Microgeneration is best weapon against fossil fuels

Published:  21 October, 2010

LIVERPOOL: Speakers at a national green power conference backed microgeneration as the best weapon against the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels for heat.

Energy experts who attended the second Green Power Forum (GPF) in Liverpool last week agreed that heat production was the ‘sleeping giant’ in the battle for climate change action.

GPF chairman Mark McManus said: “The UK generates just 0.6% of its heat from renewable sources at present, with the Government aiming to increase this to a 14% level by 2020 to meet European renewable energy targets. If we are to succeed in meeting these targets we will require a major contribution from heat. And that means businesses, homes and the public sector pledging to use green alternative forms of heating.”

The Green Power Forum at Liverpool John Moores University was attended by more than 150 delegates with an interest in renewable energy from both the public and private sectors.

Mr McManus, who is also managing director of renewable energy products manufacturer Stiebel Eltron, said the aim of the GPF was to give businesses and organisations a better understanding of how best to go green.

“The GPF’s purpose is to share knowledge and best practice on the latest microgeneration technologies with private and public sector professionals,” he said.

“The Forum has been created to help any organisation – no matter how small, make a positive change to the environment. There was a lot of positive feedback and we are very pleased with the variety and breadth of industries and organisations that attended this year’s event.”

Kelly Butler of energy and power trade body BEAMA told the conference that market confidence was a big problem in persuading people to ‘go green’.

“To meet an aim of installing 1.4 million heat pumps by 2020, we will need around 8000 qualified installers. At the moment, the vast majority of heat energy installations are gas so we are asking contractors to take a giant leap in a market place that is lacking confidence.

“I do not think there is enough incentive for them to do so at the moment and it will take much more investment, publicity and lobbying to change the mindset of many installers as well as the British public towards green energy thinking.”

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