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Microgeneration risk
A boom in households and communities generating their own energy is at risk of being undermined by government cuts, according to a new report on microgeneration by renewable energy experts Regen.

The report ‘The Benefits of Microgeneration and the Feed-in Tariff’ reviews the evidence of the first 20 months of the government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme to support small scale renewable energy. It concludes that the scheme has shown a huge appetite to move from relying on centralised energy production to producing energy locally for our own use. There are over 900 active community energy groups and more than 2,000 jobs have been created in solar energy in the south west alone.

Merlin Hyman, Regen chief executive, said: “This report shows policy to encourage microgeneration has exceeded all expectations in terms of giving households, communities and business the opportunity to generate their own energy, bring down costs and create skilled local jobs.

“The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats came to power committed to a radical policy to back decentralised energy, but by cutting the Feed-in Tariff with just a few weeks’ notice they have sent the opposite message. We need government to put the microgeneration revolution back on track.”

The report recommends that:
• clear political backing and a transparent long-term approach to support for microgeneration, across all technologies are provided
• the cut to the solar PV tariff from 12 December 2011 should not be implemented until 1 April 2012, and the fixed cap replaced by a policy to reduce tariffs to protect public expenditure
• the introduction of energy efficiency requirements to the Feed-in Tariff scheme should be kept simple and flexible
• a premium Feed-in Tariff for community energy projects should be introduced
The report can be downloaded here