Thursday, 21 January 2010

the crux with foreign incentives

...and why the UK is falling behind: fast!

The most advanced alternative energy systems based on PV (photovoltaic), biogas (manure sewerage), or CHP (Combined Heat and Power), proven in thousands of applications, are on offer from European markets, dominated by mostly German based companies.

Those companies and their clientele benefit from a wide range of incentives for supplying electricity "back" into the public grid; this is because the enduser sells at least part of what he produces to the providers which helps to improve the return on investment into such innovative means of generating energy. In fact those incentives are actually what makes the complete investment feasible and are often paid for all energy produced even when used right away on site!

The various programmes and incentives are constantly discussed; often they are labelled unfair and an unjustified interference with what is to be "left to the markets"; without doubt the oligopoly of energy suppliers makes and dominates this market and is constantly fighting against anything that might threaten its position.

And threatening it is; the more decentralised the energy supply will become the more ground the oligopoly will loose. What is more, a "fast forward" with supporting and developing the intelligent grid based on decentralised power generation will prove at least some of the gigantic investments and unpleasant political pronouncements against very strong public resistance towards new nuclear or in fact any other kind of power plant avoidable.

While this is all happening accompanied by innovative power saving devices and highly energy efficient construction we can all but watch; as the cheap times of pumping oil a few feet up being burnt in what looks like medieval monsters are counted for investments into new proven technologies are almost impossible and often make no "economic", i.e. monetary sense for us in the UK.

Of course, a weak Pound is one problem, but investing into such advanced technology by importing what is proven is hindered even more by the fact that we lack the support, the incentives that, as above, created a vast market on the Continent. Feasibility lacks commercial viability.

I can hear the "let's do it ourselves!" Well, that is like "inventing the wheel again", needs people and banks ready to invest in technology, lots of wheels, a skilled workforce and yet supportive regulation.

So, we leave it to the markets: happy falling.

Carpe diem!


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