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Environmental Sustainability Practices in the UK: Government grant schemes for solar panels

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ABSTRACT

This report will review environmentally sustainable practices in the UK, with particular focus on schemes that have recently been implemented for switching to renewable energy sources and the transition from conventional means. Improvement of Government’s schemes and programmes and suggestions on how to help in the transitional period in order to smooth the progress to more innovative tools of the trade. By reviewing various primary and secondary data and reports, as well as the availability of information for grant applicants, the UK Government and its efforts in grant giving for solar panels will be criticised for the lack of definitive support.

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The report will help provide some clarity into what schemes are available to the public and the types of funding provided by the government, and how these are stimulating the transition to renewable energy schemes, and if it will be profitable in the long run. In conclusion, the report will note which of the two parties benefit most from the schemes.

INTRODUCTION

Renewable sources of energy that we have readily available, and more importantly, free and able to satisfy our needs if implemented correctly, can help minimize our dependence on non-renewable sources such as fossil fuels, which are polluting, unsustainable and environmentally damaging, and moreover take much longer to replenish. We have the technologies and means now to start using renewables as the main source of energy and in the long term generate less carbon emissions and greenhouse gases which are now majorly contributing to the global warming effect. Renewable energy sources inched sun, wind, waves and hydro powers, with sun rays being one of the most abundant materials available to us.

Turning industries and entire residential areas in favour of low carbon systems can seem daunting due to many changes that need to be implemented, however this is the right endeavour as we will start seeing the returns the sooner we implement them. Operational systems now will yield returns sooner than increasing our dependence on conventional technologies that use traditional fossil fuel burning methods and are becoming obsolete with the availability and knowledge of switching to new technologies. It is important for governments and support systems to circulate information and raise awareness in communities on how we can all contribute to a decrease in carbon emissions by switching to renewables and low-carbon techniques, and helping us along the way during this transition period.

The benefits may seem clear for both residential and industrial activities, with the introduction of government incentives and dissemination of means and materials that help us realize that consumption of energy and electricity must be renewable. However, some criticism is arising from the media as the press is negatively affecting the information flow, analyzing whether incentives from the government are, in fact, taking the right direction in the aim of making the UK more sustainable and eco-friendly. In the Methodology section further a review of the press and some feedback from the media will reveal if it has affected the public’s and the government’s view, and how.

In the Results section findings will be analysed in detail, highlighting whether the schemes will really be facilitating the transition for the public and the environment, or if is is some kind of a hidden agenda in place by the government will determine whether the beneficial outcome will be for both parties, and conclude who will see greater benefits in the end. Furthermore, in the Results section, a better understanding of the scheme will be reviewed, assuring or negating the possibility that the government scheme will see a favourable outcome for the environment and the future of sustainability measures. It is worth to note that the present key concern lies that any reports such as this may expose flaws in the scheme and discourage the use of solar panels with a detrimental effect on the public perception of the government and its spending, even if it is proven that solar panels are beneficial systems for climate change and long-term sustainability.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The aims of this paper are to review and compare the government’s grant schemes for solar panels, as well as critically review their process and progress. Additionally, as we are surrounded by information on financing strategies for renewable energy projects it is important to be able to distinguish among them and evaluate the ones that fit the needs and purposes of communities and contribute to overall progress in renewable energy race, rather than make it a complicated and an unnecessarily drawn-out process. This report will help identify and explain the government schemes currently in place, and by critically analysing all the different schemes involved it will be easier to classify all the information and results. The report will identify and attempt to set straight both the advantages and disadvantages for the two main parties – the consumer and the government, and assess which one will possibly benefit more, and how both can benefit from some improvements. Literature review is imperative for this objective as it can provide a more holistic view of the entire issue. In addition, it will evaluate results and methodology, and derive a conclusion which answers the aim – towards improvement and towards a progressive and modern society with concrete sustainable goals in renewable energy future.

LITERATURE REVIEW

The transparency and disposal of information, from the government, the industry, and the market makes it quite hard to distinguish between information that is beneficial for the consumer and that beneficial for those providing the services or for profit motive. For example, there are many sources that exhibit interest in these schemes but can be found to be subjective or overly critical of other sources. There are also information points that have different aims and objectives or whose intent is not quite clear. It is important for the consumer to be able to know where to seek information and how to rank it – from most useful to most rewarding.

