John Moore, Managing Director of Windcrop Ltd, has warned that small-scale renewable energy should not be overlooked in attempts to plug the predicted shortfall in the British energy market. In fact, says Mr Moore, small-scale is already making a difference when most of the measures intended to reduce reliance on energy imports are only still in the discussion stage.
Ofgem warned recently that households across the UK should be prepared for a sharp rise in energy bills within two years as the country comes dangerously close to power shortages. This would mean that the UK has to become more reliant on foreign gas imports in order to generate electricity given that EU rules on pollution require the dirtiest power stations to be closed.
“Unfortunately all renewable energy sources seem to have been lumped into one category” said Mr Moore. “Large scale renewable energy, which Mr Buchanan warned has been hit by the financial crisis, is very different from small-scale options. It’s predicted that power station closures could mean a 10 percent fall in capacity by April alone. Finances aside, it takes on average three years to secure planning permission for a large scale turbine, compared to an average of three months for several small wind turbines. These are also quicker, simpler and cheaper to install, and have less impact on the environment. In the last 18 months, we have taken 2.5MW of generation from concept to operation across the East of England.”