UK Warms Up To Feed-In Tariffs, Proposed Renewable Energy Promotion Program to Start in 2010

small-scale wind turbine photo

Small-scale wind turbines are set for big promotion boost under the plans. Photo: Ryan Somma via flickr

While many of its continental neighbors saw remarkable renewable energy growth in the past several years, largely due to their adoption of feed-in tariffs, the UK has seen less robust growth. However, under a program proposed by Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Miliband Britons could benefit from feed-in tariffs starting in 2010. Wind Works lays out the details, the mixed bag that they are:Program Cap Not Particularly Ambitious
Slated to begin in 2010, the entire program would be capped at 2% of renewable energy supply: 8 TWh per year in 2020 -- about one-fifth of the wind power Germany produced in 2008.

Furthermore individual projects are capped at 5 MW, in order to avoid overlap with the nation's existing method of promoting larger scale projects, the Renewables Obligation Order (which is really a bit of a mess on many levels, but that's going further afield...).

Small-scale Wind Power to Get Big Boost
The usual array of renewable generation methods are all supported, with the addition of Combined Heat & Power, though non of the rates are really generous by either continental or world standards. The exception is small scale wind power:

If implemented as proposed, though, the British program will offer some of the highest tariffs for small wind energy in the world. The tariffs will rival those in Italy, Israel, Switzerland, and Vermont, possibly reflecting the British government's belief that it can encourage development of a domestic small wind turbine industry. For example, the tariff proposed for small wind turbines from 1.5 kW to 15 kW is £0.23/kWh ($0.38 USD/kWh, $0.42 CAD/kWh) about that paid in Italy and Israel.

Ideological Step Forward
All told, the program would be decided step forward for renewable energy promotion in the UK on an ideological level. Whether in practical terms in would spur the type of development seen in Spain and Germany is an open-ended question.

via: Wind Works
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