The UK’s Microgeneration Strategy and Action Plan was published in June 2011 with the aim of tackling the non- financial barriers facing small-scale renewable and low carbon energy technologies. It was supported by an action plan for industry and Government to take forward, covering the areas of quality, skills, technology development, information and advice and communities.
The Final Report of the Microgeneration Government-Industry Contact Group (MGICG) is now published. This is a report on the implementation of the Microgeneration Strategy Industry Action Plan – a two-year programme of action to tackle non-financial barriers facing small-scale renewable and low carbon energy technologies. The Microgeneration Government-Industry Contact Group (MGICG) provided oversight and coordination of the implementation of the action plan.
The MGICG comprises the various trade stakeholder groups that are representative of the wider microgeneration industry, consumer stakeholder organisations and government departments. The group works constructively with Government in an advisory capacity on delivery of the Microgeneration Strategy and functions as a project board to oversee its implementation. The group also considers related policy areas in respect of microgeneration, such as for Green Deal, FITs, RHI, building regulations, planning, smart meters and the decarbonisation of the grid. The primary point of contact with Government is DECC’s Heat Strategy and Policy team.
Microgeneration describes a range of small-scale onsite technologies for generating renewable and low carbon electricity and heat including photovoltaics (PV), solar thermal, heat pumps, micro/small wind turbines, biomass, micro combined heat and power (CHP) and micro hydropower. For the purpose of the Strategy, microgeneration is defined as up to 50kWe for electricity and up to 300kWth for heat. This differs slightly from the legal definition as set out in the Energy Act 2004, Section 82.
The Industry Action Plan was a two year programme (2011/12 and 2012/13) comprising seven taskgroups:
1. Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) – to maximise the effectiveness of the MCS scheme in ensuring high-quality design and installation of microgeneration systems and improved consumer confidence – this is found here
2. Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) – to align sector behind a single set of recommendations for the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) to align it to the emerging EU policy environment and inform fairer reflection within EPCs as part of the Building Regulations review
3. Skills and knowledge – to ensure that there are sufficient levels of skills and knowledge within the industry to meet the demands of a rapidly growing sector in line with UK carbon reduction and green economy policies
4. Warranties and insurances – to ensure effective consumer protection schemes are identified and fully communicated to the market
5. Technology – to promote deployment of system-based approaches to microgeneration technology, produce clear guidance on technologies, improve consideration of grid and connection issues and encourage a reliable market growth for microgeneration technologies
6. Communication – to achieve consensus within the industry on core messaging and promote a collaborative approach to dissemination, enabling greater reach
7. Community delivery – to encourage and support uptake of renewable energy technologies by communities and facilitate area-based approaches. This work is being taken forward by a team in the UK Government Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) and the Community Energy Contact Group.
The tasks completed and still to complete are set out in this MGICG Final Report.