Some sources offer very basic information for first-time researchers and customers who are wishing to get better acquainted with the programme, starting from scratch. It is important to provide full information and give access to full information, thus shaping the prospects and opening opportunities for everyone wishing to get in on the program. This is why all information is relevant, including the basic scheme and straightforward facts. Energy Saving Trust (2011-b) offers definitions and essential information on the benefits of solar electricity, in the way it helps cut carbon footprint as it doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) or other pollutants, saving up to 1 tonne of CO2 per year; it cuts electricity bills by up to 50% as the source from sunlight is entirely free after initial installation costs, and if it generates more electricity than necessary it can be sold to the grid and used by the surrounding community which is a bonus benefit. These reports are immensely useful as they raise awareness of the program and help the community make decisions based on the information available.

Some reports help highlight how the contribution which technologies can be realistically expected to make in the UK are identified in the light of the Department of Energy’s R&D programmes, factoring in institutional, environmental and market-related measures, and a series of future scenarios that help indicate their value (Buckley-Golder 1984, p. 111). For example, a table of economic prospects (p. 116) for the renewable energy technologies single out solar panels as economically good, solar heating as promising and active solar radiation as long shots, helping instil a range of options but pointing out that to achieve cost-effectiveness the particular technology implemented has to be beneficial across various energy markets.

Supplementing that information with reports on grant schemes available and funding already bestowed on participating communities help coordinate public and private support and promote investment in renewable energy in the future, with pilot communities inspiring one another in embarking on low-carbon initiatives (Renewable Energy Focus 2010). The availability and transparency of this information in specialized literature and media help communities prioritize their targets. The scientific community points out predictions, measures, arguments and calculations, and this conveys the process into the community and decision making powers (Hymers 2007, p. 167).

In literature the distinction is made between energy management and unnecessary waste from non-renewable energy sources as one of the measures pointing out the necessity of renewable energy resources. The latter tackles a more innovative response from various support systems. The above directions have encouraged the Government to act, trying to create a more sustainable future of the country by putting new guidance in place for new houses whose construction is on the way as the measures are being implemented now will affect future generations and long-term prospects. So now it has become compulsory to comply with this guidance to ensure that all buildings are as self-efficient as possible. The Government, which has also introduced advertising campaigns that encourage people to save money by making their homes more efficient, has created and funded various schemes that enable people to make this energy saving improvement.

In a handbook Converting to an Eco-Friendly Home, Hymers (2007, p. 105) notes both the benefits and drawbacks of solar panel installations, which are relatively cheap with grant funding and the payback is quick, which is encouraging and supportive for a regular consumer when reviewing the options. He goes on to explain that the effectiveness of harnessing solar radiation though photovoltaic cell technology is possible on highly localized scales, so community initiatives are encouraged (Hymers 2007, p. 33), and government grants are supportive as they understand that costs are one of the main drawbacks.

These funding schemes include FITs, Feed-in Tariffs, a financial support measure introduced by the government to increase the uptake of small-scale renewable regeneration and help deliver the UK’s 2020 renewable energy targets (Swift) and LCBP, Low Carbon Building Programme, which involved the government offering grants for CO2 off setting schemes and subsidising the cost of solar and wind energy installation. Information acquired from the government and energy saver websites show there was a change made to the grants from 1 April 2010, with LCBP grants replaced with FITs as the UK Governments support scheme focused on small scale renewable electricity generation (Grants & Discounts Database).

Websites that are at everyone’s disposal and are quite useful in the research include Renewable Devices, Low Carbon Buildings Programme, Energy Savings Trust, Home Renewables Scheme, Grant Net, Green Grants Machine, England’s Regional Development Agencies, Government Funding, Community Sustainable, Local Authority Grants, Eco Schools, Fit for Funding, SMART Programme Grants, Ofgem, Energy Helpline, Good Energy, Ecotricity, Friends of the Earth, Climate Change Levy, Carbon Trust, Fit Tariffs, and of course the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Swift 2011, p. 5-6).

A Draft Renewables Obligation Order of Renewable Electricity Act 2010 before the House of Parliament highlights “the renewables obligation” of all electricity suppliers to produce certificates in order to band together the different technologies that are used to generate electricity from renewable sources (Dept. of Energy and Climate Change 2010, p. 1). The impact of these measures help put in perspective those eligible for support from the government, and for which support in particular, in order for every party to be able to directly apply for the necessary capacity.

