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MCS and microhydro

Comment 10th August 2010

Remove MCS approval as a condition of receiving Feed in Tariff for microhydro.

Why does this matter?

For microhydro it is completely inappropriate to insist on MCS approval as a condition for receiving Feed in Tariff.  This condition is now creating great uncertainty amongst site owners, and is a major deterrent to producing more electricity from our rivers in the UK.

MCS is an attempt by the previous Government to over-regulate microhydro, which is already well covered by the G59 and G83 regulations, Abstraction and Impoundment Licences, and other regulations such as Planning, and Health and Safety at Work.

The inappropriateness of MCS for microhydro is demonstrated by the inability of MCS to so far produce standards for microhydro, both for equipment and installers. And the very small number of installations put in each year in the UK will mean a significantly higher cost for each installation, due to the costs of gaining MCS accreditation.

Furthermore, refurbished turbines at mill sites will not be allowed FITs.  And mill owners, many of them skilled engineers, will not be allowed to install equipment at their own sites.

The sole criterion for eligibility for FITs for microhydro should be the ability to generate electricity. In this way the level of FIT received is directly related to the quantity of electricity generated, the more "green" energy the more FIT, which should be exactly the purpose of the FIT scheme.

Somerset mill owner and generator

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