UK government initiates microgeneration strategy
The government is examining how new technology could help encourage people to generate their own electricity, under a consultation launched today.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) wants to help grow the microgeneration industry by improving products and trialling technologies new to the UK.
The formal consultation process will precede the government’s final Microgeneration Strategy document, expected in early 2011, which will set out ways to increase consumer and business confidence in microgeneration in England.
Climate change minister Greg Barker said: ‘I am planting the seeds for growth so we can see small-scale energy generation flourish in homes, businesses and communities.
‘All elements of the industry, from standards and access to information, to technology and skills, must be ready to deliver and grow.
‘We’ve already pledged financial support to encourage people to install kit such as solar panels and heat pumps. Today’s consultation will ensure that the industry and consumers have the confidence to invest.’
The strategy will focus on electricity generators less than 50kW in size and heat generators less than 300kW in size.
This includes heat pumps, solar photovoltaics and water heaters, biomass boilers, micro wind turbines, fuel cells, micro hydro schemes, micro combined heat and power, and passive flue gas recovery devices.
The consultation will also look at how to develop the supply chain to create jobs and ensure there are enough skilled workers to meet expected demand.
It will examine how to provide advice to consumers and communities and how to ensure they have confidence in the standards of equipment and installation.
Chief executive of industry body the Micropower Council, Dave Sowden, said: ‘In tough economic times, this rapidly growing industry is helping consumers to go green, has created thousands of jobs, aiding economic recovery and attracting manufacturing investment here in the UK.
‘We have already seen extraordinary growth in microgeneration power generation solutions thanks to the introduction of the Feed-in Tariff earlier this year and look forward to similar incentives being extended to renewable heating and hot water systems next June.
‘Today’s welcome proposals will help the industry grow with proper attention to quality, technology and skills development, while making it all much easier for consumers.’
Those wishing to contribute to the consultation should visit the DECC website. The process will close on 16 March 2011.
The Energy Saving Trust’s head of low-carbon technologies describes what he believes is the first step towards the nationwide take-up of domestic energy generation. Click here to read more.