Could Microgeneration Be as Powerful as Nuclear Energy?
Commissioned by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR), the report on growth potential for microgeneration details how by increasing the number of buildings with microgeneration units in place though incentive programs from the current estimate of 100,000 to some 10-million over the next twelve years—admittedly no small undertaking—30-million tonnes of CO2 emissions could be saved and energy equivalent to five nuclear power plants could be generated.
Heading the recommended methods for spurring this expansion is the development of a feed-in tariff system—people who install a microgeneration unit on their building would be paid a fixed rate for the energy they generate and feed into the electric grid, with the costs of tariff being distributed over all electric consumers. Similar systems are at the heart of many renewable energy incentive programs across the EU, but have yet to be employed in the UK.
Though UK-specific in focus, the principle behind the report has much wider implications. If we concentrate efforts at expanding renewable energy technologies into centralized production and distribution we may be missing a significant opportunity for displacing fossil fuel generated energy. What would you rather have, every third building with a small wind or solar unit, or five new nuclear plants?
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