A MICROGENERATION STRATEGY
81. In 2006, the DTI published a microgeneration strategy, Our
energy challenge - power from the people. The objective of
the strategy was to:
Create conditions under which microgeneration becomes a realistic
alternative or supplementary energy generation source for the
householder, for the community and for small businesses.
82. Dave Sowden, Micropower Council, told us that the Government's
microgeneration strategy had received strong support at the time
of its publication, but that some "aspects of current policy
] have not worked particularly well, the Low Carbon Buildings
Programme and particularly the Householder Grant Scheme has been
plagued with implementation difficulties" .
We consider the Low Carbon Buildings Programme later in this report,
but note here that the Government will re-examine its microgeneration
strategy as part of the renewable energy strategy review in Autumn
83. One issue that the revised microgeneration strategy
will need to address is how best to support the transition of
microgeneration technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace.
The evidence we received highlighted two particular barriers to
the widespread uptake of micropower devices. First, the cost of
purchasing and installing microgeneration technologies is relatively
high. To bring down future costs, and incentivise investment by
the micropower industry, companies will need to invest in mass-market
production capability. Second, funding for technology demonstration
was considered to be inadequate.
This is of concern as demonstration projects are essential in
finding out how a technology will perform in a 'real environment'.
84. Like the Micropower Council, we believe the microgeneration
industry is unlikely to make a large investment in the production
of microgeneration technologies unless there is a reasonable expectation
of a market. Yet,
at the current time, the micropower industry does not have a quantified
government expectation of where it is expected to fit into the
sustainable energy mix.
85. We recommend that in revising its microgeneration
strategy, the Government review the provision of financial support
for demonstration projects, and introduce a national target for
the production of electricity from microgeneration technologies.