Renewable energy is generated from natural sources. Microgeneration is small-scale use of natural sources to generate electricity.
Generating renewable energy can save you money and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases your business emits.
Renewable energy sources include:
- water or hydropower
- wind power
- solar power
- wave power
- tidal power
- anaerobic digestion
For information about the different sources of renewable energy, see our guide on how to generate your own renewable energy.
Financial benefits of microgeneration
If you generate more electricity than you need you can sell the extra electricity back to your electricity company. The payments you receive for selling electricity are called export tariffs.
The government has introduced feed-in tariffs across the UK for both businesses and households for projects up to five megawatts. The government guarantees payment to microgenerators for every kilowatt hour of electricity you generate by renewables, including electricity you generate and use yourself.
If you operate a small-scale energy generator you can make your business money by selling green energy certificates to energy suppliers.
There are a number of interest free loans and other incentives available to businesses wishing to generate renewable energy.
Planning permission for renewable energy developments
If you want to build a renewable energy development you may need to apply for planning permission from the planning service. See our guide on an overview of the planning system.
Renewables in protected areas
If the site you wish to develop is in a conservation or protected area, you must notify the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).
If your site has archaeological or architectural interest you must inform NIEA.