Archimedes Screw at Morden Hall Park with eel and fish passes
Gazebo with an array of photovoltaic cells on the roof
Wind turbines
Image 1: Archimedes Screw at Morden Hall Park © National Trust;
Image 2: Gazebo with Photovoltaic cells © Martin Caveney;
Renewable Energy
Renewable Energy


Renewable energy can be an effective way of making your site more sustainable, helping the environment and generating additional income.

The UK has a target to deliver 15% of the nation’s energy consumption from renewable energy sources by 2020.  The UK Government has identified eight technologies that have the greatest potential to meet this target.  The technologies are:

  • onshore wind
  • offshore wind
  • marine energy
  • biomass electricity
  • biomass heat
  • ground source heat pumps
  • air source heat pumps
  • renewable transport

Several incentives have been launched by the Government to meet the 15% target.

Feed-in Tariffs

The Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) scheme was introduced on 1 April 2010.  FITs are designed to encourage the use of small-scale (less than 5MW) low-carbon electricity generation.  There are three financial benefits from FITs:

  1. Generation tariff – the electricity supplier of your choice will pay you for every kilowatt of electricity you generate.
  2. Export tariff - if you generate more electricity than you use, you can export it back to the grid.  This is an additional payment on top of the generation tariff.
  3. Energy bill savings - You will not have to import as much electricity (if any) from your supplier because you will have generated your own electricity.

The Renewable Heat Incentive

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) provides financial support to non-domestic renewable heat generators and producers of biomethane. The scheme opened for applications on 28 November 2011.  The eligible technologies are:

  • Biomass boilers (Including CHP biomass boilers)
  • Solar Thermal
  • Ground Source Heat Pumps
  • Water Source Heat Pumps
  • On-Site Biogas combustion
  • Deep Geothermal
  • Energy from Municipal Solid Waste
  • Injection of biomethane into the grid

The RHI provides a continuous income stream for 20 years to any organisation that installs an eligible renewable heating system.  The system must be commercially attractive when compared to fossil fuel alternatives.

Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme

The Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme enables businesses to claim a 100% first year capital allowance on investments in certain energy saving equipment, against the taxable profits of the period of investment. Capital allowances enable businesses to write off the capital cost of purchasing new plant or machinery (e.g. boilers, motors), against their taxable profits.  There is a list of eligible technologies here (http://etl.decc.gov.uk/etl/criteria/).

The ECA scheme is managed by the Carbon Trust on behalf of the Department for Energy & Climate Change and HMRC.

Questions to Consider

The Land is suitable for
Does your site have the necessary environmental attributes? (e.g. water supply, strong winds, sun trap).

The Land is suitable for
Do you have easy and cheap access to biofuel?

The Land is suitable for
Do you have enough space to accommodate renewable energy equipment?

The Land is suitable for
Will it harm/conflict with the natural habitat?

The Land is suitable for
Do you have neighbours that would be impacted?

The Land is suitable for
Will it have a detrimental impact on the visual landscape?

The Land is suitable for
Will it conflict with other uses? (e.g. fishing, playgrounds, sports pitches)

The Land is suitable for
Do you have buildings and facilities which could benefit from self-generated electricity?

Pros and Cons

The Land is suitable for
Self-generating income (not labour intensive to run).

The Land is suitable for
Environmentally friendly.

The Land is suitable for
Can enhance environmental credentials of site.

The Land is suitable for
There are a lot of different options (and scales) to implement renewable energy, depending on the size and capacity on your site.

The Land is suitable for
Use it as a feature on your site to attract additional visitors.

The Land is suitable for
High initial capital investment.
The Land is suitable for
Potential for high maintenance costs.
The Land is suitable for
Can be unsightly and divisive amongst users and neighbours.
The Land is suitable for
Planning permissions can take time and can be costly.
The Land is suitable for
Requires a long term approach to realise the return on investment.
The Land is suitable for
Government tariffs can change!

Further Information

Ofgem are responsible for the RHI scheme: www.ofgem.gov.uk/

The Energy Technology List: http://etl.decc.gov.uk/etl/default.htm

Department for Energy & Climate Change: http://www.decc.gov.uk/

The Energy Savings Trust: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Organisations

The Carbon Trust: http://www.carbontrust.com/home

Case Studies

Morden Hall Park

Morden Hall Park

Morden Hall Park has been owned by the National Trust since 1941 when it was bequeathed to the Trust by Gilliat Edward Hatfeild.  It is free t...

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St James’ Park

St James’ Park

St James' Park is located in Shirley, Southampton. It is an urban municipal park owned and managed by Southampton City Council. The park is 6 acres...

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