Thursday, May 21, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 21st May 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

We depend on the National Grid to supply us with electricity, day in and day out, and all of us have experienced the inconvenience of a power cut on occasion but this is a rare occurrence. Unfortunately, the National Grid has lacked investment over many years due to inaction by the government and energy regulator, Ofgen, leading to difficulties for generators obtaining connections.

There has been a huge increase in small scale generation of electricity over the last few years in the UK and there are many Community Owned Renewable Energy projects, generating energy for the benefit of a village or town, as in Lewes, Sussex. This project has a large number of solar panels on the roof of the brewery in the town and is an ideal way to de-carbonise our energy supply.

To meet European Union targets, the UK must generate 15% of its energy from renewables by 2020; this target includes transport, heating and electricity generation. The UK is about halfway to achieving this target but needs to double its electricity generation from renewable sources to 30%.

It is unfortunate that the National Grid is, in some areas, closed to new generators. Even small, domestic solar panel arrays are unable to secure a connection. For businesses wanting to generate their own energy, the high connection charges that have to be paid upfront are often discouraging.

Our new government needs to change this situation if we are to reach our goals.

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