Since August 18, 2010, municipalities and local authorities in the United Kingdom are allowed to sell excess electricity they produce from renewable sources. Due to measures taken at the time of privatization of the electricity market in the United Kingdom it was banned until now local authorities to sell the electricity they produce in excess of local consumption. Commenting on these provisions it deemed “ridiculous”, the Minister of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC, Department of Energy and Climate Change), Chris Huhne, has meant an early end to the ban. Thus, since August 18, 2010, the British municipalities (councils) can sell the surplus electricity generated by their facilities provided that the energy comes from renewable sources (solar, wind, biomass, etc. …).

This new regulation aims to reinforce the role of local authorities in the transition to green energy and reducing emissions of greenhouse gas emissions incurred by the United Kingdom. The DECC is estimated that across England and Wales are £ 100m that could be added to municipal revenues through this new legislation combined with devices for feed-pointing the network (feed-in-Tariffs). This windfall could help to improve local services or lower taxes (which we expect a positive impact on the reluctance may encounter production projects of low carbon energy among the local population). Moreover, the obvious goal is to increase the share of green electricity provided by local authorities in making use of renewable energy commercially viable. Currently, 0.01% of the country’s electricity is provided by the municipalities through renewable sources (in 2008-2009, they produced 600,000 kWh from solar and wind resource), while the figure rises to 1% in Germany!

The Local Government Association (Local Government Association) has welcomed the initiative, seeing it as a way to revolutionize the way energy is supplied to the population as well as help through difficult times financially. Some councils already have projects underway that will take advantage of these new incentives and rely on this new law to develop further: the Bristol City Council and will locate wind turbines in the Severn Estuary and Derby will begin construction its first hydro-electric Longbridge.

The speed with which Mr Huhne has made this proposal (made at the beginning of July) legally enforceable least shows that the new government is aware of the role of municipalities in the country’s energy strategy. Indeed, the objectives in terms of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases can only be achieved through the complementarity between local projects small and large industrial projects.

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