In the academic article “The Future of Energy Conservation and Alternative Energies: Opportunities and Barriers“, Dupont and Diener (1985, p. 452) point out that government strategies that promote energy conservation and renewable energy sources stimulate programs for equipment such as solar panels and alternative energy commodities. New businesses that were targeting new energy technologies in areas of energy conservation and energy replacement, more efficient than traditional ones, had to depend on grants and subsidies from the government, which seemed to encourage their development (Dupont and Diener 1985, p. 443).

Reports that detail how the introduction into the marketplace of less than premature technologies, which were in the past wrongfully supported by governments, including the industry of solar energy extraction, have affected the schemes now as it struggles to keep afloat without sufficient government financial assistance (Dupont and Diener 1985, p. 445) are of note as they provide a viable precedent and can be used in measuring criteria.

Other international projects are used as a system and approach in literature. In Sustainagility: How smart innovation and agile companies will help protect our future, Dixon and Gorecki (2010, p. 25) point out the benefits of a project in Silicon Valley which leases solar panels to home owners, providing them with free electricity and working out a net saving overall, as well as giving loans for the purchase and installation costs with payback over 20 years as part of property taxes, with Federal subsidies like investment tax credits lowering the tax bills of banks that finance these projects.

METHODOLOGY

The data selection process in this research project was mainly a desk-top based study, using a mixture of primary and secondary research. The research consists of the fieldwork, or more accurately web search, inquiring about database management systems that the government has set up on the internet with an array of information and specifics about the availability and obtainability of grants, loans and discounts for energy saving plans and systems. There are numerous websites that offer guidance and advice on the correct direction to take and all the information necessary to set off on the right course and quickly so as not to lose time and reap full benefits of the decision to switch to renewable energy sources.

Primary research consists of data collection of all the accessible information and extracting it for the purpose of this report, its analysis and classification, as well as criticism. Data input into search engines and various government databases online that calculate the procurable means help establish categories and systematize all the resources on offer. Ideally, the primary research is collected from the subjects directly, using raw data from the source, making observations and analysing it, and providing input from observations of those specifics, and drawing subjective conclusions. However, that data for the purpose of this report is too voluminous, thus it does not seem to be time- and cost-efficient in this case, so the report will mainly rely on secondary data and peer-reviewed reports.

Various online tools and resources encourage consumers to calculate their usage in order to gauge the benefits of switching to renewable systems. Tracking bills and expenditure helps indicate requirements and availabilities for the community and region, which is a step in the right direction towards eventually helping minimize carbon emissions and tackling climate change. Successfully involved framework arrangements help the industry and the public gain insight into procurement methods of all sectors (Luff 2007, p. 210) and thus build the capacity to help a wider spectrum of grant applicants, although some methods can turn out to be a challenge and can require different resources or more targeted skills but in the end have an improved outcome.

This is why it must be noted that some material being used in this research and the report findings are taken from websites and published articles in specialized papers and trade magazines that are more focused on a target audience and government funding, so the reader should be cautious and aware that some information may be biased because its goals are more profit-oriented. However, that information is also useful and it does constitute a complete picture of the situation we are dealing with, so it will not necessarily be considered wrong or skew the findings.

For example, primary reports may reveal that when the government introduced the Feed-in Tariff in April 2010, the interest for renewable electricity systems has risen as the benefits from reduced electricity bills when using generated electricity on site became clear; the returns from annual sums (Energy Saving Trust 2011, p. 11) would reflect the renewable energy produced and the amount of carbon emissions saved. This kind of findings are immensely useful not only for providing full information and steering the course of other research, but also affecting decision making process and public feedback.

The secondary research that is conducted is collecting data from either the originator or distributor of primary research. In this research the secondary information is obtain from a range of articles and reviews from specialized periodicals, government-issued reports, trade publications, independent magazines, and studies with similar aims and objectives. In addition, information straight from government websites, government publications, public releases, and energy saving web site trusts will help round the perception of everything at disposal. It is imperative to focus on reports that point our and isolate the unnecessarily complicated and lengthy processes, or help standardise the procedure and mechanisms, encouraging greater teamwork and deliveries (Luff 2007, p. 342).

The schemes that the Government came forward with are all relatively new, which is why there is currently insufficient academic research in the UK that can provide a substantial feedback and review of the schemes. However the academic studies and reports are closing in on the headlines and they are becoming also more integrated with the decision making process. Most academic studies and academic research available is presenting a different angle – reviewing other reports and practices in places where the schemes are already well underway in other countries in the EU and around the world, effectively drawing information that can be potentially helpful to decision makers in the UK.

