Local authorities get green energy boost

Council’s to profit from green energy…


The 18 August saw the end to a ban preventing local authorities selling excess renewable electricity back to the National Grid.

It is hoped that these measures will help promote community renewable energy projects as a viable and economically sound option for local councils.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) estimates that local councils across England and Wales selling excess electricity generated through solar photovoltaic or micro CPH systems could share profits of up to  to £100 million a year.

This is on top energy savings that local authorities could make through generating their own electricity.

The capacity for the generation of clean, carbon neutral electricity is immense given the number of local authority owned and managed buildings in the country,  and as one of the coalition government’s first energy policies to be put into effect, this scheme has the potential to greatly impact on the UK’s energy use.

At present only 0.01% of electricity in England is generated by local authority owned renewable energy, a figure that should rise greatly once councils take advantage and take the lead in renewable energy in their local areas.

Previously local authorities producing their own electricity could put any renewable energy generated to local use and benefit from the government feed-in-tariffs for projects generating less than 5 MW, but they will now be able to make a profit by selling the energy on.

The decision repeals the original ban which was imposed in 1989 at the time of electrical privatisation, and the change in the law reflects the UK’s need to focus on low carbon energy.

Chris Hunhe, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change hailed the decision to end the ban as “…a vital step to making community renewable projects commercially viable, to bring in long-term income to benefit local areas, and to secure local acceptance for low carbon energy projects.”

As well as opening avenues for profit making to local authorities, the decision also has repercussions for the green industry and manufacturing, and stands to stimulate renewable energy manufacturing and the number of installations.

James Hargreaves Renewables supplies a range of low carbon electricity generation technology for both domestic and light commercial applications. Call your local branch or call us on 01282 72200 and ask to speak to a Renewable Energy Consultant to find out how we can help.

James Hargreaves Group

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