A December 2005 Energy Saving Trust report concludes that small wind and solar along with residential cogeneration technologies could provide a substantial portion of the UK’s domestic energy needs by 2050.
The report, Potential for Microgeneration, Study and Analysis, was produced for the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) and is intended to inform DTI’s Low Carbon Building program and their efforts to establish a broad microgeneration strategy that is expected to be published in Spring 2006. The report examined the current status of the industry and the perceived and real barriers to wider use and suggested when each of the technologies could become more cost effective.
The study offers two main conclusions:
Microgeneration is defined by the authors as any technology, connected to the distribution system network (if electric) with a capacity below 50-100kW. For microgeneration to have an impact on the UK electricity system, units must be installed by consumers in the millions. To reach this scale of development will require a new highly decentralized approach to energy planning and policy. There are currently less than 100,000 microgeneration installations in the U.K. (of which most are solar hot water heaters installed pre-2000).