Green Alliance claim micro-generators could solve domestic energy crisis

A report by the Green Alliance claims that household micro-generators could be the answer to the growing energy demand of the domestic sector and that the DTI and ODPM should prioritise their inclusion in all new building projects.

Micro-generation produces zero or low-carbon heat and power through such small scale technology as roof-mounted wind turbines the size of a TV aerial or satellite dish, solar panels and heating systems, and ground source heat pumps. They can supply energy for domestic needs and feed any surplus back into the national grid.

An individual unit can cost as little as £990.

Currently, more than one million boilers are replaced annually in the UK. The report claims that if just one quarter of these were replaced with micro-CHP, this would deliver half the Energy White Paper’s 2010 – 2020 domestic sector carbon reductions, and provide 5.5GW of generating capacity – the equivalent of 40% of our nuclear capacity.

“If the government is serious about developing a secure, diverse and sustainable energy supply, then rising energy demand at home has to be tackled head-on. Micro-CHP boilers, mini-wind turbines and PV arrays should become familiar household fixtures,” said Joanna Collins, Green Alliance’ Head of Policy.

“These technologies cut greenhouse gas emissions, provide reliable energy supplies, and ensure that every home is adequately and affordably heated. Installing just six panels of solar PV on a typical new three-bedroom house would reduce that household’s carbon emissions by over 20%,” she added.

The report claims that paying now to install energy efficiency measures and micro-generation would be an investment for the medium term, and gives vulnerable households low or zero energy bills over the thirty-year lifetime of the technologies.

Green Alliance also point out that that the £1.85 billion the government currently spends on Winter Fuel Payments for the elderly are only going to rise unless investment is made to ensure the buildings need less fuel in the first place.

The report also recommends that micro-generation should be a condition of PFI contracts and that solar panels and wind turbines should be on the roof of every secondary school in the country.

By David Hopkins

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