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Renewable energy pipeline swells to four-year high

Words: Huw Morris
Renewable energy / Shutterstock_110700254

Planning applications for renewable energy project hit a four-year high last year, according to research by energy and industrial specialist PX Group.

PX Group’s analysis of government figures reveals that planning applications submitted in the UK for renewable electricity projects rose to 269 in 2019, up from 204 in 2018, 185 in 2017 and 154 in 2016 – a 75 per cent increase in three years.

The schemes include solar farms, offshore and onshore wind generation, and anaerobic digestion facilities.

PX Group said the figures show a growing appetite among energy companies for launching renewable energy projects. That more projects are being planned is likely to be a result of growing demand for cleaner energy as the UK focuses on cutting down emissions, it added.

In the 2019 Queen’s Speech, the UK government said it wanted to significantly increase its energy generation from wind capacity. Of the planning applications made for renewable projects in 2019, 90 were for wind technology, compared with 47 the year before.

Last year saw zero-carbon sources, including wind and solar power generation, supply more energy than fossil fuels for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, which reflects the UK’s shift to cleaner, ‘greener’ energy.

“To see the number of renewable projects in the pipeline rise is extremely encouraging,” said PX Group chief executive officer Geoff Holmes. “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.

“Of course, there is a lag time between submitting plans to councils and projects becoming fully operational, so more projects being in the pipeline is not a quick fix.”

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