The development of renewable energy takes place in what seems like an ever-changing landscape. Perhaps that shouldn’t be a surprise for a still burgeoning sector that has huge growth potential, but what difference does it make to now have a majority government?
This week we had the Queen’s Speech, in which the new Conservative Government laid out its plans and, truth be told, there wasn’t an awful lot about the renewables sector. That’s probably to be welcomed, because the last thing we need is more wholesale change.
The best thing that can happen is for everyone, from manufacturers and suppliers to installers and their customers, to be confident that the sector is supported by our political leaders and that any incentives will remain in place in the time frames which have been promised.
The kind of issues that were addressed by the Queen’s Speech were big infrastructure matters; an end to subsidy for new onshore wind farms and plans to remove the need for the Energy Secretary to approve large wind farm projects (those which run to more than 50MW).
Those are both quite controversial matters which can be debated ad infinitum! There are calculations that the subsidies for such major onshore wind projects added £10 to the average consumer bill last year. There are many consumers who would be quite happy about this because it is all movement toward greater renewable use, of which many of us approve. But in financially straightened times, there are many people who can do without the extra cost burden.
What we do know is that it is onwards and upwards for micro-generation of the kind that interests us! The most direct way to benefit from renewable energy is to take control of the matter for yourself, using a wood pellet boiler and/or solar generation through solar thermal installations.
The domestic and non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive goes on and the cost versus return on renewable energy technologies continues to improve. More and more people are taking their power generation into their own hands and there was nothing in the Queen’s Speech that should give us concern on that front. Thank you, Your Majesty.