Using successful examples from various other countries and regions can help gain insight into what technologies are worthy of investment and what has proven to be a profitable venture. For example, potential growth markets in solar power and projects that have exhibited optimal balance between high reactivity good mechanical composite properties and thermal resistance (Cousins 2002, p. 8) can help with more error-proof decision making. Improving procurement skills and expertise of local deacon makers help the market as well, which is why it’s important to encompass their methodology, in particular the performance that may facilitate progress or attract and encourage more viable achievements.

For this project the research conducted is more wide rather than narrowed down to a few specific points, and it will be examining the pros and cons of Government grants to the consumer, as well as the pros and cons of Government schemes themselves and their output based on results obtained. It will do so by singling out relevant websites and articles among the range of available resources. Looking at all the choices within the schemes, reviewing their success rate and feedback, and concluding on the best option to take when installing solar panels will have more priority in the report, as that information can be used for the purpose of decision making in the future.

RESULTS

Results show that grant aid incentives are provided to complement the policy reforms and maximize the potential of systems to contribute to sustainable development (Department for Environment 2006, p. 161). For example, In April 2006 an ?80 million Low Carbon Buildings Programme superseded the previous ?1.5 million Clear Skies and Photovoltaic Major Demonstration programme, thus helping smooth the transition between existing capital grant schemes, with an aim to to take a more holistic approach at reducing carbon emissions by innovatively combining energy efficiency and generating technologies (Department of Environment 2006, p. 41). This shows immense dedication and focus on achieving goals and set targets by both the government and the industry.

Results show that simple operational renewable energy grant mechanisms are more in demand as they allow more installations per more square meters per year, in addition to retrofitting new solar systems on projects that are just underway (House of Lords 2008, p. 312) In March 2002, the UK government announced that its grant initiative is under way, in support and encouragement of the development and adoption of solar power, which projected to have a ten-fold increased in the number of domestic solar power and photovoltaic installations in Britain by 2005 (Cousins 2002, p. 82). The 2010 findings reveal (Solar Power UK 2010) that this has been achieved and that a once ambitious communal programme targeted at the implementation of 200,000 roofs and individual solar parks reached a greater rate of that emerging industry as it engaged more market segments and with the help of financing.

Renewable Energy Focus (2010) details some previous grant recipients and their projects, as well as incentives received, including grant on a renewable energy cogeneration plants and solar panels, loans for installation of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures, along with upgrades, progress monitoring through smart meters, assessment of the impacts of behaviour change and renewable energy technologies, as well as the terms, such as interest-free loans for a retrofit of homes and solar thermal panels, the measures of which could provide income for a rolling low-carbon fund so the community can take action for another 10 years, etc – all in an effort to provide more transparency and help applicants calculate their needs.

A perceptible shift also came with a continued support for household and community installations and a greater emphasis of large-scale developments designed to engage the industry and increase the use of refurbished developments, ensuring that new projects all deliver low carbon developments (Department of Environment 2006, p. 41). While the Government used the tax system to support progress towards environmental goals, the fiscal measures helped address market failures, introducing reduced VAT rates as part of grant-funded installations in order to support the development if micro technologies that use renewable energy sources that will in the long run greatly improve energy efficiency (Department of Environment 2006, p. 87).

Government initiatives have helped succeed in making domestic solar photovoltaic panels cost-effective, with the introduction of payback periods, as the sufficient tariff could feed energy into the grid through solar panels and then produce more energy than necessary, in that way helping make green energy more mainstream and available to households (Mendonca 2007). Results show (Energy Saving Trust 2011, p. 3) that the solar photovoltaic modules, which are simple to install, can help pool overall energy use by converting sunlight into electricity for use in the home or to export to the national grid, amounting to typically over 40% of the electricity, in one of the simplest systems to install and with not moving parts, making it a reasonable investment with the Feed-in Tariffs.

Results are clear when indicating that installing solar panels over a period of 25 years could potentially save up to ?10,500 as a better alternative to the government scheme, involving renting solar panels from the electricity companies in exchange for cheaper electricity, with utility companies benefitting far more than the consumer as they can apply for government’s FIT (Which 2010).

Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2009 Report by United Nations Environmental Programme and Renewable Energy Policy Network notes (p. 56) all the green stimulus financial packages and measures, especially for sectors hit by the 2008 credit crunch, detailing all the investments for energy efficiency, low-carbon and clean technologies, as well as comparing it to some other regional initiatives, in particular North America and Asia. In 2009 it shows the UK receiving $441 million in grants, $551 million in loans, $771 million Return on Capital, and other means including grid development offshore, carbon capture and storage. The Report (2009, p. 57) criticised the UK’s Pre-Budget announcement of ?535 million in green stimulus, as it only appeared to have received a modest ?210 million dedicated to energy efficiency, a mere 0.7% of the ?20 billion stimulus which was anticipated over a long term.

Results indicate that the production of most efficient systems electrically using expensive materials for solar power entails a lower manufacturing cost and tends to lead to less efficient means (Cousins 2002, p. 83). Google, for instance, is a great example of large companies setting an admirable standard with their dependence on renewable energy and aim to be carbon-neutral in 2012, having installed one of the world’s biggest solar power arrays that has the capacity to generate 50 megawatt hours of in 9200 solar panels that cover its corporate headquarters (Dixon and Gorecki 2010, p. 116).

Similarly, international findings reveal ambitious and respectable projects such as that of the government of Abu Dhabi completely building an eco-city in the desert, where all buildings will be covered in solar panels and two-thirds of its energy will be generate from the sun, while all the water will be recycled (Dixon and Gorecki 2010, p. 97).

Indications and improvements arise in reports (Cousins 2002, p. 82) where grants for installing solar panels on walls and roofs of residential as well as public buildings, including schools, galleries, church halls and sport centres, from funds from the European Union, the British government and environmental advocacy agencies and organizations such as Greenpeace, show they are under way to improve solar power technology.

DISCUSSION (1400)

This section provides analysis of the previously-stated results, encompassing the literature reviewed and methodologies implemented. It is a discourse on how those stated and reviewed reports, data and practices reflect on the scheme and decision making process in the government when drafting new practices and acts regarding long-term sustainability goals and objectives. They may not provide a clear resolution or hypothesis based on methods presented but they do reveal some orientation and guidance, leading up to a more formed reasoning and a conclusion.

The government gives grants for solar panels as feed in tariffs, which is most rewarding to the earliest adopters of solar panels, while Feed in Tariffs for PV electric solar panels and Renewable Heat Incentive for solar heating schemes benefit the later adopters (Heat My Home). UK’s energy industry, however, is not particularly efficient at installations as most of the manufacturing appears to be occurring abroad (House of Commons 2007, p. 43), so the government grant schemes are encompassing these differences in trade and production as opposed to just financing assembly and actualization of projects.

Since 47% of the UK’s energy consumption is through domestic use, the government is keen to cut domestic non-renewable energy consumption, thus reducing dependence on ever-increasing fossil fuel costs, focusing more on generating electricity through retro-fitted photovoltaic systems (Heat My Home). In urban areas, in terms of satisfying electricity demand, the advantage of solar panels is that there are more roofs available for positioning the installations in denser urban areas in larger quantities, and potentially producing reel to reel technology and applying it to roofs and windows so that surface area available is quite large (House of Lords 2008, p. 15).

Instalment costs can add up to ?12,500 per household in a typical medium size domestic system, or ?5000-7600 per kWp (Energy Saving Trust 2011, p. 4), however it will certainly see a reduction in maintenance costs and expenses after the initial charges are out of the way. Moreover, government incentives, payments and grants can help cover these before they see a return. When positioning installations on public buildings, the schemes entail less exceptions and limitations, resulting in more output.

Previously, before the Feed-in Tariffs were put in place, main renewable energy support programmes in the UK granted up to ?1500 to customers that have installed and activated renewable technologies, along with The Low Carbon Buildings Programme and the Energy Savings Trust for home renewables schemes, which have since been closed for electricity generating technologies and in support of newly implemented financing properties which now reach up to ?4000 (Swift 4) in tax-free grants and interest-free loans, which are immensely beneficial in the long run, for both consumers and providers.

What the feed-in tariff does is bring into the renewable energy sector the actors that have not traditionally been included, involving the rest of the current market, not replacing it, and the logistics of companies and businesses investing in small-scale renewables (House of Lords 2008, p. 22) expands with more available resources, financial means, and best practices. The Government, previous concerned that it may have to deal with delays in certain technologies, affecting the ability of the UK to achieve EU renewable energy targets in due time, has reached the capacity with this to tip the scale of renewables and deliver the renewables target along with major climate change goals (Department of Energy and Climate Change 2010).

