HC Deb 26 April 2002 vol 384 cc487-8W
Sue Doughty

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what policy measures, in addition to her Department's capital funding, have been introduced since 1997 to support the development of micro-renewable technologies in the UK; and if she will make a statement. [51510]

Mr. Wilson

[pursuant to the answer, 23 April 2002, Official Report, columns 214–15W]: Unfortunately an incomplete answer was given and herewith is the full text.

In addition to the general support for renewables provided by the Renewables Obligation and Climate Change Levy exemption, there have been a number of initiatives aimed specifically to encourage smaller projects.

In February, I launched the Community Renewables Initiative to encourage community-based renewable energy projects, many of which are likely to be small.

The 1998 Non Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO) Order included a small-scale wind energy band for projects up to 0.995 MW declared net capacity under which 36 contracts were approved.

Small hydro stations up to 1.25 MW declared net capacity will be eligible for the Renewables Obligation without being required to refurbish.

The £20 million photovoltaics (PV) programme which I announced on 26 March is entirely directed at projects no greater than 100 kWp, and includes a band for very small projects. Applications for individual systems of 0.5–5 kWp will be accepted from householders, schools, community groups and SMEs on a rolling basis and 50 per cent capital grants will be automatic provided that the basic programme criteria are met.

Simplified connection guidelines for small PV generation have been made available as Engineering Recommendation G77 published by the Electricity Association.

The Distributed Generation Co-ordination Group is addressing grid connection and related issues to ensure that smaller generators have fair access to the electricity market. One of its workstreams is specifically addressing microgeneration solutions.