Let's start the week with some positive numbers!
The number of new renewable energy projects applying for planning permission reached a four-year high in the UK last year as energy companies raced to meet the rising demand for clean electricity.
There were 269 planning applications for new wind, solar and bio-energy projects in 2019, up from 204 the year before, according to an analysis of government data by energy consultancy PX Group.
With a growing appetite among energy companies for new renewable projects to help cut carbon emissions and reach the UK’s climate goal, the jump in applications last year was the biggest annual increase in recent years and 75% higher than the number of annual planning submissions made three years ago. There were just 154 submissions in 2016, rising to 185 in 2017.
Clean energy developers are also able to roll out more projects due to falling technology costs and greater support from financiers, who view renewable energy as a lucrative investment.
And this is just the beginning...
Planning submissions for clean energy projects are expected to rise in the years ahead due to the government’s decision earlier this month to lift a block against subsidising onshore wind projects that was put in place almost five years ago.
From next year, onshore wind developers will be allowed to compete for subsidies at auction alongside solar power developments and floating offshore wind projects.
The challenging market conditions that exist today will be definitely be a test for the governments commitment to supporting the ongoing roll-out of clean energy...
But the good news is that we have much cheaper renewable technologies, we have made major progress in electric vehicles and there is a supportive financial community for the clean energy transition to continue.
If the right policies are put in place there are definitely opportunities to make the best of this situation.
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Geoff Holmes, the chief executive of PX Group, said: “It goes without saying that as more of these projects get off the ground, the faster the UK can get to a point where clean, green sources provide an even greater share of the UK’s energy.