Select Committee on Trade and Industry Written Evidence


Memorandum by the Energy Saving Trust


  On the 5 December the DTI published the report "Potential for microgeneration study and analysis" to inform the Low Carbon Buildings Programme and the wider microgeneration strategy[72]. A copy of the report is attached. [73]The report was undertaken by the Energy Saving Trust on behalf of the DTI in conjunction with Element Energy Limited, Cambridge University Faculty of Economics and E-Connect to study and analysis the potential of heat and electricity microgeneration technologies up to the period 2050.

  The report concludes that microgeneration has the potential:

    —  To deliver between 30 to 40% of the UK's electricity needs with CHP (fuel cell and stirling engine) leading the way, followed by microwind and solar PV by 2050.

    —  To reduce CO2 emissions by 15%, with a significant contribution from fuel cell CHP and microwind by 2050.

  The report also concludes that many of the technologies needed to achieve this will be cost effective before 2020. Biomass heating is currently cost effective (compared with electricity) and microwind turbines and solar PV will be cost effective by 2010 and 2020-25 respectively.

  The report explored the effects of microgeneration on the UK electricity network. It is unlikely that substantial network reinforcement will be required for an installed capacity of up to 500 W/household on a typical piece of network. Above this point, some cost may be incurred. However this is substantially lower than the cost of the microgeneration equipment itself and can be managed with appropriate regulatory intervention. The report concludes that impacts on the electricity distribution network should not be a significant constraint on any timescale.

  Recent consumer research conducted by the Energy Saving Trust on attitudes towards microgeneration technologies shows that more than half of the people in the UK would like to generate their own energy. It is critical that consumers embrace these technologies to stimulate the deployment of the microgeneration technologies outlined in the report. However, capital grant schemes and other government interventions such as building regulations and ensuring a fair price for electricity exports are critical to their success.

  Given the above evidence, we strongly believe that with the creation of a level playing field microgeneration has the potential to meet a substantial proportion of UK electricity demand in both the medium and long-term. In doing so microgeneration technologies will reduce CO2 emissions, make a major contribution to the future security of energy supply in the UK and can help alleviate fuel poverty in off-gas network areas.

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