Micro-generation’s role in UK energy strategy

The role of micro-generation in the UK’s future energy strategy is to be examined by the Energy Saving Trust. Micro-generation is an environmentally friendly method of producing heat and power on a small scale. It includes technologies such as solar panels, small-scale wind turbines and fuel cells. The study and analysis will help to inform the Government’s consultation on ‘Micro-generation strategy and low-carbon buildings programme’. It will review current market barriers, identify the most cost-effective measures to help micro-generation technologies and assist in developing a strategy to create the right competitive environment for these technologies. Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said, ‘Large power stations which distribute to users hundreds of miles away lose a significant proportion of power in transmission and distribution. Micro-power appliances, on the other hand, are situated close to their users and are far more energy efficient, with most releasing no carbon dioxide. ‘A micro-generation strategy could offer a range of benefits to the UK — including strengthening the security of our energy supply by reducing our dependence on oil and coal. Using a mixture of these technologies could also make a significant impact on our ability to combat climate change. However, so far, there has been limited uptake of the technologies because of market failures and cost and legislative barriers.’ The study is expected to be completed by October 2005.

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