New figures released today show the Renewable Energy sector is still growing at an impressive rate continuing the trend of year on year growth.
The figures come from a new study by Barbour ABI, a chosen provider of construction data for the Government and Office for National Statistics.
During 2014 there was a total of 1,095 renewable energy contracts handed out worth a total of £5.2 billion pounds. This total included solar power projects worth over £1.7 billion – a new record.
The data also showed that renewable energy planning applications increased by 26 per cent when compared with data from 2013.
Although overall the data showed that the renewable energy sector did well in 2014 a surprising trend also emerged. 409 wind projects were refused at the detailed planning stage. This equates to 45 per cent of all submitted wind projects being rejected – far higher than the average rate of 12 per cent across the construction sector.
Despite the high number of rejected applications the total contract values for renewable wind projects still increased by 23 per cent year on year.
Good News For Solar
Solar energy has seen a rapid growth over the last few years and the figures clearly show this. 611 solar farms worth £100,000 or more were submitted for planning in 2014. Just 2 were submitted 4 years earlier in 2010.
Solar energy projects also had the biggest jump in planning approvals year on year with an increase of 59 per cent compared to 2013.
Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI said “Looking across the construction industry as a whole, for wind projects refusals to be running at 45 per cent 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 per cent (£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.”
Mr Dall went on to say that the 409 wind projects refused planning permission in 2014 were worth a total of £1.58 billion. He added that more could be done to look at reducing the refusal percentage of wind projects.