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Sustainable technology for new (opportunities /Barriers) of Growth UK :

A case of Solar PV


The world we live in is changing continuously. The stages of progression of mankind has been tremendous from civilizations that worshipped the sun to the landing of Apollo in the moon. Human beings with the use of intelligence have evolved into effective force which is truly unique as compared to other life forms present in the ecosystem. During the last few decades there has been a surge in the development of mankind , the invention of the train , aero planes , automobiles have made it life efficient and easy. The use of technology powered by fossil fuels which were once plants , living tissue stored deep inside the earth. E.g. coal , oil. etc. The fossil fuels are non renewable and the large scale use of it has resulted in various harmful impacts. The world is getting more unpredictable as climate change occurs and it is slowly changing our geographical structure. The evidence of acid rain , melting of

polar ice and also various health hazards suggest that the use of fossil fuels has released harmful gases into the atmosphere making the ecosystem different in a harmful way.

The concept of sustainability draws mixed response as people and organizations are reluctant to change which may have a adverse effect on it daily functioning , also the interest in the public arena tends to rise and fall as the fate of the world is alright for now people find it hard to understand the various effects of these factors( climate change , pollution etc),it is a long term commitment and its effects may not be sudden a long term commitment is required.

The changes in the environment are a cause of great concern and also the increase in energy demands as the source of energy fossil fuels is depleting year after year. The intelligence and innovative mind of human beings have formed a solution to these problems through the use of renewable resources such as wind , solar etc. The use of renewable technology to provide for the needs of mankind is a step towards a new direction .

The sectors of renewable technology , its effect and also its relation to the various environmental problems will be studied. I will be focusing how the environmental issues of the world will provide a challenge and opportunity for renewable technology in its implementation and substitution for fossil fuels. The renewable technology sector is vast so I will be studying the impact of solar PV systems and how its implementation will be effecting the climate and also how it will replace existing methods of energy. The use of solar PV systems provides a set of challenges and oppurtunities.


1> The various factors contributing to global warming and the key issues regarding to climate change.

2> The need to implement renewable technology as a substitute of fossil fuels

3> The impact of solar PV systems and its effect on the environment

Research Questions

1. Global warming and its effects?


The impact of renewable energy in reducing climate change?


The adoption of solar PV systems ?


Are there any barriers for implementation of solar energy?



. Within current literature, sustainability is defined as

capital in the form of air, water, forests in some pattern of economic and social structure . Future generations use the natural capital provided to them in ways which lead to happiness or misery is beyond our control. We are not responsible for their happiness or utility- only for conserving for them the natural capital that can provide happiness if used wisely (Costanzo and Daly ,1992) . There has always been a concern regarding to existence since the start of human evolution but the current threat increased environmental awareness and also the effects of climate change have brought the topic of sustainability to be highlighted significantly in all aspects of society (Fuchs & Arentsen, 2002).

providing to future generations natural



The environmental concerns due to global warming are shared in all societies around the world , use of fossil fuels has been identified as a major threat leading to water /air pollution and also depletion of the ozone layer. (Buchholz , 1998) Global warming also termed as „ Greenhouse Effect‟ is believed to be caused by increases of Carbon dioxide (Co2), Nitrous oxides (No2) , Methane (CH4) , Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) (Cook , 1995).The effects of climate change are visible in various parts of the planet from human activity related emissions of harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. The actual implications for the world cannot be fully calculated, different models state a array of of probable results that shows in implications of the increases in climate for the planet. The team of scientists studying Group II of the IPCC have stated temperature-specific outcomes for the inhabitants of the world and its ecosystem changes. (Parry, et al., 2007).The various intellectuals in the field of science and economics and others

state that in order to minimize the catastrophic

decrease and stop any increase in carbon emissions , a need to reverse the growing trend and to

lower emissions to the period of 1990 levels. The

strategy to adopt measures varies from different sources . According to the suggestions of of Nicholas Stern are for a early start for adoption of measures of control (Stern, 2007) .The

process of

not possible. The rising sea levels caused by temperature increase , resulting in loss of land, water supplies ,ecosystems and displacing millions from their homes and way of life forever.

