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HNC Assignment Sample


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A. Estimating cost of installing photovoltaic system

The cost of a solar panel installation of the solar power panels in a household with a roof area of 4m x 4m will cost about $1000. The solar panels installation in the rooftop cost will vary according to the size and number of solar panels installed. In an average household, installation of a 4kW panel system is enough to power the house. The household may save up to $160 to $430 in a single financial year. In the UK the government made a policy in order to encourage more households to adopt renewable power energy (gov, 2019). The household may use “Solar Power Grants” in order to earn extra money. The government provided “Smart Export Guarantee” toward the citizens, according to which the government pays money to the people to export the surplus solar power that is generated within the household to the national grid. By following this process, the person can earn up to $100 per year. So, if the amount is viewed in the long run, in 10 years, a single household will earn up to $2600.

B. Comparing the viability of renewable energy

The cost of installing a photovoltaic system in a single household in the UK costs almost $1000. Installation charges i.e. the cost of the solar power panels include $750. The framework charges for installing the entire system on the roof of the household costs $25, where framework charges include $75. The brackets and wooden support required to lift and tilt the solar panels costs $20. The labor cost includes $100, unless the owner himself installs the system (iea, 2018). Other relevant charges after the installation include $30 of charges.

Installing wind turbines in a single household in the UK costs $2000 on average. The primary installation charges which include the price of the wind turbine cost $1100. The framework charges in order to install the turbine within the area of the building with adequate safety measures include the cost $100. Installing the long turbines requires leveling of the land which costs about $200. Labor charges include $100. In the installation of this system, labor charges are necessary, unless y\the owner has a proper knowledge and experience about the working of the turbines (sciencedirect, 2019). Engineer charges are included in order to determine the perfect position of installation of the system and other relevant charges i.e., $400. Other charges after the installation of the turbine involves $100.

Installing a micro-hydro turbine for powering a household in the UK costs minimum $5000 on average. The cost of the hydro-turbine system is $900. The hydro generator that is installed along with the system costs $600. The batteries to run the turbine include $900. Inverters for the power supply to move the blades of the turbine include the cost of $1000 (link, 2018). Setting up the total pipeline system in the area of the building for water supply and regulation includes the cost $1500. Other costs after installing the hydro-turbine include almost $100.

C. Viable option between the conventional and non-conventional energy

According to the report in 2020, the installation in the solar power panel costs almost $35-$53 per MWh. In installing the wind power panel, the cost of energy will be about $43-$60 per MWh. Installing the hydropower plant will cost $42-$65 per MWh (gov, 2019). Usage of the conventional power that is produced by coal will cost almost $245 per MWh in the year 2021.

According to the reports of the “International Renewable Energy Agency” (IRENA), the costs in the installation and maintenance of renewable energy has decreased over the years. The price of photovoltaic systems has declined to almost 80% in the UK in the previous years (sciencedirect, 2020). From the historic report, it can be assumed that the price of renewable power supplies will come down in the future. With the decrease in the cost of installation and increase in saving, more and more households are adapting to the renewable source of power supply than the conventional power supply. The conventional power supply which is derived from fossil fuels costs more. And from the reports it can be said that in the future the price of fossil fuel will increase due to the unavailability and shortfall in supply. Eventually, this conventional system of power supply will become more costly for the households to afford.

The UK government has the goal of making cent percent use of renewable energy all over the country by the year 2035. According to a survey, in the year 2017, households in the UK generated 18% of the electricity from renewable sources. In the year 2020, the UK government announced that almost 1 million households in the country are generating electricity from renewable resources. The percentage of renewable resource hikes up to 44.5% of the total power generated in the households of the UK in the year 2021 (gov, 2019).

The survey concludes that the renewable power supply used in households is mainly adapted to the photovoltaic energy supply rather than the micro-hydro turbines or the wind turbines (betterevaluation, 2019). The reason for most of the households adopting solar power panel installation is the cost efficiency.

Space is a major factor for installing a wind turbine, since it needs to be installed on the ground attached with the household. Most of the houses in the city areas may not have an extra patch of land for installing the system. In such cases if the system is installed far away, the high-voltage lines that help in the transmission of energy will be difficult to set up (bu, 2019). For the houses located far away, the transmission lines will be stretched longer, further increasing the cost of installation. Other than that, the main turbine will be an issue in the long run. The total cost for a normal household to set up the whole system is almost $2000, which is 2 times of the cost of installation of solar power panels.

Installing the micro-hydro power in the household also needs a certain amount of space attached with the house. Apart from that it requires an extensive amount of planning regarding the set up. Experienced personnel need to be hired for connecting the generator to the inverters and planning the setup of the pipeline. The batteries need to be changed within a regular interval, which increases the cost in the long run. The cost of installing the system is 5 times the cost of installing the photovoltaic system.

The electricity generated from fossil fuel cost $55 in the year 2020. In the starting of the year 2021, the cost of fossil fuel in the UK rose to $190 per MWh. The cost showed a sharp increase by the end of the year 2021 with $245 per MWh. Thus, it shows a hike of almost 85% in the coast in recent years (pubs, 2019). The price will continue to increase since the majority of the coal mines are running out of fuel. 

Thus, the most viable option for any household to adopt in the UK to opt for powering the house is the photovoltaic power panels. Since the installation cost is minimum as compared to the other alternatives with an installation cost of $1000 on average.

Reference list

betterevaluation, 2019 Cost Benefit Analysis available at https://www.betterevaluation.org/en/evaluation-options/CostBenefitAnalysis [accessed on 7th July 2022 ]

bu, 2019 The Economics of Renewable Energy available at https://www.bu.edu/eci/files/2019/06/RenewableEnergyEcon.pdf [accessed on 7th July 2022 ]

gov, 2019. Solar power Panel installation in UK available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/solar-pv-cost-data [accessed on 7th July 2022 ]

iea, 2018 Critical analysis of Cost benefit of renewable energy available at http://iea-retd.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/RECABs-final-report.pdf [accessed on 7th July 2022 ]

link, 2018 micro-hydro plant available at https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41660-020-00136-5 [accessed on 7th July 2022 ]

pubs, 2019 Usage of fossil fuel in households of UK available at https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2017/se/c7se00598a[accessed on 7th July 2022 ]

sciencedirect, 2019 wind turbines in UK households available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1364032118307342 [accessed on 7th July 2022 ]

sciencedirect, 2020 Solar power panels cost in UK available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1364032120303002[accessed on 7th July 2022 ]

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