solar panels on house in Munich, Germany – photo by cleverboy68 (source: Flickr Creative Commons)

When Germany introduced a similar FIT scheme 10 years ago — but with targets of ten percent — it started a green energy revolution in the country, turning it into a European leader in renewables.


The UK government announced on February 1st that it would pay households that generate renewable energy. The scheme, called Clean Energy Cashback, is a feed in-tariff or ‘FIT’ system similar to those already operating in many European countries and parts of the United States. What it does essentially is provide financial benefits to those households that invest in and use green power sources, such as solar panels or small wind turbines.

According to an article featured in CNN’s Eco Solutions the UK is currently behind all other EU countries – save Malta – when it comes to generating renewable electricity. Though the Clean Energy Cashback incentive is certainly a step towards joining the rest of Europe’s move towards green power generation, critics of the plan think the UK is not doing enough to promote renewable energy, citing that other countries have embraced the technology much more readily. For example Germany uses over 13% renewables compared to the UK ‘s 5.8%.

In related news, European wind power came up trumps in 2009, beating out all other electricity sources in terms of increases in energy capacity. An article in The Ecologist explains:

Wind accounted for 39 per cent of increased European energy capacity, ahead of gas (26 per cent) and solar (16 per cent). In contrast, the nuclear and coal power sectors decommissioned more megawatts of capacity than they installed in 2009, with a total of 1,393 MW of nuclear and 3,200 MW of coal decommissioned.

–The Ecologist

Included in the CNN article on the UK’s FIT scheme is this video on one possible way households may generate their own green energy in the future:

CNN Eco Solutions – Hydrogen fuel at home

Additional resources:

CNN Eco Solutions

About The Author: Graham Land

Greenfudge editor and London-based writer Graham Land grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, where he was part of the local hardcore punk scene, playing in several bands. Through this musical movement he became involved in grass roots interests such as anti-racist activism, animal rights and Ecology. In 2000 he relocated to Europe, eventually earning an MA from Malmö University in Sweden. He has also lived in Japan, Ireland, Portugal and Greece.


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