Most people are now familiar with terms such as global warming, the greenhouse effect and carbon footprints, which is why many people have chosen to live their lives in an altogether greener and more environmentally friendly manner. Indeed, if the planet were to suffer the sort of climate change predicted by scientists, human beings would not fare too well.
However, it is arguably not too late to do something about the state of the planet, which is why numerous homeowners attempt to do their bit by insulating lofts, cavity walls and upgrading their central heating boilers.
Greener initiatives include solar panel installations, which had become popular throughout the UK before losing favour to a certain extent. Indeed, rightly or wrongly, solar panels have become associated with cost inefficiency, which is certainly not a desirable badge to wear in the current economic climate. However, tests undertaken by the independent EU Energy Institute suggest that domestic solar panel installations actually constitute excellent long term investments. In fact, the EU Energy Institute predict that solar panels will be competitive with energy supplied by the grid in terms of cost for around half of all homes in Europe by 2020. Furthermore, this is apparently achievable without Government subsidies.
The Institute also conducted tests on existing solar panels and found that around 90 percent of models could last for some 30 years instead of the predicted 20 years. This encouraging find has prompted the Institute to suggest that banks ought to offer mortgages on solar panels in order to help stimulate the market. Moreover, as solar panels are manufactured in bulk, the inevitable increase in supply will naturally reduce prices. According to the Institute, solar panel costs dipped by 30% in the previous year and are likely to drop further as output increases and demand is tempered by the ongoing economic problems.