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Energy generation

Comment 6th July 2010

I think that rules/information should be created make it easy for people to generate their own electricity and sell it back to the national grid. I know people can do this a little already, but making it more easy, facilitated and comprehensive could birth a whole new genre of entrepreneurship

Instead of the merely standard wind turbines, it could be made easy for small investors to take over old water mills, windmills, have local projects where fast flowing rivers or spillways could have floatable turbines run across parts that have no boats. 

We have the skills in this country to create the technology in a mass produced way to create all these power applications, and a whole new industry could be created in creating  and supplying the hardware for medium scale power generation: off the shelf projects that people could have installed could on the smallest scale could earn discounts on your energy bills. 

But medium scale endeavors like water mills could be run as a small business with a remarkably steady income. Farmers who have lots of land with good wind coverage could earn a second income with turbines, and need less subsidy. It would save the government a lot of money if it became widespread, as the scale and diversity of the power generation would be limited only by the publics imagination, and the need for building new central power stations may be reduced. If green generation of power was diverse then it would be more consistent in differing weather.

It could also mean that in the event of weather disasters or attacks power outages would be less common as power would be generated on a more local and distributed fashion.

Why does this matter?

Reducing our dependence on oil would help our environmental goals, and also reduce the need to have too much to do with volatile parts of the world, with obvious savings in the armies etc.. Our gas supplies are running out, and local generation would be better than being an importer of fuels.

With the electric car revolution on the horizon locally generating more green electricity would seem to be the future as demands are going to go up. The public dislike talk of new fossil fuel based power stations or nuclear generation.  If this task were to be carried out by the general populous in a safe, legislated way, over thousands of private properties and small businesses the result could be the emergence of new hardware manufacturing lines for the technical industry; It could mean currently unemployed people with expertise in engineering/builders or simply people with land could enter self employment in running small businesses in a whole new home based industry, reducing people on jobseekers allowance.

The creation of modern water mills etc. could help the currently stalled building industry.

The more popular small scale generation becomes, the more mass produced the equipment would be, making it cheaper to buy and more approachable for individuals to buy into, even if it is just to earn discounts off of their bills; increasing the percentage of green energy generated in the UK, whilst not having to entertain costly discussions and campaigns against large scale development regarding other environmental concerns like habitats and views etc.

It would bring the UK closer to its carbon targets that currently may not be met, and possibly make the UK lead the way in 21st century crowd-generation of power.

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