Is this the end for solar?

Here’s a headline for the Daily Express (admittedly on a pretty slow day): “Green energy MP turns against solar”. Yes, it’s true, and here’s how it happened.  I am (or was) the proud possessor of a solar PV roof on my house. Not panels, but integrated PV tiles – 36 of them, across the lower half of my roof.  And very well they have worked, too.  I was of course taken in by the claim that they are a very environmentally benign method of generating power, but now my eyes have been opened.

During the recent inclement weather it snowed heavily in Southampton, and my (well insulated) roof was  thickly covered. Even so, as my little generation meter was telling me, some electricity continued to be generated.  When this happens, though, the tiles heat up slightly, causing the snow to turn icy, and then refreeze at night.  Then came a sunny day. The solar really started working  and created just the trajectory for the block of ice that had by now formed to slide neatly and accurately straight through my greenhouse roof.

So not only had my installation been responsible for serious glass pane damage, but as this is written a number of half-hardy plants face mass extinction, due to me not noticing that my greenhouse had been trashed for a number of hours. An environmental catastrophe you could say, and all because of my solar roof. What have you got to say to that then Mr smug Jeremy Leggett, eh? Eh? Now turn to page 94 for exclusive ‘I saw Princess Diana’s face in a crop circle’.


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