Micro Energy Generation

Microgeneration is the production of heat or power on a small scale, when compared to the outputs of a typical fossil-fuelled power station. Microgeneration technologies are low or even zero carbon and allow site owners to generate their own sustainable heat and/or electricity. Unlike large power stations which are often located hundreds of miles away from where the power is needed, microgeneration systems use the power where it is made. This means they are much more efficient as transmission and distribution losses are virtually eliminated.

Microgeneration comes in various forms. There are two categories of solar powered technologies; photovoltaic (PV) systems, that produce electricity, and solar thermal systems to provide hot-water and sometimes space heating. Ground Source Heat Pumps use energy stored in the ground for space heating and micro-Combined Heat and Power (micro-CHP) look and operate in a similar way to conventional gas boilers – except that they provide electricity as well as heat. Micro turbines provide electricity, either powered by the wind or naturally flowing water (hydro power). Hydrogen powered fuel cells designed to provide heat and electricity at a commercial scale are currently being developed.

So far, solar thermal technologies have experienced the highest levels of uptake with over 90,000 installations in the UK but new financial incentive schemes are likely to transform the market in coming years.