East Kilbride based wind turbine manufacturer Proven Energy has said it wants the government to set a 20p per unit feed-in tariff rate for wind when they are introduced in the UK. Jamie Glover, UK channel manager for Proven, said: “Savings are entirely wind dependent but if they are on a good site, wind turbines pay themselves off in about five years on average, and will continue to make money after that. But feed-in tariffs will decrease the payback time proportionally, and will certainly drive demand.”
“Payback time will depend on what rate is decided when feed-in tariffs are introduced. In Europe there are many different rates but I would hope for a 20p rate for the UK – the payback time for people with small-wind turbines would be greatly reduced” added Glover.
The Energy Act legislation passed in November will see the full introduction of feed-in tariffs by early 2010 and allow small energy producers such as Proven to sell surplus back into the national grid at a fixed rate. Some in the energy industry have reservations about the public awareness of the feed-in tariffs at this point in time, however at is hoped that come the roll out, knowledge of the tariffs will have filtered through the media. Jamie Glover expressed this concern, “Widespread knowledge of the new feed-in tariffs is not available at the moment so we have not experienced a greater interest because of it. But I am sure that clarification of what the tariffs will be, as well as time, will ensure that the public are more aware of the savings and benefits of generating your own electricity.”
However, despite these concerns during the last year there was a 50% increase in public awareness of the new feed-in tariffs attributed to soaring household electricity bills and a general increase in technological knowledge. Proven, which has recently installed a turbine at a school in Leeds certainly believes that by 2010 a 20p tariff rate will make their business viable in the long term.