Government action is needed to open up the UK's urban wind resource, says the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA). In its response to the government's consultation on a strategy for micro generation, BWEA calls for policy and fiscal measures to drive the market for small wind power. These could include capital grants for homeowners, revenue support for power generated, net metering (allowing a small generator to offset purchase of power from the grid with home generation) and local tax rebates. It also urges government to introduce national and regional targets for micro generation -- and development rights for certain small renewable technologies to bypass the lengthy and costly permitting process. Good progress is being made to develop the UK's large scale on and offshore wind resource, says the BWEA's Chris Tomlinson. "However, we must urgently open up another renewable front; the power of wind from our homes, schools and offices," he says, pointing out that 28% of CO2 emissions come from housing. Micro generation is ideal for communities and small businesses and could help deal with the problem of fuel poverty, he adds. "The demand for small scale wind is growing by the day. The public, utilities and energy supply companies are showing strong interest and we have a good manufacturing base in the UK. What is now needed is bold action from the government to put all these pieces together."
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