Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I'm all for renewable energy and all against nuclear energy so when I seen this item over at Brian Gordon's Green Party blog, it grabbed my attention.
Microgeneration could rival nuclear power, report shows
- Monday June 2 2008
British buildings equipped with solar, wind and other micro power equipment could generate as much electricity in a year as five nuclear power stations, a government-backed industry report showed today.
Commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Regulatory Reform (DBERR), the report says that if government chose to be as ambitious as some other countries, a combination of loans, grants and incentives could lead to nearly 10m microgeneration systems being installed by 2020.
Such a large scale switch to microrenewable energy could save 30m tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent of nearly 5% of all UK electricity.
The report estimates that there are nearly 100,000 microgeneration units already installed in Britain. Nearly 90,000 of these are solar water heaters, with limited numbers of biomass boilers, photovoltaic panels, heat pumps, fuel cells, and small-scale hydroelectric and windpower schemes.
If no action is taken, says the report, Britain can expect about 500,000 microunits to be installed by 2015 and 2-3m by 2020. But, with the right incentives, nearly one in five buildings in Britain would effectively become mini power stations, feeding electricity into the grid, or generating enough to be largely self-sufficient. Some of the greatest gains would be in combined heat and power units which are suitable for large blocks of flats, estates and businesses.
Britain has been widely criticised for not doing as much as other countries to encourage a mass market for small-scale renewables. The few existing schemes have failed to kick-start the industry. But the report says this could be swiftly changed: Germany has invested nearly £10bn in photovoltaic technology and Sweden has made it very attractive for consumers to install heat pumps.
The small-scale energy revolution will depend on the government stimulating the market with a range of consumer-friendly financial incentives schemes. "For widespread uptake of microgeneration to occur in the UK, sustained policy support will be required," says the report.
Makes sense to me. Buildings are just standin' there blockin' wind and soakin' up sunshine. Why not use what's already there? Here's an example from Milton, Ontariariario. The turbine is supposed to generate 5kw. That's dang good output for a small residential unit.