000 euros. For a house of 110m2 Habitable.

It is only 2000 euros more expensive than your friends DIY installation ! and it included all the work to bring my house within the "Norms" electric.

We did not do it, as the sums did not "add up". Our house is 100% electric, no wood burners, oil, or gas. Our worst facture to date is 2011, 1488euro TTC . So lets say after 15 years I need to replace the panels, with no credit des impots. I saw no benefit in doing this. Do the sums, and I am sure you will agree.

It may be, but it is not just in France. Sell back is much of a muchness elsewhere and it is beginning to dwindle. I would not say a con at all although the 24,500 installation sounds like it is for a château rather than a modest house like ours.

Shouting the obvious. It is exactly why so many people are installing their own integral systems without TVA rebate or whatever. If one is in a district with a green policy then there are grants for improvements to which these belong in scheme. The impôts, well yes, of course it requires approved people which is what I said to begin with in this thread, so naturally for people choosing that it is how they go. In terms of patrons or owners of companies and using the technology, I could point out four who do locally and one owner's son who is almost fanatical about the technology and has just about every gadget and widget to go with it. The life of the best technology is 15 to 20 years, a slight edge on the Chinese mass produced stuff, but again for people doing their own, the real payback is better and faster so with two or three complementary technologies it does pay back. We have two already and our electricity bill, because we do not use electricity to heat water or heating, is a lot lower than people with smaller houses and only one, let's not even mention none. I am not a raving green but then I also do not believe in throwing money at EDF for the terrible service we have from them anyway.