Published on March 9th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan1
England Gets Its 1st Zero-Carbon Church
March 9th, 2012 by Zachary Shahan
The 900-year-old St. Michael and All Angels Church in Withington, England is being renovated and, in the process, it has received some solar modules (aka solar panels) from Kyocera Corporation.
This is reportedly England’s first “zero-carbon” church. (Though, I have a feeling churches were pretty zero-carbon in the old days, too.)
In addition to the solar panels, St. Michel and All Angels Church now uses a biomass-powered boiler system for eco-friendly heat. All in all, this 12th-century church is now completely run with renewable energy.
The church includes 24 Kyocera solar panels that have a total output of 3.12kW.
Kyocera’s Solar Leadership, & the Lifespan of Solar Panels
Kyocera has been in the solar panel business for approximately 35 years now. While there is a lot of competition in the solar power industry, it is one clear leader. It has been setting solar panel efficiency records for years. And about one month ago, I wrote a piece noting that it just launched its “highest-output” solar panel in the U.S.
While most evaluations of the cost of solar power use a 20-year solar panel lifespan, Kyocera, being in the business for long enough, has been able to show that some of its solar panels have been going strong (in the field) for approximately 30 years! In other words, the cost of solar-powered electricity from these solar panels over the course of their lifespan was MUCH lower than it would have been estimated at a 20-year lifespan (since the cost of solar energy, or solar panel ‘fuel’, is $0, and most of the cost of solar power is in the production of the panels). And let’s remember that solar panels have only become more durable since those 30-year-old solar panels were put in place.
So, at yet another solar power milestone, let’s congratulate the owners and managers of the St. Michel and All Angels Church for using solar energy to power the church, and for taking advantage of the cost savings that will come from 30 or more years of fast-growing solar power.
Source & Image Credit: Kyocera
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