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Hello Dan! So, we’ve heard about solar energy, but if you could explain to us what Yingli is doing with Solar energy, that might help out our readers too!

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 09.41.56Yingli Solar is a Photovoltaic Module Manufacturer (Solar Panels to you and me) and have been manufacturing in Baoding Provence, China, since 1998. Over the years we have grown to be the Worlds Leading module manufacturer who have shipped over 10GWs of modules around the world, that’s roughly equal to 40 million modules or enough electricity to power 250 million 40w lightbulbs!! We use only the best components in our modules to ensure they offer their maximum output for as long as possible. We also have over 30 offices around the world to ensure we have a local presence in each market we serve and are on hand to help our customers. You may have seen we have sponsored the last 2 world cups where we installed our modules in the Maracana stadium, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, making it the most sustainable football stadium in the world. We also do a lot of work in Africa where we have provided Solar Power and Lighting for 20 Football for Hope centres and have teamed up with SolarAid, a charity committed to reducing the number of kerosene lamps being used as they are so harmful and dangerous that they cause thousands of deaths each year.

What’s your role in the business?

I have been working for Yingli for about 7 months now and I am Yingli’s UK Key Account Manager, making me responsible for our UK presence. I work closely with my team in Lyon, France to develope our UK sales and marketing strategy and I am the first port of call for any installers wishing to use our products. I have worked in the Solar industry for 4 and a half years now, having worked for the UK’s Largest Solar PV Distributor where I was responsible for their Module Procurement

But why should we choose to invest in Solar Panels? Are they efficient?

Why should you choose Solar Panels? Quite simply, it’s clean, it’s green, makes use of natural renewable sources without causing any pollution and is 100% recyclable at the end of it’s lifespan, something traditional power generators fail to achieve. There is enough Solar Energy reaching the earth each day to power the planet for an entire year! So by installing Solar Panels on your roof, you are reducing the effect your house has on the environment by making use of a fantastic source of renewable energy. There is also a subsidy available from the Government for your Soar Panels, called the Feed in Tariff, which depending on which installer and technology you use, could provide you with a 12% return on your initial investment (payback of between 7 to 9 years). A lot of people wrongly assume that the Government scrapped the Feed in Tariffs back in 2011 when Solar hit the headlines in a big way for all the wrong reasons. The Government has a fixed pot of money which has been budgeted for the Feed in Tariff, as more and more Solar was being installed around the country, the price of the equipment was steadily reducing. After 18 very successful months of the Feed in Tariff scheme, the return on investment reached stupid proportions and meant the pot of money laid aside for the Feed in Tariff was only funding half of the number of installations it was capable of funding, so in a nutshell, the government reduced the tariff by 55% BUT the cost of the technology had fallen by over 60%, so even after the tariff cut, you were better off than when the scheme initially started!

So today you can have Solar Panels installed on your property for around £5-8,000. IF installed by a MCS installer, you will be able to maximise your system array output, maximising the savings on your electricity bills (for a 4 bed house is roughly £600 per year) and you will receive a tax free, index linked subsidy from the Government for 20 years. The subsidy will pay you for each kW of electricity you generate, and will then also pay you an additional tariff for the electricity you export (and because the Government cannot determine exactly how much you export to the grid, they assume you export 50% of everything you generate, even if you actually use 100% of what your system generates – winner!!), Quite simply, it’s the safest investment anyone can make with their savings today AND reduces your carbon footprint, why wouldn’t you install Solar?

So what brings you to our shared office in Reading? 

IMG_9973I started at the Reading Business Centre at the beginning of January this year and have really enjoyed it so far. I had tried and failed to work from home, motivation was really hard and I was continually surrounded by distractions (X-Box, TV Etc.) not to mention that it was very lonely. So come the new year I decided to search out a desk in a shared office where I could have that sense of working environment, where I have to leave the house and put my working cap on and have ‘colleagues’ to share chit chat with Etc. I looked around at several offices around Reading, including the big names like Regus, but found that their environment was less friendly, less communal than that at RBC. I really liked the lay out of RBC, all of the furniture is very new and stylish and all in al it’s a very pleasant place to work.It’s also very well located for town, and we are literally on top of a huge NCP carpark should I have clients visit. RBC also have 3 meeting rooms which are fully equipped with Projectors, speaker phones, internet Etc. and one of the rooms is more of a classroom in size. Once I found out that RBC’s prices were less than half of those of their competitors in Reading I was sold. I should also mention that Nick, Alex and Oana are all very friendly and welcoming, although I would say ignore Nick’s tips on the horses!

If our readers are interested in the idea of investing in Solar Energy, how can they find out more? 

If you are interested in having Solar PV installed on your home, please contact your local MCS installer which you can find via the MCS website :http://www.microgenerationcertification.org/consumers/installer-search

Please ensure:

  • you get more than 1 quote
  • that your installer is MCS registered
  • that your installer is insured
  • they have case studies of previous installs who you can call for a reference
  • they have done a structural survey on your roof (PV Systems add around 350kG of weight to your roof, not taken into consideration when originally designed)
  • That they provide you with a full handover pack for your system, including serial numbers of your panels and inverters.\

Well, there’s everything they need to know! Thank you for such an informative chat, Dan!