Renewable energy refers to energy that occurs
naturally and repeatedly in the environment. Therefore, it does not
release any net greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In the UK, at
present only 4% of electricity comes from renewable sources.
Using renewable energy sources can offer a wide range of
benefits to your business:
- lower energy bills
- energy price stability
- security of energy
- 'green' credentials
- possibility of selling electricity back to the grid at a
Renewable electricity generation
- Wind power (small scale wind energy)
Wind turbines are used to produce electricity. They are
attached to outside of buildings - require a structural survey and
- Solar electricity (photovoltaics)
Panels or cells convert sunlight into electricity.
They are attached to outside of buildings - require a structural
survey and may require planning permission.
- Small-scale hydro-electric power
An immersed turbine uses flowing water to produce
electricity. This technology is highly site-specific. It requires a
near body of water that is flowing and has a drop in level that can
Renewable heat generation
- Solar water heating (solar thermal)
Uses energy from the sun to heats water up to 55-65ºC.
Systems should be roof-mounted and ideally integrated into your
current immersion-heated, hot-water system.
Generating power by burning organic material, such as
wood, straw, dedicated energy crops, sewage sludge and animal
litter. Lots of space is required for the boiler and storage of
fuel. Site access is also important for deliveries of
- Anaerobic Digestion (AD)*
Bacteria break down organic material in the absence of
oxygen, producing a combustible methane-rich biogas. Requires
access to large amounts of high-strength liquid organic wastes.
Planning permissions will be required and you should consult a
specialist about odour control.
*Note: output can be for heating, combined heat and power (CHP) or
fuel for transport.
- Ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs)**
Using naturally-occurring underground low-level
heat. Most suitable for 'new builds' with appropriate
- Air-source heat pumps (ASHPs)**
Converting low-level heat, occurring naturally in the
air, into high-grade heat. System must be attached to outside
of buildings - planning permission may be required
**Note: Ground- and Air- source heat pumps are not completely
'renewable' as they require electricity to drive their pumps or
Combined heat and power (CHP)
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is the on-site generation of
electricity and the use of the heat that is produced as a
Renewables and CHP guidance
The following publications are available for free download:
For the latest news and information on Feed-in Tariffs (FITs), please read our
consult DECC's FITs page.
For the latest news and information on the Renewable Heat
incentive (RHI), please consult DECC's RHI page
The National Biofuel Supplier Database can be found at: http://www.woodfueldirectory.org
Visit the MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme)
website for details on how to become MCS certificated. If you
are already MCS certificated then you will be able to find further
useful resources on the MCS site.
If your business is looking to install renewable energy
generation, see our services to find out how we can
help. This includes financing and implementation support for
organisations seeking to invest in green technology, for more
details visit our Implementation &
If you are a public sector organisation interested looking for
advice and support on decentralised energy, district heating
and CHP, see our decentralised energy support
Visit our regional web pages for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to get details
of our government-funded support.