A report published today by the Green Alliance claims mini power stations on the roofs of UK homes will soon be possible and affordable.
The report claims the sun, wind and even the heat in soil can provide clean energy for a household, and that micropower could help tackle climate change and save money.
South-facing roofs are most suited to water heating or direct power from solar power, and an unused chimney can be used as an anchor for a micro wind turbine.
For people not connected to the gas network, who rely on oil-fired central heating or electricity (estimated to be around 4.5 million people) a heat exchanger that extracts heat stored in the soil could be installed.
Joanna Collins, author of the report, says only the government stands in the way of consumers being able to take advantage of new technologies in this area: “If the government is serious about developing a secure, diverse and sustainable energy supply, then rising energy demand in people’s homes has to be tackled head on. Micro combined heat and power boilers and solar electricity roofs should become familiar household fixtures,” said Collins. “Installing just six panels of solar PV on a typical new three-bedroom house would reduce that household’s carbon emissions by over 20%.”
The Green Alliance believes the cost of micropower would be an investment to set against the government’s annual expenditure of £1.85bn on winter fuel payments for the elderly.