Ministers urged to support small scale renewables

The Renewable Energy Association is encouraging people to contact their MP to ask them to support the introduction of a feed-in tariff to encourage small-scale energy generation.

The organisation wants MPs to sign up to an Early Day Motion proposed by Labour MP Alan Simpson calling for the tariff to be introduced as part of the Energy Bill, and is also appealing to people to write to Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks urging him to adopt the scheme.

The REA believes this could work alongside the Renewables Obligation (RO) on large suppliers, and allow private householders, and businesses outside the energy industry to invest in renewables.

Andrew Cooper, head of onsite renewables at the REA, said: “The REA has repeatedly called for the adoption of a tariff style mechanism, similar to that in place in Germany.

“This type of mechanism will address the revenue problem currently afflicting smaller scale renewables generation.

“Government needs to maximise the contribution from onsite renewables if it is to develop a competitive market to deliver on the 2016 zero carbon homes initiative.”

The organisation said existing Government policy has not significantly mobilised investment in renewables beyond the traditional power industry.

It argues that the RO is too complex for those outside the energy industry, and places too much of an administrative burden on small generators and Ofgem.

If a feed-in tariff is introduced, any generator that exports power to the National Grid would be entitled to a pre-set payment for each unit of electricity.

Friends of the Earth is among the organisations that has campaigned alongside the REA for the introduction of a feed-in tariff into the terms of the Energy Bill.

Director Tony Juniper said: “”The Government must revolutionise its support for renewables.

“We need policies that meet the scale of the challenge, including a far stronger target for large-scale renewables and generous, guaranteed payments to householders, communities and businesses that generate their own energy from solar panels and wind turbines.”

Kate Martin

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