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Rates of return on green investments are improving, says solar firm boss in Lincolnshire

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: November 17, 2012

Julian Patrick

Julian Patrick, managing director of Freewatt

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The boss of a leading solar firm says the nation is heading for a "period of opportunity" with renewable energy technology.

Julian Patrick, managing director of county firm Freewatt, says the rates of return on green investments have improved in the last 18 months.

And he believes the benefits to Lincolnshire businesses will keep coming for those that stay informed on the fast-moving industry.

"There are some fantastic investment opportunities, for both solar PV and heat-based technologies, and the rates are now better than 18 months ago," he said.

"It's essentially because, using PV as an example, it probably costs half as much now than it did 18 months ago to install as the costs of hardware has reduced.

"And while the costs of tariffs have reduced, the price of electricity has increased so the savings are more and the return on investment has increased."

Mr Patrick explained there were "generous" tariffs for heat-based technologies, but predicted these would decrease in the next 12 to 18 months.

"Things are changing very quickly," he said.

"It's absolutely critical to get across that we're heading into a period of opportunity.

"The market should be bigger than ever because more people can afford it.

"Companies need to find out what's relevant now to make sure they can take advantage of what's available."

Stow-based Freewatt is the main sponsor of Green Energy Lincs.

The event will cover a range of issues, including how electricity generating firms need to be aware of changes to infrastructure.

Steven Burns, of Western Power Distribution, which is responsible for the county's electricity network, will talk about how the company is adapting to use a greater number of energy sources.

"The event is an opportunity to engage with businesses to show them what we are working on, what new technology we need to install and the part we are playing in this carbon transition," he said.

Mr Burns is an innovation and low-carbon engineer at Western Power Distribution.

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