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UK councils can sell renewable electricity

Local councils around the UK will be allowed to sell renewable electricity to the grid, following an overturn of the ban on this by Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne.

Only 0.01% of electricity in England is generated by local authority-owned renewable energy sources at the moment.

The ban on local authorities selling renewable electricity will end on 18 August, which with the benefits of the feed-in tariff, could generate up to £200 million a year in income for local authorities across England and Wales.

At present local authorities are able to put any renewable electricity they generate to local use, and to benefit from the associated feed-in tariff for projects smaller than 5 MW. But they are restricted from selling any excess renewable electricity into the grid (other than that generated from combined heat and power), and also from benefitting from the additional export component of the feed-in tariff.

RenewableUK, welcomes the decision

Gordon Edge, Director of Policy at RenewableUK says: “This decision is very good news for councils, the environment and local communities alike. Councils have a vital role to play in the switch to a new low-carbon economy and today’s announcement means they can now take full advantage of the feed-in-tariff and the Renewables Obligation to deliver long-term benefit to their communities by way of additional income. In doing so we hope to see local authorities becoming champions of renewable energy and encouraging wider support.”

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