Renewable energy progress in the UK, with lifting of ban

9 Aug 2010

UK’s energy secretary overturns law banning councils from selling renewable electricity to the national grid, helping to scale up energy targets.

Starting from 18 August, councils across the UK will be able to sell renewable electricity to the grid, the UK’s energy secretary, Chris Huhne, has announced today.

This will open new sources of income such as the full benefit of the feed in tariff which incentivises renewable electricity, with the Department of Energy & Climate Change estimating that it could mean up to £100m sterling a year in income for local authorities across England and Wales.

“This is a vital step to making community renewable projects commercially viable, to bring in long-term income to benefit local areas, and to secure local acceptance for low carbon energy projects,” said Huhne.

At present only 0.01pc of electricity in England is generated by local authority-owned renewable, whereas in Germany the equivalent figure is 100 times higher.

Up to now, local authorities were restricted from selling any excess renewable electricity into the grid other than that generated from combined heat and power, while they have also been restricted from benefitting from the export component of the feed in tariff.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic