Monday, December 10, 2007

Feed in tariff : HMG logical challenge

Dear David

Since feed-in tariffs are roughly 100 times more successful than the UK system, and since the overarching imperative is that we must move from carbon to renewables, if the liberalised energy market structure is the block, then it logically follows that the liberalised energy market structure must either be replaced, or must adapt itself so that it can support a feed in tariff.

Correct me if there is a fault in my logic.

Best regards

Richard Lawson

Enquiry Enquiry (. E) IMSV01 wrote:
Dear Richard,

Thank you for e-mail.

Feed-in tariffs are fixed price contracts backed by Government used in some European countries such as Germany. We recognise the success of feed-in tariffs in some countries as a means of promoting renewable distributed generation technologies. However, a feed-in tariff is not appropriate for our liberalised energy market structure.

We use the Renewables Obligation (RO), a market-based mechanism, to drive forward deployment of renewable electricity generation. Along with exemption from the climate change levy, the Renewables Obligation will be worth up to £1b p.a. to the renewables industry by 2010. Since the introduction of the RO in 2002 the amount of eligible generation has more than doubled from 1.8% of UK electricity to 4.4% at the end of 2006. More information on the RO is available on our website at

We are also taking steps to ensure that exported electricity is adequately rewarded, as outlined in the Energy White Paper, as well as making it easier for microgenerators to access renewables obligation certificates, or ROCs. Ofgem are currently examining how green homes can benefit more from the prices paid to them when they sell electricity back to the grid. All 6 big electricity suppliers, and some smaller ones, now offer an "export reward" to microgenerators.

This is part of a whole package of measures aimed at developing a sustainable microgeneration industry, brought together in the Microgeneration Strategy that the Government published in 2006 ( These include the incorporation of microgeneration in the next phase of the energy efficiency commitment, removal of barriers within the planning system and a target for all new homes to be zero carbon by 2016.


BERR Enquiry Unit,
Phone: 020 7215 5000
Fax: 020 7215 0105

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Lawson
Sent: 28 November 2007 20:31
Subject: Feed-in tariff in Energy Bill

Dear Malcolm Wicks,

I am writing to ask you to introduce a feed-in tariff to boost demand for domestic micro-generation technologies and to ensure the necessary powers to establish such a scheme are included in the forthcoming Energy Bill.

A recent report for Friends of the Earth by Dr Brenda Boardman of Oxford University has found that in order to reduce the UK's household carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, every home in the UK will need to have some form of small scale renewable heat or electricity generation installed.

A study by the Energy Saving Trust for your department suggested that 30-40% of the UK's electricity demands could be met through micro-generation technologies by 2050. This massive transformation will not be possible without a feed-in tariff to make installation of the technology far more cost effective.

Micro-generation from homes and communities could also play a significant role in helping the UK to meet the European target of generating 20 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Currently homes that generate their own renewable electricity and export it to the grid are paid a substantially lower price than the cost of electricity used in the home. A feed-in tariff would work by guaranteeing homeowners and landlords who want to invest in micro-generation technologies, a long term premium price for their electricity. This would transform the market for these technologies and act as incentive for many more people to take them up.

Many European countries have adopted a feed-in tariff system to support both large and small scale renewables with considerable success. Since enacting a feed-in tariff in 2000, Germany now generates 12 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources and employs 214,000 people in the renewable energy sector.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee of MPs recently called for a feed-in tariff to be introduced to encourage the take-up of micro-generation technologies as part of a 'Citizens Agenda' on climate change and the Governments own energy regulator, Ofgem have specifically asked the government to look at how a feed-in tariff could work in the UK.

Please take action to support the introduction of a feed-in tariff without delay.

You can contact me by email or at the following address:

Yours sincerely,

Richard Lawson

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