星期二, 1月 19, 2021
Home PV Markets British Gas plans rooftop solar panel launch

British Gas plans rooftop solar panel launch

British Gas is close to launching its first venture selling household solar panels, the chief executive of its parent Centrica said on Thursday.


Sam Laidlaw also called for greater clarity from government to help it plan investment in a range of cleaner technologies, particularly a 1 billion pound ($1.9 billion) clean coal plant in northeast England.


The group is also investing in wind turbines, energy efficiency measures and household fuel cells.


"We see rising demand for energy efficiency and green power as a real opportunity," Laidlaw told Reuters.


British Gas has teamed up with a number of local authorities, which have agreed to cut council tax bills by up to 500 pounds for customers who install solar panels.


"Consumers need to be incentives to invest in energy efficiency," said Laidlaw. "Incentives do work, and we would like to see the government supporting this kind of scheme nationally."


Centrica said last November it planned to build a big clean coal plant in Teesside, which will use synthetic gas produced from coal, capturing and storing the carbon by-product.


The technology is seen as a quick fix for slashing the carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming.


"We're committed to providing low carbon electricity to our British Gas customers, but before making major investments, the industry needs certainty on the longer term market framework, particularly the Emissions Trading Scheme, and what transitional support is available," said Laidlaw.


Power firms are pushing for government subsidies for carbon capture projects, arguing that it is nascent technology that needs to prove itself.


Environmentalists say it should not be subsidized because it allows big energy companies to continue burning dirty fuels, rather than investing in truly clean energy.


The captured CO2 is likely to be buried, possibly by pumping it under the North Sea to help push more oil out of the UK's aging oil fields.


"There is real potential for the UK to become a global pioneer and export the kind of clean coal and carbon capture technology being developed under our project to developing nations, who currently rely heavily on old high-emitting coal plants," said Laidlaw.


British Gas's solar panel scheme from April 1 follows a successful scheme with 44 local authorities that agreed to cut council tax bills by up to 100 pounds for customers who insulated their homes.


British Gas also has a deal with Ceres Power to develop domestic fuel cells, which would put mini power stations in customers' kitchens. The project is likely to deliver in about three years' time.


Centrica will shortly start work on the UK's largest offshore wind farm off the Lincolnshire coast. It is also a partner in the Barrow offshore wind farm in Cumbria and the onshore Braes of Doune wind farm in central Scotland.

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