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In the UK grants are available from The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reforms (BERR) Low Carbon Building Programme for various forms of renewable energy including solar photovoltaic, wind turbines, small scale hydro, solar water heating, heat pumps and bioenergy.

The programme will also fund renewable CHP, micro CHP and fuel cells. This allows some of the cost to be offset by the government and allows sustainable forms of energy production to compete with cheaper non-sustainable fuels and methods.

There is increasing demand for a proper feed-in tariff or buy-back system to guarantee the owner a price for any excess electricity they might generate. This would encourage people to set up systems in order to make money, and act as a kind of investment.

The suggested feed-in tariff (FIT) values renewables at up to ten times 'normal' energy, which is fair as grid electricity also subject to hidden huge subsidies in creation of energy infrastructure such as power stations, grids, etc.

Reducing energy consumption will reduce our impact on the planet, however the need for energy will always be there. Using more renewable and sustainable energy is a practical and viable method of reducing the amount of carbon and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as well as reducing the running cost of the building.

With conventional energy prices consistently rising there has never been a better time to take advantage of renewable and sustainable energy sources.

This takes place in Germany where 300,000 microgeneration systems have been installed in the last three years. This compares to 1100 solar PV systems in the whole of the UK running during 2006, and about 270 installed in all of 2007. Only 2% of the UK's energy is from renewables, sdespite huge potential capacity for wind, tidal and wave power.

Britain is the worst performer for renewables in Europe, except Malta and Luxembourg. Germany has 237 times the UK's capacity, 3,800 MWp compared to 16 MWp.