Some have called for an ambitious target of 50% of all homes to have solar systems by 2020, although there is no reason this could not be achieved for a cost of ?1 billion a year, the amount of money the big utilities make every year from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme which the government could partner with in order to reduce CO2 emissions (Roaf 2009, p. 280).

The aforementioned Renewables Obligation support scheme for renewable energy projects in the UK designed to incentivise renewable generation into the electricity generation market, combine the efforts of the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (Ofgem 2007). These incentives and support schemes from the government show dedication and development in the field of renewable energy and government funding for renewable energy initiatives and projects. They are more qualified to reach their targets, aims and potentials when they make a commitment to the rest of the industry and their united prospects and the future of renewable energy sector on the whole.

If well managed, the grants help recover the costs while the reduction in demand for traditional energy sources and increase in capacity of newly implemented renewable systems bring in the savings in reduced energy bills act in the transition phase of moving from fossil fuels to renewables are helping change attitudes toward energy production and consumption (Mendonca 2007, p. 22). Additionally, it is important to note that the massive quantities of waste from nuclear programmes make renewable energies more preferable as their materials do not decay (House of Lords 2008, p. 483), thus making it a more practical and environmentally sustainable option in the long run.

It is a crime against present and especially future generations to continue down the present path, with much talk and little action, pushing the climate closer to a catastrophic tipping point as we attempt to reign in our basic needs without making the full switch to using energy sources that are free, limitless, and environmentally, socially and geopolitically benign – which is the only way we can win (Mendonca 2007, p. xx). Innovative technology may in the future come up with projects that extent far beyond our conceptualization of solar energy today, with propositions such as installing huge satellites in geostationary orbit, 35,800 kilometres above the equator to collect solar power from space as it is more intense and efficient there (Dixon and Gorecki 2010, p. 28).

The current life of some solar panel installations is around 120 years, so more than one generation would benefit form having such systems in place, so these technologies will exhibit substantial reductions in costs of equipment in the long run, building up efficiency in collecting energy from sunlight (House of Commons 2008, p. 32), making them fully environmentally sustainable. The solar conservation options, while environmentally safer and scarcity-free alternatives, may take long time to develop and involve untried technologies that might fail, entailing major shifts in the control and authority structure of energy supply even, as well as possible higher costs and perceptible changes in consumer investments and habits (Leach 1976, p. 109).

Some scenarios for renewable energy technologies estimate high industrial sector demands, with the contribution from renewable energy sources appreciably contributing to the percentage over the years (Buckley-Golder 1984, p. 131), starting from meagre numbers while the industry and the market catch up to completely relying on them in the future, and making the full switch when the capacity reaches the potential. The impetus to switch from a largely fossil-fuel-driven system to alternate renewable resources is likely costly now (Grizzle ad Kaufman 1995, p. 69), however as the capacity grows and our priorities for sustainable resources grow, the governments, the industry, the market and the consumers will all make that call eventually.

The government has set targets to reduce carbon emissions and secure future energy supply through small scale investments in renewable energy projects across more territory (Heat My Home). The schemes have only just been implemented as the technology is still developing and becoming more mainstream, engaging more people and support systems for energy efficiency (House of Commons 2007, p. 45), putting in place means and practices that will help it grow into something more lucrative and beneficial for the environment.

The brand of environmentalism that will be most influential in the future is that of private advocacy groups, academia, and government all following a protection-only approach (Grizzle and Kaufman 1995, p. 69) which of course is highly unlikely, given various profit motives, but they are important to keep in perspective because environmental sustainability will not be achieved without that protection frame of mind. It is also important to note that renewable energy sources of the planet, especially the abundant sun energy, no longer faces problems in capturing and storing them as these technologies have successfully developed and are highly encouraging (Leach 1976, p. 112) the scheme is now to implement and fully switch to those methods, and also disengage from habits of the whole society relying on fossil fuels.

CONCLUSION (500)

Considering all the indications noted in this report, the summary of results and reports, the review of available literature from specialists, environmental advocate agencies, the media and the government itself, as well as the methodology that’s been used in obtaining all this information for the purposes of assessment and criticism of government grant schemes, it is evident that the government is really determined in helping the residential and industrial ventures for the implementation of renewable energy projects be under way with financial funding, putting them in effect and facilitating their functioning.

The benefits are evident for all parties – government, residential and industrial activities, the introduction of various incentives and boosts will help shift the energy consumption to renewable sources using these means. Even with the criticising in the media, this is the direction to take in order to ensure a sustainable and eco-friendly future. As has been presented in the Results section, the findings show that the schemes are facilitating the transition for the public and the environment in the right direction. No evidence that there is a hidden agenda or that the government is implementing various schemes but only in favour of the environment and the highest potentials for the future of sustainability, according to targets set by the government themselves and matching those of the EU and the rest of the developed world. It is more likely that the renewable energy race is lead by the government than any other profit-driven sectors.

For the time being, the transitional period between conventional fossil-fuel burning sources and new environmentally compatible green technologies and aiming for green targets will take some time and more funding. However, with the focus on real projects that will help generate substantial amount of solar power in the near future and with the support of the legal framework and funding provided, all parties – surveyors, planners, local governments, public-private partnerships, commercial, industrial, and residential uses will see incredible opportunities arising with the adoption of photovoltaic power (Solar Power UK 2010). Although some procedures are not as advantageous or take too long to present the benefits of switching to the strategy that is supposed to be advantageous and manifest substantial returns, it is still a good endeavour for the future of our communities, our society as a whole, and our planet. The different technologies that provide different levels of support, presenting a greater incentive to the industry or are too dependent on the market (Department of Energy and Climate Change 2010) also come into effect and exhibit at least some benefits in the long run.

REFLECTION (500)

Over the next few months the information within this proposal shall be further developed by adding more research and primary data as well as up-to-date materials from various different sources in order to ensure that all perspectives are covered and updated. The report will generate a better understanding of future decisions and decision-making processes as it will encompass new information and briefings as the legislation is being improved and new measures are put in places.

New releases and publications will be incorporated, as will the feedback from the initial research proposal and its objectives, and how they shaped to include and productively improve the quality of the report. As this is work in progress, the final project will have developed all information into a worthwhile informative research document, providing readers with an objective view of the problems and solutions, as well as an unbiased answer to the question of who will benefit or who is to benefit from the government’s grant schemes for environmentally sustainable projects and long-term initiatives whose results are based on cooperative measures and not individual strategies.

This project will reflect on a schedule of the work needed to complete this in due time, which is crucial to ensure that every step will be completed and will be correctly incorporated into the report as each point demonstrates evidence that discloses something about the next step, and in fact the results consider previous pointers and discussions. So, the time element is vital in making sure it all gets completed and sufficient time is arranged in order to confirm that all studies and accounts, especially the data and its evaluation is correct and presented professionally. The layout will help tackle big questions regarding the current financial methodologies being pursued and enacted int the UK and help unravel the complicated legal framework surrounding installations and the financing involved (Solar Power UK 2010).

Moreover, this report only outlines the one segment, albeit a very important one, of the entire scope of renewable energy options and potentials that the government needs to tackle, in only one avenue of climate change, the beginning of the great sustainability race. It’s a simple solution – to capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells, converting the sunlight into electricity, and using it to run household appliances and lighting (Energy Saving Trust 2011-b) – that should have been already implemented a long time ago. Unfortunately, past generations have not considered that the implications of their actions will burden our generation and the future generations to come. However, we can mitigate the threat now and with right resources and the right direction towards sustainable future, the future that will not inhibit the potentials of subsequent generations to live in a thriving and balanced world.

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Dixon, P and Gorecki, J 2010, Sustainagility: How smart innovation and agile companies will help protect our future, Kogan Page Limited, London

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Energies: Opportunities and Barriers”, Canadian Public Policy, Vol. 11, pp.443-454

Easton, L 2006, “Green Buildings”, British Medical Journal, Vol, 332, No. 7554,pp. 1389-1390

Grizzle, R and Kaufman, W 1995, “Economics is Ecology”, BioScience, Vol. 45, No. 2,pp. 69-71

Leach, G 1976, “Energy Futures: Wide Open to Change and Choice”, Ambio, Vol. 5,No. 3, pp. 108-116

Luff, P 2007, “Ninth Report of Session 2007-08, Volume II”, House of Commons

Business and Enterprise Committee, The Stationary Office, London

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Environmental Sustainability Practices in the UK: Government grant schemes for solar panels. (2019, Apr 12). Retrieved April 20, 2019, from https://phdessay.com/environmental-sustainability-practices-in-the-uk-government-grant-schemes-for-solar-panels/.