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 £1,500 on insulation, to save £120 pa.  Five small biomass CHP plants costing £400,000
each. Each would be operated by an entrepreneurial
 Five solar PV 220W panels costing £3,500, generating
1,400-kWh at 12p/kWh substitution price plus the
farmer using a mix of miscanthus, sawmill &
FIT of 48p/kWh to earn £840 pa (48p being mid-way
forestry waste and waste wood with an average cost
between DECC’s 36.5p/kWh and the Renewable
of £50 per tonne. The plants each use 850-tons pa of
Energy Association’s recommendation of 59.5p/kWh).
biomass for a total cost of £213,000 pa. In return
they each generate 400-MWh electricity, 1,180-MWh
 A 6-kW Ground Source Heat Pump costing £5,000
of useable heat and 85-tons pa of biochar suitable
generating 17,500-kWh over 2,920 hours (33%) of the
when briquetted as a domestic coal substitute or for
year. With a possible RHI of 2p/kWh, this will earn
BBQs or as an organic fertiliser with a sale value of
the householder £350 pa.
£350 per tonne to raise £150,000 pa (paying for the
The net investment by the householder on the insulation,
feedstock). The FIT for pyrolysis & gasification for
solar PV and GSHP would be £1,500. The electricity
plants under 100-kW is 20p/kWh plus a mix of
consumption of the house, due to the GSHP with an
substitution and wholesale price of 7p/kW worth
efficiency of 4kWh heat for each kWh of electricity put
£540,000 pa. Assuming that the RHI is 2p/kWh and
into the pump, would double to about 9-MWh costing
that 50% of the heat is sold at 2p/kWh, the heat
£1,000 pa. There would be zero cost for heating and hot
generated by the five plants will earn £177,000 pa.
water. The householder’s annual energy bill will be
Assuming the O&M costs of the five plants total
turned from about £1,400 pa (4.5-MWh electricity at
£240,000 pa, the tax free profit accruing to the Trust
12p for £550 and 1,700 litres heating oil at 50p for
would be £477,000 pa from an investment of £2 million.
£850) into an electricity bill of £1,000 pa less £840 for
the solar PV and £350 for the GSHP for a profit of £190.
conclusion …
The householder pays back the Trust’s £2,000 loan over
The above projections illustrate the potential knock-on
15 years at £190 pa. The household energy bill falls to £-
benefits arising at the local level from a, say, 5% levy
zero per year and each household is on average £1,400
on the pre-tax profits made by developers who install
pa better off. As the subsidies are likely to be tax free,
RE projects larger than 5-MW. As the developer would
a standard rate tax payer is £1,750 pa better off, help-
have paid 28% Corporation Tax, the net cost of such a
ing to banish fuel poverty.
levy to the developer would be 3.6%.
Such a levy could compensate affected communities,
community based schemes …
providing them with the resources to address a wide
A community-wide scheme along the above lines might
range of local issues, and act as a multiplier by funding
account for around half of the income derived through
other renewable energy projects.
a local Trust from a legislated linkage with a nearby
The guaranteed income stream accruing from a 5%
large-scale wind project, based on a 5% levy.
levy will enable community trusts to raise capital which
This would leave the Trust ample funds to spend on
can be used to generate further income from FITs and
community welfare and other projects, whilst leaving
the RHI; this could apply not only to large-scale wind
a healthy balance to spend on community renewable
projects, but also to large biomass CHP, energy from
energy projects designed to get the best return from
waste plants, tidal farms and pumped storage schemes.
the FITs and the RHI; a typical suite of community-
For further information about renewable energy see
based projects, all funded by the income to the Trust
www.uk-sda.org
arising from its linkage with a nearby large-scale wind
development might encompass, for example:
 Four 50-kW wind-turbines costing £1 million,
generating 800-MWh with an assumed Renewable
Energy Association recommended FIT of 25p (DECC
Gage Williams OBE, a former infantry brigadier,
decision awaited), plus the guaranteed minimum
is a director of the Renewable Energy Office for
Cornwall and has given independent advice to
Grid price of 5p/kWh, might earn £240,000 pa, or
the county, major utility companies, estate
owners and recently the National Trust on how
£204,000 net after deduction of site lease and O&M.
they can benefit from switching to renewable
energy. He can be contacted at
gagewillms@aol.com
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