The legislative base of our country is constantly undergoing changes, which now have touched on renewable energy. These amendments regulate the emergence of new ways of making a profit in solar energy, and small solar power generating units (called SEU) can directly help in this. Such kind of generating devices is ideally suited for installation on the territory of private households.
According to the studies conducted by the International Energy Agency, over the past 10 years the capacity of the wind farm has increased six-fold, and the SES – in 33. Such indicators indicate the investment attractiveness of solar energy among other alternative energy sectors. Experts also note that the number of financial investments in renewable energy for the above-mentioned period has increased five-fold. Specifically, solar energy has attracted 10 times more investments over the past ten years – from 2005 to 2015; it has been possible to increase investments from 16 billion dollars to 161 billion. It is also worth noting that solar energy at this stage is about 56 percent in the total amount of investments aimed at introducing new developments and improving existing renewable energy projects as a whole.
Since the spring of 2009, a new method for stimulating the development of alternative energy at the level of legislation-a “green” tariff-has come to our country. It is a duty of the state level, guaranteeing the purchase of energy from alternative sources from those who generate it. It should pay attention to the existence of certain benefits in taxation on the generation of this type of electricity. The current year brought in this area a number of changes.
What are the distinctive features of the “green” tariff in our country?
For several years, experts noted that the “green” tariff in Ukraine is the largest by world standards. This procedure was accompany by well-founded criticism, because the increased “green” tariff did not show a stimulating effect on the generation of energy from the sun through small installations, but only promoted large-scale production.
In 2014, amendments to the Tax Code have canceled some of the tax privilege category, replaced by taxes on income and land. In addition, on 16 July 2015, a new procedure was adopt to determine the amount of the “green” tariff. From this moment to receive profit from the sale of “clean” energy can and private house holdings. It is important to note that the privileges for generating energy from renewable energy sources under the new rules are applicable to wind installations with a capacity of less than 30 kilowatts.
The updated procedure was fix at the legislative level through normative documents in the energy sector. It should also be note that the tariff for operating SES has not changed.
Through the adoption of new legislative documents, it was possible to fix the amount of the “green” tariff until 2030 inclusive (the tariff was adopt and fix in euros). In addition, now the responsibility of NKREC is to recalculate the tariff at the hryvnia rate of the National Bank of Ukraine every three months. The payment according to the “green” tariff is cover by all the energy generated from renewable sources. The only exception is that part of the electricity that the household used to meet its energy needs.
The amendments of 16.07.15 also include the appearance of a “green” tariff for energy extracted from geothermal sources. In addition, the Law established an increase in the tariff for those industries that use biomass or biogas to generate electricity.
In November 2016 another amendment was made. Thanks to her now, the heat pump (hereinafter referred to as “TH”) refers to devices operating with RES. Although TNs consume energy, it is possible to use them as part of an electrical installation of a combined type. That is, use it as a power storage device in circumstances where its quantity in the SEA framework is excessive. TN thus helps to pass the winter maximum.
Such legislative amendments entailed serious adjustments in the situation on the market of alternative energy. There was a previously absent niche for the active work of entrepreneurs of different scales. Thanks to the adopted Laws, the purchase of electricity from small and private producers became mandatory.
Additional levers for stimulating the development of renewable energy:
- Article 197.16 NKU states that the import of materials, equipment and components for the generation of electricity from renewable sources is without VAT.
- The Customs Code (Article 282) regulates the exemption of this category of import from duties (import and export).
- Article 213.2.8. The NKU determines the exemption from the excise tax for the sale of energy, which was produced through qualified (or renewable energy sources). It should be note that at the state level special payments (5 and 10 percent) have been fix, which producers who use components of Ukraine’s production (correspondingly 30 or 50 percent of the components) are entitled to receive.
Such innovations are valid for power plants commissioned from July 1, 2015 to December 31, 2024. Generation of electricity from REE does not require a license. Solar power is becoming increasingly attractive for investing with each new law or amendment to it.
Which CEUs are best for small business or private energy production?
Small network solar power generating plants
This kind of CEU generates energy and transmits to the general network. A certain amount of electricity goes to meet the needs of the household, and those that remain in surplus, enter the network. If weather conditions do not allow solar panels to generate energy, then homeowners get it from the network. Special counters fix the quantity of realized and consumed electricity. Purchase of electricity for the needs of the house is carry out in accordance with the general tariffs, and the sale – according to the “green”. It should be note that the use of small CEUs is the simplest version of power supply.
Network solar power generating units with back-up power
One of the obvious drawbacks of CEU, connected directly to the general network, is the fact that in an emergency the probability of getting electricity is zero. The fault of this may be the violation of the integrity of the transmission line, weather conditions, etc. CEUs having back-up power, in this case they can survive without any problems, because they have a battery.
The cost of such CEU will be higher due to the need to install an inverter and a set of batteries. Unlike the first option, this CEU, in addition to meeting the needs of the household, is also able to accumulate part of its electricity in an emergency in parallel.
Autonomous solar power generating plants
There are situations when the general electricity grid is unavailable for some technical reasons. There are also frequent cases when the power grid is simply not able to withstand some power, so it is strictly limited. Often, such a development of events is prepare by structures located in the forest belt or remote locations. It is for these cases that an autonomous SEU will be the optimal choice. In this version, the installation will only work to meet personal energy needs. Stand-alone CEU assumes a sufficiently large capacity of rechargeable batteries.
This is necessary in order to avoid crashes during peak periods (for example, in winter). The autonomous CEU is deprive of the opportunity to realize excess energy. However, because of this, its economic feasibility is not reduce in any way. Ensuring energy requirements of the structure at the expense of its own generation pays off quite well, because in the end it is more profitable than buying energy from the state. In addition, there are no significant costs for joining the general grid.
Stand-alone solar power generating units with backup power
When there is an option to connect to the grid, it should not offset. With an available spare power supply, the CEU will require a simplified version of the battery that will bring the project tangible savings. An additional advantage is the ability to sell energy to the network when it is more than necessary (most often in the summer).
If the connection scheme is balance and well thought out, then an autonomous ECU, which has a backup power, can cover the consumption of electricity consumed from the grid in the winter due to the surplus in summer.
Solar power generating units of the combined type
This type of generation involves the use of CEU in conjunction with other devices for generating electricity from alternative sources. This eliminates the main disadvantage of solar equipment – the lack of continuous generation. Often, as an auxiliary generator, wind installations are used. The wind is in the “antiphase” with the energy of the sun, because the electricity from wind equipment can be produce both at night and in wintertime. The overall network in this interaction plays the role of a spare power supply. In addition to the implementation of surplus energy, the grid can provide electricity when there is an urgent need.
There are also combined CEUs with a stand-alone standby generator, which usually has a diesel drive. This configuration makes it possible to eliminate crashes in the power supply even if the network fails.
The “energy independence” of SEU due to the “green” tariff does not end their benefits. At this stage, they may well become a separate type of business, both small and medium. Amendments in the legislative framework concerning solar power plants with a capacity of up to 30 kilowatts and the very “green” tariff, allow this area of entrepreneurship to develop actively under existing conditions.
It should also be noted that the increase in generation by 2020 in 2,7 times (relative to the 2014 figures) is planned to be implemented with the help of small SEUs up to 30 kilowatts, which are installed in private households.