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Energy: Microgeneration

Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Whether they have any means of providing advice to potential users of microgeneration systems; and, if so, what steps they are taking to increase the amount and quality of any such advice. [HL7138]

The low-carbon buildings programme provides advice to potential users of microgeneration systems through the Energy Saving Trust and the Building Research Establishment and, for large projects, through the Carbon Trust. The Carbon Trust also provides information to potential microgeneration users. The Government have also recently established a biomass energy centre as part of a response to the biomass task force.

The Government have also funded regionally/locally based organisations to provide such information, such as renewable energy advice centres, energy efficiency advice centres and community renewables initiative local support teams. There have also been organisations set up to provide advice by regional development agencies, including Renewables East and Regen SouthWest.

The Government maintain an overview of the information needs, and quality, in this area as part of its microgeneration strategy. As part of its strategy, the DTI will undertake a review of existing activity to assess effectiveness and identify gaps. We will then assess the feasibility of a communications/information campaign.

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Whether any difficulties have been encountered in connecting microgeneration systems to the local and regional grid; and, if so, whether such difficulties are being addressed. [HL7137]

There are a range of issues surrounding metering, connection to the distribution network, and balancing and settlement arrangements that could be preventing widespread take-up of electricity generating technologies.

Changes to the Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2003, and subsequent amendment of the related Distribution Code of Engineering Recommendation G83/1, have allowed a more straightforward process for network connection for electricity-producing microgeneration technologies below a certain size (16A per phase).

The DTI continues to work with Ofgem, the distribution network operators, energy suppliers and the microgeneration industry to resolve difficulties—particularly through the Electricity Networks Strategy Group.