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green power

would either a solar panel or a wind turbine fitted to a new boat save enough running costs to recoup the capital costs in 5 years?

Asked by: jude  | 5.21pm, Wednesday 25 February

WW says:

Purely considering the actual electricity use, I suspect not. One solar panel supplier estimates that your fuel bills will reduce by around £50 a year (see http://www.midsummerenergy.co.uk/solar_panel_information/solar_panel_economics.html ) compared to generating electricity from the engine - probably less than the cost of a panel over five years. If much of your electricity use comes when you have a 240v connection available (e.g. liveaboard in a marina or serviced mooring), then a solar panel certainly can't compete with this.
However, the other benefit of a solar panel is that your batteries will remain topped up and in good condition. Batteries are expensive to replace, and the last thing you want is to be stuck out on a rural canal, trying to start the boat in the morning off a dead battery. So with this in mind, it may just tip the balance in favour of a solar panel if you don't have 240v available.

Richard Fairhurst  | 12.25PM, Thursday 26 February

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