The UK government's progressive renewable energy policies coupled with an accredited certification body and the best wind resource in Europe are fueling unprecedented growth and market opportunity for small wind companies, an industry expert said today at a briefing held by UK Trade & Investment.
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UK's Fast Growing, Small Wind Sector Offers Significant Market Opportunities for North American Companies
ANAHEIM, CA (May 24, 2011) - The UK government's progressive renewable energy policies coupled with an accredited certification body and the best wind resource in Europe are fueling unprecedented growth and market opportunity for small wind companies, an industry expert said today at a briefing held by UK Trade & Investment at the annual WINDPOWER 2011 conference in Anaheim, CA.
"There is enormous potential in the UK right now for the small wind sector," said Alistair MacKinnon with TUV NEL, the UK organization that certifies products under the government's Microgeneration Certification Scheme to qualify for feed-in tariff payments.
Last year, the UK's annual deployed capacity from small wind systems rose to a record high of 65 percent (14.23MW), up from the 8.62MW of growth reported for 2009, according to RenewableUK. The UK's installed capacity was 42.97MW at the end of 2010, and RenewableUK is projecting 1,300 MW of installed small wind system capacity by the end of 2020 if the appropriate policies are in place to support it.
"The UK's government policies are establishing fairly lucrative feed-in tariffs and the EU's most aggressive carbon-reduction targets are creating a very favorable market environment for small wind development," said MacKinnon.
Currently, feed-in tariffs are about 40-50 cents per kWh. Instituted in April 2010, the feed-in tariffs provide a strong economic incentive for small wind development by guaranteeing a minimum payment for all electricity generated by the wind installation, as well as a separate payment for electricity exported to the grid. These payments are in addition to the power bill savings made by using the electricity on-site.
Also, the UK government unveiled plans to cut carbon emissions in half by 2027 (based on 1990 levels), reinforcing the UK's ambitions to be a global hub for renewables, particularly wind and marine energy sources.
Another advantage the UK offers North American small wind companies is certification of its small wind systems by an ISO 17025-accredited organization - TUV NEL. Small wind systems must be certified by an accredited organization to be eligible to receive feed-in tariffs. Certification provides potential operators of small wind turbines with confidence in the power output and annual energy yield of the installations. There are a minimum set of requirements that small wind turbines must meet, which must be demonstrated by undertaking a series of tests.
TUV NEL's counterpart in the US, the Small Wind Certification Council, is about a year away from getting its accreditation, MacKinnon said, which is why some US companies have turned to TUV NEL and the UK for certification.
UK Trade & Investment - which has identified the West Coast of North America as one of its priority markets for clean energy business development - has a significant presence at WINDPOWER 2011 in Anaheim. For more information please visit Booth # 477.
North American renewable energy and clean technology companies interested in learning more about business opportunities in the United Kingdom are encouraged to contact Michael Rosenfeld, UK Trade & Investment, Vice Consul - USA Clean Technology Sector at 310 420 0835 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About UK Trade & Investment
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the British Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK's economy - acknowledged as Europe's best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit www.ukti.gov.uk or telephone +44 (0)20 7215 8000. For latest press releases, visit the online newsroom at www.ukti.gov.uk/media.
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