A drawback which affects most renewables is the new electricity trading arrangement (NETA). This requires a provider of electricity to the National Grid to estimate in advance how much electricity they will be exporting. Suppliers who may be subject to quite large fluctuations in output due to the inconsistency of wind or sun are severely disadvantaged by this regulation.
Secondly, the UK conforms with the European Union in the way heat and power from CHP are evaluated. It is the heat which has prime value; the electricity is treated as a waste product which is a mechanism which Alice would recognize from Wonderland. It is like saying that the heat from a car radiator is of prime value and the distance travelled a worthless by-product.
It is essential that there is now consistency between the words of politicians in backing CHP and their actions in facilitating its widespread adoption. For a start, electricity from CHP must be ascribed its full value and that the contribution of embedded generation generally is fully acknowledged in legislation and in the returns which it offers to suppliers.
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The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.