Plans to boost local community energy generation comes at the right time, says RenewableUK.

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RenewableUK, the country’s leading renewable energy trade association, today welcomed the announcement of the Government’s consultation process for a new Microgeneration Strategy, aimed at helping communities become more energy self-sufficient.

· Plans to boost local community energy generation comes at the right time, says RenewableUK.

· The new Microgeneration Strategy to provide real opportunities for the whole industry.

· Absence of a General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) covering small wind systems, however, remains a major hurdle.

The announcement, coming in addition to last week’s lifting of the ban on local councils selling electricity, is widely perceived as a boost to the microgeneration industry. However, RenewableUK has reiterated its call for a GPDO for small wind turbines, which would allow installation without the need to undergo an expensive and lengthy planning process.

Maria McCaffery MBE, RenewableUK Chief Executive, commented:

“The UK already has over 14,000 installed small wind systems generating energy for local communities across the country. With the lifting of restrictions on local authorities from selling green energy, community generation can only grow. But for the industry to realise its full potential we need to remove planning barriers by introducing GPDOs”.

The Microgeneration Strategy comes shortly after the introduction of a feed-in tariff this April, which provides cash payments for homes, communities and small business generating their own clean energy. The Strategy will further contribute to the growth of the sector by tackling non-financial barriers through providing advice and information about microgeneration, developing the UK supply chain, examining the ways of improving the product and increasing consumer confidence.

“The UK already has over 14,000 installed small wind systems generating energy for local communities across the country. With the lifting of restrictions on local authorities from selling green energy, community generation can only grow. But for the industry to realise its full potential we need to remove planning barriers by introducing GPDOs”.

Contact:

· Charles Anglin, RenewableUK Director of Communications, on 07740 023641; e-mail: c.anglin@renewable-uk.com

· Nick Medic, RenewableUK Head of Communications, on 07792 462719; e-mail: n.medic@renewable-uk.com

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