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South West of England leads the way of Green Energy

Producers of renewable energy in south west of England are now generating enough “green” electricity to power more than 25% of all the homes in the region.
This is revealed in a major report, published this week by independent renewable energy experts Regen SW, which says that capacity has grown by 37% in the past 12 months to nearly 1.2GW – and the region now generates 8.3% of its electricity from renewable sources.
The “South West Renewable Energy Progress Report”, produced annually since 2004, shows the south west leads the way in small and community-scale renewables.
The south west has 21% of the projects supported by the Government’s Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) scheme, more than any other UK region, and 14% of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) projects, second only to Scotland.
“The key areas of growth were 270MW of solar PV, 68MW of biomass and 23MW from onshore wind.
However, the report warns that in spite of this strong growth, the south west is not on track to meet the Government’s target of driving 15% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.
“This year’s progress report is encouraging,” said Merlin Hyman, chief executive of Regen SW. “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 concludes that while the foundation stone for renewables is a clear and consistent government policy framework, there is also much more can be done locally to: tackle barriers such as the capacity of the electricity grid and ensuring clear planning rules; enable commercial deployment of new technologies like offshore wind, wave and tidal energy.
“We also need a mix of all renewables’ technologies,” added Mr Merlin. “While solar PV, onshore wind and biomass are currently our best performers, the deployment of offshore wind off the Dorset coast has the potential to make the largest contribution to the amount of renewable energy we generate, while wave and tidal energy have an exciting future.”

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