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Businesses now generating £80m of onsite renewable energy a year

June 26, 2013

Businesses now generating £80m of onsite renewable energy a year

According to a new report by utility SmartestEnergy, the number of independently-owned green energy projects boasting at least 50kW of capacity increased by 24 percent to 2011 last year. These commercial scale projects now have a combined capacity of more than 4.7GW, generating £768m worth of power, and accounting for 12 percent of all renewable energy generation in the UK.

Specifically, the number of onsite projects developed by businesses on manufacturing or retail sites increased by 53 percent and generated more than £80m worth of electricity, according to the report, which is based on an analysis of figures from Ofgem. The food and drink industry, manufacturing and retail sectors delivered strong growth for the onsite renewable sector, as they looked to drive down energy bills and take advantage of feed-in tariff incentives.

Solar power accounted for nearly half of the new onsite capacity, while wind turbines accounted for 37 percent of new capacity. But the biggest increase in independent generation last year came from farms, where 347 new projects represented a 74 percent increase on 2011, generating more than £22m of revenue for the agricultural sector. Most of the new projects installed last year were onshore wind turbines.

Ian Robertson, SmartestEnergy head of generation, said the report highlighted the rapid growth being seen in the independent generation sector. “For businesses and organizations faced with steep rises in energy costs, investing in their own renewable energy projects can generate significant savings and help them remain competitive,” he said.

Read more at BusinessGreen.

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