Relaxed planning encourages commercial UK solar uptake

Contrasting this morning's news that residential solar installation figures have plummeted, the amount of 50kWp solar projects planned in the UK is increasing now that the planning regulations have been relaxed.

Earlier this year it was reported that a change in planning regulations means that projects over 50kW can go ahead without having to receive approval first. This removes the risk of delay to new projects, but also revives projects that have previously been held back or cancelled due to lack of permissions.

According to Eco Environments, a growing number of businesses are now beginning to invest in this scale of solar technology in order to help them to become more energy efficient at the same time as reducing their annual bill payments.

Mark Buchanan, Eco Environments’ Commercial Director, said: “We have already noticed a sharp rise in the number of enquiries from businesses since the planning changes came into effect at the start of April.

“A major focus for us is increasing the amount of work we do with commercial customers showing them how a holistic renewable energy strategy can really pay dividends in terms of energy efficiency and financial prudency.”

David Hunt, Eco Environments’ Sales and Marketing Director, said: “More and more businesses are coming to understand how harnessing the right renewable energy solutions can help a business grow and prosper, particularly during these tough economic times and against a backdrop of ever rising energy costs.

“Manufacturing businesses traditionally operate on very tight margins so the slightest spike in the cost of energy usage can wreak havoc on a company. The right renewable energy solution can help them start to take control of their energy costs rather than being vulnerable to fluctuations in the market.”

Large-scale solar parks are also expected to come back online in 2012 as they become viable under the Renewables Obligation mechanism.