With the UK government announcing the imminent introduction of a feed-in tariff for renewable energy generation, the UK solar industry is already seeing the development of a grass roots approach to solar energy.
Feed-in tariffs which have been established in other developed countries with the basic motive of attracting investment in fledgling renewable industries will be replicated in Britain with solar installers being offered premium rates (typically 25p/kWh over a project’s lifetime) for the units of energy fed back in to the national grid.
Such incentives are of course absolutely necessary in order to make investment in expensive technologies viable by offering attractive returns on investment to investors.
One of the first projects to take advantage of the feed-in tariff or ‘Clean Energy Cash Back’ scheme is a social housing scheme in Manchester which plans to generate around £900 per household a year by selling renewable energy back in to the national grid.
The Manchester based co-operative called Horizon Energy Corporative is working with landlords in the Manchester area to maximise the potential of solar energy in the Manchester region.
The scheme, put together by EIC has received the full support of the department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) which hopes that such schemes will help the UK to catch up with other countries where feed-in tariffs have been established now for some time while at the same time offering financial rewards for social housing projects.
Managing Director of EIC, Andrew Melchior stated that,
“Our energy will be used to drive down the costs of electricity and hot water for those in need of relief from fuel poverty, while supplying community-generated energy to householders in North West England.
With sufficient support there is no reason we shouldn’t end up producing energy output equivalent to one quarter of a conventional coal-fired power station.”