Last edited 20 Jul 2021

Microgeneration for buildings

Microgeneration (or micro-generation) is the local production of electricity or heat on a very small scale in comparison to the typical output of a power station. Generating locally to demand provides an alternative to the traditional method of centralised generation distributed by the national grid. Typically, this is more efficient as distribution and transmission losses are greatly reduced.

Typically, microgeneration has an output of under 45kW for heat and under 50kW for electricity. Microgeneration systems include:

Some microgeneration systems are considered to be ‘green’ as they use renewable fuels rather than fossil-fuels. The use of local and secure renewable resources means there is less dependence on non-renewable energy and a decrease in the production of carbon dioxide and other green house gases.

On 1 April 2010, the Government’s Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) introduced Feed-in Tariffs (FIT’s). Consumers who generate their own electricity from a renewable or low-carbon source can qualify for a payment (‘Feed-in Tariff’ (FIT)) for each unit of electricity generated. Consumers can also qualify for an ‘export tariff’ by selling surplus electricity back to their supplier.

Allowable technologies are:

This has lead to a sharp increase in microgeneration. The Government views microgeneration as a significant part of the power and energy strategy for the UK in the years ahead. By far the most installations registered under the Government’s FIT scheme are solar photovoltaics.

NB: The building regulations define microgeneration as:

...the use for the generation of electricity or the production of heat or cooling of any plant (which for this purpose includes any equipment, apparatus or appliance) which, in generating electricity or (as the case may be) producing heat or cooling, relies wholly or mainly on a source of energy or a technology mentioned in section 26(2) of the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006

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