British May Remove Barrier to Renewable Generators

The energy regulator in Britain, the Office of Gas & Electricity Markets, is looking at the removal of barriers against small generating facilities that are connected to local power grids.

LONDON, England, UK, 2001-10-12 [SolarAccess.com] Ofgem wants to discuss embedded generation, or the power generation that connects to local distribution networks rather than the national grid. Embedded facilities include windfarms, solar power and combined heat and power (cogeneration) plants that Ofgem believes could have an important role to play in meeting the government’s target of providing 10 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2010. The consultation is aimed at addressing the issues involved in allowing embedded generators to face only so-called ‘shallow’ charges rather than ‘deep’ charges when connecting to the distribution network. Currently, generators wanting to connect have to pay a one-time up-front payment that can cost millions of pounds and be a significant barrier to market entry. Demand customers currently pay only lower ‘shallow’ charges for connection. “The issues raised by embedded generation are far reaching and complex,” says John Neilson of the agency. “Ofgem is committed to taking forward its important work program to consider the opportunities for, and barriers to, the development of embedded generation, while ensuring at all times a safe and secure supply for customers, and a fair and competitive market for generators.”

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