Microgeneration is alive and well in the UK. According to the latest study by the UK research firm AEA, Microgeneration — the small-scale generation of heat and/or power by individuals, small businesses and communities to meet their own needs — continues to grow in the UK despite the recent economic downturn.
The UK launched its Feed In Tariff program in April 2010. This program provides support for renewable energy projects. Since the FIT program was launched, the growth in microgeneration capacity has been 400 percent.
According to the study, solar microgeneration projects have been at the forefront with a whopping 900 percent increase in capacity while wind and hydro have doubled their capacities. Solar installations now make up close to 75 percent of the renewable energy installations that qualify for the FIT program.
Amongst the ten largest cities in the UK, Sheffield leads in renewable energy capacity since the launch of the FIT plan, with more than eight times the capacity per capita as London and 15 times as much as Manchester. Leeds and Bristol come in second and third place, which flies in the face of geographical expectations that northern cities would not maximize solar as much as their southern counterparts.