Data released by Barbour ABI reveals that renewable energy planning applications were up by 26% y/y in 2014. Some £5.2 billion worth of construction contracts for 1095 renewable energy projects were awarded last year, with solar projects accounting for a record £1.7 billion of this.
The approval rate for solar energy projects improved by 59% y/y in 2014. In 2010, only three solar farms were submitted for planning approval but this figure soared to 611 last year, representing a value of more than £100 000.
The total contract value for renewable wind projects grew by 23% y/y. However, 45% of renewable wind projects were refused at the planning stage (409 projects). This compares to an average refusal rate of just 12% across the construction sector.
“Looking across the construction industry as a whole, for wind projects refusals to be running at 45% demonstrates there is clearly difficulties that likely range from the size and scope of the projects to public objections. On the flipside, wind projects contributed to 44% (£2.27 billion) of the total amount of contracts awarded for renewable energy last year, boosted by many large-scale projects such as the £105 million Corriegarth and £52.5 million Millennium South wind farms,” said Michael Dall, Lead Economist at Barbour ABI.
“The value of the 409 wind projects refused planning permission in 2014 totalled a planned spend of £1.58 billion, a significant figure to the construction industry. 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,” added Dall.
Adapted from press release by Louise Fordham
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/03032015/uk-renewable-energy-sector-grows-in-2014-439/