a reality. The presence of many scientific

(Knox 2009)The threat of climate change has become

evidence from the Stern Review to various reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has shown that carbon emissions threaten our ecosystem and may cause irreversible damages to the planet and our very existence (Stern, 2007) The demand for fossil fuel is exploding throughout the globe , but out of the 98 oil producing nations there seems to be a

consequences, we must start measures to

suggestions for the implementation of

climate change is effectively destroying

communities and making their way of life

terminal decline in many . In the 1970‟s the North sea oil and gas reserves enabled UK to be net energy exporter making considerable contribution to the balance of payments but from 2005 the UK again became a net energy importer. The need to have a long term energy security is evident through sustainable and renewable sources.(Allen ,2010).


Renewable energy is an opportunity and a challenge to meet the various energy demands created by the use of fossil fuels. The main fact about renewable energy is that it works with nature and does not have emissions harmful to the ecosystem. The need to shift to cleaner alternatives is essential as the current discussion suggests .The availability of renewable energy for power , heat etc generation is available. The UK government has implemented to meet 15 percent renewable energy target by 2020. A brief review of the current energy are wind , tidal , solar to name a few. The wind power could meet the demands of about 30 percent of all UK power demand by 2020. The use of harnessing the solar energy of the sun and providing cost effective green energy through the use of solar panels is immense.(Cheung , 2010)


In view of the available renewable technologies, solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems has shown great technological and competitive acceptance in terms of easy implementation, environmental benefits and economic requirements (Bradford, 2006) The various availability of renewable energy resources suggest that Solar PV is a part of a portfolio of renewable energy standards and not the means to the answer of entire energy requirement (Boyle,2009). A solar PV is made up of one or two layers from a semiconducting material such as silicon. When light shines on the cells, it creates an electric field across the layers causing electricity to be generated by means of photoelectric effect (Jackson & Oliver, 2000). The PV systems are generally installed in two ways:

1> Large farms: were the PV systems are placed to generated a great amount of energy measured as Kilowatts. 2> Small scale- Generally on rooftops of houses buildings etc.

In selecting the area for installation the installers look for places which do not have obstruction in the form of tree, shade because the amount of light received by the panel is directly proportional to the electricity created (Bradford, 2006). In comparison to other countries UK has been slow to implement the use of PV systems. Globally the amount of solar PV installed generation capacity has been showing massive growth. In 2006 it increased by 19 percent , 62 percent in 2007 an shows a growing trend. (Marsh , 2010)

The PV system of electricity generation has a number of benefits when compared to other methods of electricity generation.

1> Solar PV systems do not have any movable parts and it requires very low maintenance

2> The PV sytems are simple and easy to install and could serve has a medium of power requirement for a wide array of needs. (International Energy Agency Renewable Energy Working, 2002).

3> It is completely emission free and does not produce any harmful gases which affect the ecosystem as compared to fossil fuel related energy generation. (Oliver & Jackson, 1999)

The other benefits of PV systems are direct and indirect. The direct benefit is that it is a renewable form of electricity generation and sustainable which also leads to savings in terms financial gains. The indirect benefit is that the implementation of the system shows that individual or organization concerned is aware of the environmental problems and is consciously making choices to reduce fossil fuel dependence. (Bahaj and James ,2007)


The implementation of new technologies have various diffusion barriers and a need to understand these factors are essential (Faiers et al., 2006; Faiers, Cook, & Neame, 2007).The investments in new technology are likely to be small. The deregulation of electricity markets have result in excess capacity , competition among suppliers . If new technology is to be implemented the cost of the new technology will be compared with cost for existing methods of production. The new technology are also different from established technology in terms of scale and customers may not experience relating to the operation and purchase of it. In the PV system also there seems to be a large degree of barriers of integration. The primary barriers for PV systems were high initial capital and also lengthy pay back periods as suggested bt studies conducted globally(Boyle, Everett, & Ramage, 2003) While economic barriers are known to be the primary reason for the implementation of PV systems .It has been argued that limited explanatory powers and institutional factors play a decisive role in the acceptance of solar PV use. It is also suggested that as far as assumptions about institutions are concerned , the analysis of the institution in regard to careful planning and implementation of the policy required. (del Rio etal 2007)


The UK government policies are based on a guidance from the EU Renewable energy directive. The policy states that electricity suppliers should source a certain amount of electricity from renewable sources such as wind , tidal , solar etc. There is also a Climate Change Levy (CCL) , which is a tax on energy used by businesses . The electricity produced from renewable sources is exempt. To meet the target of 15 percent renewable by 2020 the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme was launched in 2011. On the transport front a goal of 5% of total transport fuel must be from renewable e.g. Biodiesel .

