A KEY government target on renewable energy will not be met according to members of the island’s Friends of the Earth green campaigning group.
It says a Tynwald pledge to produce 15 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2015 will fail partly because there is little incentive offered by government for people to invest in the technology.
Phil Corlett from the group said not only were the incentives offered in the Isle of Man less generous than in the UK but people could actually be put off by the deal on offer for those who install solar panels to generate power.
‘Isle of Man Friends of the Earth is all for people producing their own power and it is poor that there is not much incentive,’ he said.
‘We have had a campaign about micro generation but this 15 per cent pledge has not really been picked up, even though it was voted through unanimously at the time. We get the impression most MHKs at the time didn’t really know the implications and it has since been kicked into the long grass.’
A reader who did not wish to be named contacted the paper after installing solar panels.
He complained about the seemingly inequitable payments system applied by the MEA for his photo voltaic panels which use sunlight to generate electricity.
If sufficient power is produced he incurs no charge from the MEA. If too little is produced, he buys extra from the MEA at about 16p per unit, but if he produces excess power which is then fed into the grid, he receives about 3.5p per unit from the MEA. In addition there is an extra standing charge of about £92 per year because a more complex meter is installed to record both power used and power supplied.
UK customers with a similar system receive an extra incentive payment (‘feed in tariff’) of around 16p per unit for what they generate, but that does not apply in the Isle of Man.
‘It seems to me it’s a massive disincentive,’ he said.
George Fincher of the Manx Energy Advice Centre said he felt more should be done to encourage people to use micro generating systems and green energy particularly as the costs of systems had fallen in recent years and was much more economically viable.
‘The cost has come down by a massive amount so it is much more realistic now,’ he said.
‘But compared with other countries like Germany or the UK for example we don’t have the feed in tariff and that’s a disincentive.’
The government’s energy initiatives officer Peter Longworth said the feed-in tariff used in the UK still had to be funded and was done so by subsidy from other electricity customers.
He added the extra £92 standing charge was because the meter was in effect a commercial meter not a standard household domestic one.
He said there were other countries in Europe with higher electricity costs than the Isle of Man.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
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Wind direction: South west