South West of England now generates nearly 1.2GW of renewable energy

The South West of England generates enough renewable electricity to power more than one quarter of all homes in the region, according to a report published by Regen SW.

The South West Renewable Energy Progress Report shows that renewable capacity in the south west has increased by 37% over the last 12 months to a total of nearly 1.2GW. The largest area of growth in the region has been through the deployment of solar PV which represented 270MW of new capacity. Of that PV capacity, more than 60% is attributed to large-scale solar farm developments.

Smaller scale renewable installations have also proved extremely popular in the region with 21% of projects supported by the feed-in tariff and 12% supported by the renewable heat incentive.

Commenting on the report, Merlin Hyman, chief executive of Regen SW said: "This year's progress report is encouraging. However, it should be just the start. With 70% of all investment in energy globally predicted to be in renewables, our success in this market is critical. By meeting our renewables targets we could create 34,000 high-value jobs, become less reliant on uncertain oversees supplied fossil fuels, and use our local renewable energy resources to generate income and fuel security for local communities."

The report identifies a number of barriers that are continuing to constrain the deployment of renewables, namely grid capacity, local planning rules and community engagement and strategy.

Hyman added: "A key conclusion of our analysis is that we need to take more responsibility locally for making the most of the excellent renewable energy resources we have: putting local communities at the heart of developments; and supporting local companies to compete for work."

This article has been adapted from an article published by Solar Power Portal.