To increase the implementation of solar PV systems the government introduced the Feed IN Tariff(FIT) . The electricity generated by using solar PV , the individual or organization will receive a fixed amount for each Kilowatt and if electricity is generated more than required it would be sold to the energy market (Cheung 2010)


In the investigation of the literature review , environmental concerns were a main focus of the problems relating to the climate change. The other main focus was the use of renewable energy in the process of switching from the use of fossil fuels . The Solar Pv systems provide a strong case of implementation of renewable energy without a large degree of change. The literature suggests that the ecosystem of the planet has degraded as the use of fossil fuels have increased and also the demand of energy for the functioning of the world is growing rapidly whereas the

capability of sustainability of fossil fuels is decreasing as it is not a renewable resource. Renewable technology implementation has various benefits such as no harmful sub products such as carbon dioxide , CFCs etc. It is also a good source of energy in terms of financial terms as the source of energy is within nature e.g. wind, solar etc. In the case of solar PV systems the empirical data does not fully identify the barriers of implementation . Furthermore the provision of government incentives has reduced the burden of financial constraints to some extent . The implementation process of solar PV aside from the literature review remains largely unknown. The provision of financial incentives also provide a key debate pertaining to the implementation of the system as whether the incentives alone will lead to mass integration of solar PV systems. The effectives of PV systems and incentives scheme in relation to greater adoptive measures will only be known after interaction with customers. Thus far two gaps have been identified after investigating the literature review :

1. Understanding the barriers and opportunities of solar PV adoption in UK.

2. The influence of regulation and incentives for solar PV implementation.


Bradford, T. (2006). Solar Revolution: The economic transformation of the global energy industry. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Barry Marsh(2010).).”Solar‟, Clean Tech, Clean Profits.Uk and USA . Kogan Page Limited .p 9395.

Boyle, G. (2009). Renewable Electricity and the Grid. London: Earthscan.

Boyle, G., Everett, B., & Ramage, J. (2003). Energy Systems and Sustainability: Power for a Sustainable Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Buchholz,R.A. (1998) Principles of Environmental Management : The Greening of Business”, Prentice Hall, Inc . Upper Saddle River , New Jersey , 107 110 pp

Bahaj, A. S. & James, P. A. B. (2007). Urban energy generation: The added value of


in social housing. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 11, 2121-2136.

Costanza,R. and Daly,H., (1992).‟Natural Capital and Sustainable Development‟, Conservation Biology,vol 6, no1,pp36-46

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Cheung,Sam(2010).”Renewable Carbon generation‟, Clean Tech, Clean Profits.Uk and USA . Kogan Page Limited .p 1822.

del Rio, P. & Unruh, G. (2007). Overcoming the lock-out of renewable energy technologies in Spain: The cases of wind and solar electricity. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 11, 1498-1513.

Faiers, A., Neame, C., & Cook, M. (2007). The adoption of domestic solar-power systems: Do consumers assess product attributes in a stepwise process? Energy Policy, 35, 3418-


Fuchs, D. A. & Arentsen, M. (2002). Green electricity in the market place: the policy challenge. Energy Policy, 30, 525-538.

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John Knox (2009) .Linking Human Rights and Climate Change at the United Nations‖

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Paul Allen(2010).”Zero Carbon Britain‟, Clean Tech, Clean Profits.Uk and USA . Kogan Page Limited .p 712.

Parry, M., Canziani, O., Palutikof, J., van der Linden, P., Hanson, C., & Eds. (2007). IPCC, 2007: Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Stern, S. N. (2007). The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press


Sustainable technology for new (opportunities /Barriers) of Growth UK : A case of Solar PV
Sustainable technology for new (opportunities /Barriers) of Growth UK : A
case of Solar PV