UK WANTS F-I-T, HOME GENERATION
Public supports ambitious scheme for micro-scale renewable energy: poll; Campaigners urge government to seize opportunity to turn homes into 'green power stations' with feed-in tariffs
Ashley Seager, 27 January 2010 (UK Guardian)
"The [UK] public overwhelmingly support a much more ambitious scheme to push renewable energy for homes and communities, a new poll shows…
"Government officials are putting the finishing touches to plans to boost the take-up of renewable energy in Britain - which is the lowest in Europe - through a system known as the "clean energy cashback", or feed-in tariff…In July last year the government unveiled the scheme which has been used successfully for years in other European countries and pays above-market rates for green electricity produced by consumers."
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"But the proposed tariff levels for power produced by small wind turbines, solar panels and micro hydro schemes were criticised by green campaigners as not being high enough to encourage businesses, households and communities to invest.
"A YouGov survey of more than 2,000 people carried out for Friends of the Earth (FoE), the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and the Cooperative Group shows two-thirds of people think that the government's plans are not ambitious enough, while 71% of homeowners said they would consider installing green energy systems if they were paid enough cash. The Department of Energy and Climate Change is expected to announce the tariff levels next week…"
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"[The poll’s sponsors] say that the scheme as it currently stands, which has an overall ambition to supply just 2% of UK electricity from small-scale renewable energy sources (up to 5MW) by 2020…should offer higher payments than those proposed and aim to deliver far more clean electricity — up to one-third of the country's total needs…[because] 70% of respondents said that they would be prepared to pay an extra 10p on their electricity bills each month (£1.20 annually), on top of the already proposed annual increase of £1.17, until 2013 when the scheme is due to be reviewed…
"Jeremy Leggett, the executive chairman of solar energy group Solarcentury, said that the new government scheme could yet deliver hundreds of thousands of jobs in solar photovoltaics and other small-scale renewables [and cut the UK’s dependence on imported fossil fuels]…"