- Photovoltaics: what is it?
- Good reasons to switch to photovoltaics for your home
- The brakes on the move to photovoltaics for his house
Reducing energy consumption and protecting the environment are two key words today. Photovoltaics is one of the solutions that makes it possible to use renewable and inexhaustible energy, the sun.
More and more French people are opting for this type of installation to produce their own electricity and even resell it. What are the good reasons to take the step of photovoltaics for your home, and, on the contrary, what are the main obstacles?
Photovoltaics: what is it?
Photovoltaics is about turning light into electricity. A photovoltaic panel (also called module) is composed of a set of cells that capture solar energy. Installed on the roof of a house, these panels allow homeowners to produce electricity for their own consumption, but also to resell it if they wish. In the latter case, the photovoltaic panels are connected to the public electricity distribution network.
It is in the sunniest regions that solar energy is the most efficient. To produce the best electricity, the panels must be placed on a south-facing, unshaded roof. They can be attached to the roof or integrated to replace the original cover.
A photovoltaic installation is composed of solar panels, an inverter fixed on a wall near the panels which has for function to convert the solar energy in electricity, and a connection to the electrical installations of the house. The power of a photovoltaic system is expressed in Wc (Watt-peak) or kWc (KiloWatt-peak). The panels produce kilowatt-hours (kWh) which can be resold at the next purchase rate.
Good reasons to switch to photovoltaics for your home
Autonomy in electricity
If your photovoltaic installation is carried out in optimal conditions, it will allow you to be totally autonomous for your electricity needs. In the event that you decide that your equipment will be used solely for your energy consumption, you must send a declaration of self-consumption to the electricity grid operator of your municipality.
Resale of home-produced electricity
Photovoltaics make it possible to be autonomous in terms of production and energy consumption. But the electricity you produce as well can be valued as well. You can sell it in whole or sell the surplus that you have not consumed, provided that your installation was performed by a qualified installer or with a professional certification. To do this, your installation must be connected to the public electricity network. In this case, the distribution company you depend on has the obligation to buy your electricity at a contracted price if you apply for a purchase obligation contract. This contract has a duration of 20 years, non-renewable. The purchase price of your electricity depends on the "peak power" of your installation (from about € 5.40 / kWh to € 25 / kWh). It is estimated that a photovoltaic panel of 10m ² produces between 850 and 1350 kWh and, in terms of profitability, it takes three years to be able to repay the energy that was necessary for its manufacture.
But, attention, the connection to the public network is paying (from 400 to 2 500 euros depending on the method of valuation of the electricity produced chosen) and subject to an annual fee, the tariff of use of the public electricity networks (Turpe ), which varies between 15 and 20 euros.
On the other hand, income from the sale of your electricity is considered as industrial and commercial profits by taxes. However, they may be exempt if the power of your installation does not exceed 3 kWp (kilowatt peak), if it is connected to two or more points in the public network and if the sale of your electricity is not affected to the exercise of 'a professional activity.
The brakes on the move to photovoltaics for his house
Switching to a photovoltaic system to produce your own electricity is a real investment even if the necessary equipment can benefit in some cases from a VAT reduced to 10%.On the other hand, they are not eligible for the energy transition tax credit (ISCED) or the zero interest eco-loan.
The cost of such an installation depends on the professionals you use, the materials used and the type of installation of the panels on your roof.
A complex installation
You do not improvise the installation of photovoltaic panels on your own to produce your own electricity. It is imperative to use a professional given the complexity of the equipment and the skills necessary for their implementation.
The panels of your photovoltaic system must be serviced regularly. They are indeed very exposed to bad weather which contribute to degrade their materials in the long run. In the same way, the inverter needs to be changed about every ten years.
Mandatory administrative authorization
Any installation of photovoltaic panels on the roof of your house is subject to an administrative authorization. You must in fact request a prior authorization from your town hall.
A rise in the home insurance premium
A photovoltaic installation must be declared to your insurance and be guaranteed as civil liability. As a result, the amount of your contribution is reassessed upwards.