Aberdeenshire has fitted 5.88 MWe of renewable energy generation since the government started the green energy Feed In Tariff (FIT) scheme in April 2010, which equates to 3.655% of the total microgeneration in the UK.

This figure includes all forms of microgeneration that qualify for the FIT scheme: anaerobic digestion, hydro, Micro Combined Heat and Power, PhotoVoltaic (solar panels) and wind turbines.

According to a report by AEA [1], of all the forms of power generation solar panels are the most popular in the UK making up nearly 75% of all power generated (120.163 MWe).

At the time of writing, just looking at solar energy Cornwall tops the list with just over 3 MWe followed by Doncaster then Barnsley.

With the FIT set at 43.3p for every unit of electricity used the returns on investing in this type of microgeneration can be up to 8% according to Colin McNaught, Knowledge Leader of AEA. That's heftier than many standard investments.

The FIT pays you for the electricity you generate and use, it pays you more if it is exported back into the grid.

The FIT scheme is designed to encourage ordinary people to invest in green energy and increase the level of renewable energy in the UK. The aim is that by 2020 the UK will have met its legally binding requirement of deriving 15% of our energy from renewables.

With the seeming ever increasing cost of electricity and a dearth of investments giving good returns this may be a good time to look at renewable energy and the FIT scheme.

The simplest way for the average home-owner to benefit is to fit solar panels as they are simple and unobtrusive. Just make sure that you choose a provider that does not hard sell and is a member of all of the relevant professional bodies as well as guaranteeing the system.

For more information on investing in solar power please call 0800 690 6361 or visit the Green Energy Company. If you tell them you found them via The Economic Voice and you invest in a system with them you will receive a £100 cash-back!

[1] www.aeat.com/microgenerationindex/

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