A Guide to Solar PV Projects for Local Government and the Public Sector

The only ‘how to’ guide for a local authority intending to embark on a solar PV scheme. Complete coverage from start to finish.

What this book is for

This book is intended as a guide to officers and members in local government and those in the wider public sector as to how to undertake a solar PV project.

It covers all projects, large and small, building related or stand alone and goes through all of the main stages, considers all of the relevant issues and breaks down the mystique involved.

Who should read this book?

Anyone who is considering a project, whether a technical officer (sustainability/energy), policy group officer (policy, legal, finance), asset manager, or those in the functional areas (leisure, education, housing) or direct services; together with Cabinet members, portfolio holders, scrutiny committee members and councillors with an interest in this area.

The approach taken by the author is that of a non–technical and easily understandable guide.

What it covers

The text goes through all the stages of a scheme. Click on the grey bar below for a full list of chapters. The extent is 415 pp.

Chapter 1 – Introduction

•    Why a book on solar energy is timely
•    The structure of the book
•    Current trends
•    The future

Chapter 2 – Climate Change and Its Rising Importance

•    Targets, Emissions & The science

Chapter 3 – Government Policy and the Legislative Framework on Climate Change

•    The key policy papers – Roadmap and Carbon Plan
•    The legislative framework that has been introduced, from the Climate Change Act to changes to planning and building regulations

Chapter 4 - The Position of Local Authorities
•    The traditional role of the local authority, post-recession
•    The costs of energy management and energy procurement & the need for income
•    The alignment of the green and corporate agendas
•    Localism, Big Society and new powers of general competence

Chapter 5 – Developing a Strategy
•    The need for a fully comprehensive climate change strategy
•    How to prepare a Renewable Energy Strategy
•    A ten year long term plan ?
•    Targets and capacity
•    Which of the three routes: Just the local authority itself, community level or the wider economy of the area?

Chapter  6 – Energy Efficiency v Renewables

•    The hierarchy of climate change, including saving energy, improving energy efficiency and creating renewable energy
•    The link being made by the government between renewables and energy efficiency

Chapter 7 – Solar Power
•    What it is and how it works
•    The extent of solar energy

Chapter 8 – Financial Incentives
•    Introduction to financial incentives
•    The Renewables Obligation, the FIT & the RHI

Chapter 9 – Developing a Financial and Business Case
•    Why the business case is important
•    Essential elements of business cases and financial cases
•    How to calculate a return on solar
•    Elements to be included in the financial modelling

Chapter 10 – Funding a Project and Options for Delivery
•    The different ways that projects can be funded, included borrowing, joint ventures or a public offering

Chapter 11 – Regulatory Issues
•    The national grid & importance of the DNO and other players like OFGEM
•    Planning & Procurement issues
•    The MCS scheme

Chapter 12 – Land based or buildings mounted?
•    The issues between land based solar projects and buildings based
•    An analysis of land based systems
•    An analysis of buildings based projects and issues with each

Chapter 13 – Developing a Communications Strategy and Dealing with Community Benefit
•    The need for a good communications strategy
•    The role played by such an engagement with the public
•    Examples of good practice & case study
•    Links to planning permission and public acceptance

Chapter 14 – Delivering a Solar PV Project
•    Scoping the project
•    Political and managerial support
•    Formal Approvals
•    The time line
•    The business case
•    The risk matrix
•    The procurement exercise
•    Technical issues
•    Commissioning

Chapter 15 – Conclusions
•    What does success look like?

•    Glossary of terms
•    Bibliography
•    Further reading and references

How much it costs

The book costs £25, including postage and packing and is available from the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE). Multiple copies ordered by a purchaser will qualify for a volume discount.

The Public Sector Climate Change Series

This series of books will cover the range of different renewable energy technologies relevant to local government.

The next book in the series will be on wind energy projects.

Solar PV Projects

 ISBN 978-0-9563131-7-1