June 2, 2008 / 3:57 PM / 11 years ago

Microgeneration could boost UK climate fight-report

LONDON (Reuters) - Rooftop wind turbines and solar panels could, with a lot more government support, play a major part in cutting Britain’s emissions of greenhouse gases, a new report said on Monday.

There are nearly 100,000 microgeneration installations in the country and the report said that could rise to around one million by 2020 under current support levels.

An injection of 21 billion pounds ($41.22 billion) over the period could see nine times as many installations in place by the same time and generating as much power as five nuclear power stations, the independent report said.

By 2030 microgeneration could be saving the equivalent of 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, it added, noting that this would be same as taking all heavy goods vehicles and buses off British roads.

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said the government would look closely at the report but that value for money had become a key factor in green policy making in the current economic climate.

“We need low cost solutions to achieve a low carbon economy,” he told the meeting at which the report was published, warning that the economic slowdown must not become a distraction in the battle to tackle global warming.

The report, “The growth potential for microgeneration in England, Wales and Scotland,” was written by Element Energy Ltd and financed by government, industry and environmental non-government organizations.

It said industry needed more confidence to invest in microgeneration technologies to help bring down unit costs, and that people needed encouragement to buy and install them.

To achieve this it proposed legally-binding targets for microgeneration.

“It is now clear that setting binding targets would lead to greater certainty for investors and lower costs for consumers, leading to more microgeneration and greater carbon savings from British households,” said Dave Sowden, head of the Micropower Council.

“It would also play a substantial part in fulfilling the Prime Minister’s pledge that all homes should be low carbon over the course of the next decade.”

Reporting by Jeremy Lovell; editing by Daniel Fineren

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