Proposed Increase in UK Feed-in Tariff to Benefit Fuel Cell micro-CHP

10 Feb 2012

Greg BarkerUK Minister for Climate Change, Greg Barker, has announced the publication of DECC’s (Department of Energy and Climate Change) Phase 2B consultation on feed-in tariffs (FIT), incorporating a range of technologies, including micro-CHP. The proposed changes will see the micro-CHP tariff rise from 10.5 pence per kilowatt hour to 12.5 pence per kilowatt hour; an additional export tariff of 3.1 pence per kilowatt hour is also available for electricity exported to the grid.

This announcement follows comments earlier in the month by Mr Barker signalling his intent to use such vehicles as the FIT to “jumpstart” UK micro-CHP adoption, a technology he sees as “an attractive, price-competitive alternative to taking electricity from the grid or installing a conventional boiler” – “there are very few homes that couldn’t benefit from micro-CHP”.

Fuel cell micro-CHP manufacturers Ceres Power (UK) and Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited (CFCL; Australia) have both commended the announcement. CFCL’s BlueGen SOFC is the first, and currently only, fuel cell certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme and therefore eligible for FIT. The company is working in collaboration with energy utility E.ON to bring its product to the UK in a series of trials commencing later this year.

UK-based Ceres Power has been working alongside British Gas for several years under a development, supply and distribution agreement to implement residential fuel cell micro-CHP in the UK. Trials of the SOFC product began in February last year; a scaled-up trial of at least 150 products is set to take place this year. The company claims that a typical UK home with a Ceres micro-CHP unit would see its annual FIT rise from £350 to £436 under the proposed increase, on top of predicted annual energy cost savings of £286 gained through use of the system.

The Phase 2B consultation closes on the 26th April, with new tariffs expected to take effect from October.

Image source: David Levene

Industry Directory: Ceres Power



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