Green energy could be held back by Govt red tape

by Search Gate staff. Published Fri 09 Apr 2010 20:37
"This could demolish the UK wind turbine industry," warns Young

An expected purge of wind turbine installers from a quality assurance list could ‘demolish’ the industry, insiders are warning.

And with the high cost of installing renewables, eco-friendly consumers could back off leaving the green industry in meltdown and future power cuts a possibility.

As the Government introduces Feed in Tariffs (FITS) - designed to give cash payments to green energy users in the UK - wind turbine installers say they cannot meet impossible performance deadlines.

Currently microgeneration installers are signed up to a transitional Government-supported list in order to get turbines quality marked.

This list aims to protect consumers who buy into green technology and gives wind turbine installers time to gain appropriate certification.

Without certification, owners of wind turbines will not be eligible for the Government tariff known as FITS. Introduced on April 1, the scheme will help to combat the threat of global warming and depletion of North Sea oil.

Payments of up to 41.3p per kilowatt-hour will be given to installers of solar, wind and hydropower.

There are also savings on electricity bills and extra cash when surplus energy is exported back into the national grid.

Paul Young of Coemi, who installs Skywing turbines, believes installers face a near-impossible task to meet rigorous standards within the time scales but without vital Government back up.

Somerset-based Young explained: “I support the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) because it provides a quality mark but along with robust standards we need a better organised certification process or face disaster.

“Coemi spent three months getting on the transitional list but I have heard from good sources that there is going to be a purge because we have to meet safety and performance tests within an impossibly short time space.

“This could demolish the wind turbine industry in the UK as there is only one place in Scotland set to deal with around 90 installers.

“Each model requires six months’ testing and costs around £30,000 per turbine yet there are just eight test pads to carry out that certification.

“If my models aren’t certified my customers will not get Government FITS so how does this help renewable energy in the UK?

“Our Skywing turbines have been rigorously tested and are the very best on the market and guaranteed for five years by which time they are likely to have made money back for clients.

“The Government says it wants renewables then why is it putting bureaucracy before green energy?”

Brendan McGarry is a spokesman for the independent Microgeneration Certification Scheme, which operates the transitional list with support from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

He said: “This scheme is industry-led to set quality standards and to protect the consumer. I don’t accept a purge is going to be carried out.”

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokeswoman, said: “We cannot confirm the numbers who are going to come off the transitional list before it’s made public.”




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