Many UK households could one day be self-sufficient in energy needs|
and routinely make money by selling surplus electricity from home
generators such as solar panels and micro-wind turbines. This is among the possibilities raised by Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks as the Department of Trade and Industry asks for views on the development of "micro-generation" of low-carbon energy by homes, businesses and public buildings.
Launching the consultation in a speech to the Renewable Power
Association's annual conference in London today, Mr Wicks will say:
"Power generation has traditionally been about giant stations
supplying whole cities, but the future may show that small is big.
Some generation will move closer to home - giving individuals and
small communities the chance to contribute directly to the UK's
long-term environmental and energy goals. There could also come a day
when many people will receive a cheque alongside their energy bill."
The DTI is developing a cross-Government strategy for the development
of micro-generation, including micro-hydro, micro-wind, solar power,
fuel cells, micro-combined heat and power, and ground and air source
heat pumps. Just how much can be done will depend on the costs and
how they compare with other technologies.
Proposals are also outlined today for a grant scheme that could see a
series of flagship low-carbon buildings over the next six years.
Malcolm Wicks will tell the RPA conference:
"Many people are keen to do their bit to help cut climate-changing
emissions. They have the potential to make a big difference - nearly
half of all UK carbon dioxide emissions come from buildings.
"This consultation will give people the chance to share their views
on how we can best promote the development and uptake of
micro-generation, and make it easier for people to adopt these
technologies in their own neighbourhood. It's all about looking to
the future but acting now."
Renewable Power Association Chief Executive Philip Wolfe said:
"At a time when some may be tempted to focus on 'big solutions to big
problems', the DTI is to be congratulated for drawing attention to
the significant contribution that micro-renewables can make to
delivering the Government's overall energy efficiency and renewable
"RPA member companies are at the forefront of the rapidly growing UK
market for technologies that can literally put a power station on
your own roof or in your own building. We are looking forward to
working with DTI and other Departments to help deliver a successful
long-term micro-generation strategy with all of the environmental,
investment, innovation, export and job creation benefits that this
will bring to the UK."
Green Alliance Director Guy Thompson said:
"Microgeneration could play a huge role in tackling climate change
and meeting our future energy needs. Not only is it low or zero
carbon but it engages people in the solutions to climate change. We
therefore welcome today's publication of the government's
microgeneration strategy as an indication of its commitment to the
development of these technologies."
The launch of this consultation, together with last week's launch of
the Carbon Abatement Technologies Strategy and the Hydrogen Strategy,
is just part of the ongoing programme of work to implement the Energy
White Paper and achieve the Government's goal of reliable,
sustainable energy for all, delivered through competitive markets.
1. Micro-generation is the production of heat and/or electricity on a
small scale, from a low-carbon source. Various technologies can be
used, including: air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps,
fuel cells, micro-CHP, micro-hydro, micro-wind, bio-energy and solar
(thermal and photovoltaic)
2. A full copy of the consultation document can be found on the DTI
website at: www.dti.gov.uk/energy/consultation/microgen.pdf
3. The DTI is seeking views on a range of issues, including: how to
support product development and deployment; how to improve
communications; what the most appropriate economic incentives might
be; the issues around building regulations and planning policy;
technical matters relating to connection to the distribution network
and metering; and the Low Carbon Buildings Programme
4. Responses from individuals and organisations are invited by 23
September, and should be sent to:
Rachel Crisp, Energy Strategy Unit, Department of Trade and Industry,
1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET;
Fax: 0207 215 0300;
Tel: 0207 215 0303
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 
5. Following the consultation, the Government will develop a final
strategy for the promotion of micro-generation, which will be
published before April 2006, in compliance with the Energy Act 2004
6. The DTI is working on a cross-government micro-generation strategy
as part of the work of the Sustainable Energy Policy Network (SEPN),
a network of government departments, Devolved Administrations,
regulators and other organisations that are jointly responsible for
delivering the Energy White Paper's commitments.
7. The Carbon Abatement Technologies Strategy can be found on the DTI
website at: www.dti.gov.uk/energy  ; The Hydrogen strategy can be
found at: www.dti.gov.uk/energy/sepn/hydrogen.shtml 
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