Regen SW’s annual renewable energy report has revealed a rapid growth in the number renewable electricity projects in the south west of the UK over the past year. The majority of these installations were dominated by domestic solar photovoltaic installations. However, the report also highlights that Government’s recent policy reviews have the potential to put a stop to this growth.
The Renewable Energy Progress Report: South West Annual Survey shows that there were a total of 2,451 renewable electricity projects installed in the past 12 months, 97% of which were solar PV.
Merlin Hyman, Regen SW Chief Executive said, “The sharp rise in solar PV installations is a direct result of the Government's feed-in tariffs, which were introduced in April 2010 and created huge interest. However proposed policy changes are undermining confidence and putting growth in all renewable energy sectors at risk.”
“As the growth in the past year shows renewable energy is the greatest economic opportunity of the next decade and we have great resources locally – but to make the most of this opportunity we need a clear national policy framework and ambitious plans to support local firms. Lead the way and we will enable great businesses to develop, flourish and sell their technologies and skills around the world,” continued Hyman.
The majority of renewable electricity installations recorded in the survey were microgeneration projects. Out of the 2,442 recorded, 2,393 were new solar PV projects, which contributed 6.77MW of installed capacity. Only eight of the projects were larger than 50kW, yet these contributed over 70% of the capacity increase.
To date, no large-scale solar farms have been commissioned in the south west, although a number have been approved and are expecting to be completed before the fast-track feed-in tariff cuts are implemented on August 1.
Cornwall remains the south west's best performing county, with over a third of the region's total renewable heat and electricity capacity. Other county statistics are as follows:
To view a full version of the Renewable Energy Progress Report: South West 2011 Annual Survey, visit: http://is.gd/EJi0Sg