How important are renewable projects to the UK energy sector?

How important are renewable projects to the UK energy sector?

Recent data released by construction data specialists, Barbour ABI, indicate that £5.2 billion worth of contracts for renewable energy projects were awarded in 2014, with renewable energy planning applications increasing by 26 per cent compared with 2013.

This indicates a continuing trend of year on year growth in the sector, as the industry aims to bring cleaner and more secure energy to the UK.

Solar energy projects approvals increased 59 per cent year on year in 2014, while the total contract values for renewable wind projects increased by 23 per cent year on year in 2014.

These two large-scale projects are examples of some of the contracts awarded within the renewable energy sector in 2014.

Wroughton Airfield Solar Park – Swindon
With a contract value of £50million, the installation of a solar array at Wroughton Airfield Solar Park in Swindon will produce 41MW of electricity. The project will include transformer stations, internal access track, landscaping, fencing, security measures, access gate and ancillary infrastructure.

Corriegarth Wind Farm - Inverness
The £105 million Corriegarth wind farm project in Inverness will consist of the erection of 20 wind turbines with an output capacity of 69MW, two anemometry masts and ancillary infrastructure.

However, 45 per cent of renewable wind projects submitted for detail planning were refused at the planning stage.

Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI commented: “There are clearly difficulties that likely range from the size and scope of the projects to public objections. Alongside the increased importance of renewable projects to the UK energy sector, more may need to be done to look at reducing the refusal percentage of wind projects.”

More positively, wind projects contributed to 44 per cent (£2.27 billion) of the total amount of contracts awarded for renewable energy last year. Furthermore, 611 solar farms with a value of over £100,000 were submitted for planning in 2014, compared to only three solar farms in 2010 – signifying the increasing need of renewable sources for the energy sector.

Further information
Visit Ecobuild, the UK's leading event for sustainable design, construction and energy, this week Tues 3-5 March at London Excel where experts within the renewable energy sector will be available to discuss these issues further.

Visit for more information about construction data specialists Barbour ABI.

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