Biomass boilers could satisfy up to 40% of the UK's electricity demands

Cambridge Consultants has been appointed as a technical and engineering consultant on a pan-European scheme to design a mass market green boiler.

Cambridge Consultants is among a group of EU companies and governments developing a combined heat and power (CHP) product at a cost comparable to conventional gas boilers. The group aims to have its first-generation system up and running by the end of the year.

Cambridge Consultants said it was awarded the project, led by conponents manufacturer GTC Europe, because of its history of rapidly developing products for highly regulated industries.

Duncan Smith of Cambridge Consultants said: “There is no doubt that micro-CHP will play a significant role in the future of electricity generation, not just in Western Europe, where there is currently high demand, but globally.”

For homes that install micro-CHP systems, VAT has been lowered from 17.5 to 5% in the UK. Findings of a 2005 study by the UK’s Energy Savings Trust suggest that by 2050, micro-CHP systems could provide 30-40% of the UK’s electricity needs.

Like conventional boilers, micro-CHP systems use natural gas to provide homes with heating and hot water. However, as a by-product they also generate a modest amount of electricity, which can be used for lighting or other domestic appliances.