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Planet Ark World Environment News Britain looks to ease small-scale power generation

Date: 03-Dec-01
Country: UK

Speaking at the first meeting of the Distributed Generation Co-ordinating Group, he backed changes to the connection charging regime which would ease the initial costs of linking up for small generators.

"We have the skills and technology in this country to be world leaders in renewables. Affordable and fair access to the local distribution networks has a vital role to play in encouraging the much greater use of renewables," Wilson said.

Suporters of small-scale, embedded generation which is not linked to the main national grid welcomed the coordinating group as a major step forwards.

Syed Ahmed, head of research at the Combined Heat and Power Association, said: "It is very good that the group has been put together with ministerial clout. Things should move forward quite quickly.

"It could change the whole way energy is distributed," he added. "We will have come full circle."

Alison Hill, head of communication at the British Wind Energy Association, also strongly supported the proposed changes as cheaper in terms of environmental and financial cost.

"It could eventually lead to cheaper electricity for consumers," she said.

Wilson said the government's energy review would be completed at the end of this year.

The government expects to create a one billion pound ($1.43 billion) market for renewable energy by 2010, the Department of Trade and Industry said in a statement.

It said the main driver for this would be the renewables obligation which will put an obligation on electricity suppliers to supply 10 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2011.

In addition more than 260 million pounds ($370.8 million) of support will be provided for the period 2001-2004.

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