United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Push for decentralised micro generation with rooftop windmills gathers pace

The push for decentralised micro generation is gathering momentum in the UK. The latest argument in favour comes from Greenpeace, which has published a report, Decentralising Power -- An Energy Revolution for the 21st Century. This extols a vision where homes and workplaces could become mini-power stations playing host to solar panels, small wind turbines and combined heat and power boilers. The present electricity system is outdated and inefficient, with two-thirds of energy in fuel wasted before it gets used by consumers, it says. The power sector is the greatest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions, states the report, which calls for reform of the electricity system. The Greenpeace report follows a consultation launched by the Department of Trade and Industry in June on a strategy for micro-generation. This seeks views on support and incentives, and planning and building regulations issues. Then came a report from think-tank the New Economics Foundation, which argued for a fundamental shift away from nuclear and fossil fuels towards renewables and micro-generation. It called for fiscal incentives for buildings with renewables and for an obligation on electricity retailers to buy electricity from micro generators. Later this year parliament could also find itself debating two bills on climate change and sustainable energy. Both bills contain provisions to encourage micro generation, including targets, requiring new buildings to contain renewables devices, and simplifying the planning regime. The bills are to be put forward by two Labour MPs, Mark Lazarowicz and Alan Whitehead, who won fourth and ninth place, respectively, in this year's ballot for private members bills.

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