Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Huge rise in county’s green energy sector

15:03 03 July 2014

Debach Enterprises  announce the commissioning  of  a 500 kWp solar photovoltaic roof top installation in Ipswich

Debach Enterprises announce the commissioning of a 500 kWp solar photovoltaic roof top installation in Ipswich

A huge growth in Suffolk’s independent renewables projects has been recorded as farmers, businesses and public sector organisations seek ways of tackling soaring energy prices.

shares

New research has revealed a 48% year-on-year increase in funding for schemes such as wind turbines and solar installations in the county – on top of projects from the “Big Six” power companies.

The Energy Entrepreneurs report states that nearly £50million has been invested in commercial-scale renewables schemes over recent years, with £2.3m spent on new projects during the last 12 months alone.

East Suffolk projects highlighted by SmartEnergy, the report’s authors, include Adnams’ anaerobic digestion plant in Reydon and two large solar roof arrays at Debach Enterprises in Ipswich and HG Gladwell & Sons in Copdock Mill.

Iain Robertson, SmartestEnergy’s head of generation, has attributed the “huge growth” on “soaring energy bills and growing environmental concerns”.

Suffolk County Council, which has helped 120 small businesses and 30 schools generate their own energy to reduce running costs, said it recognised the “great opportunities” posed by the green economy.

Rebecca Hopfensperger, who is responsible for environmental matters at the council, added: “Whilst, the multi-billion investment and resulting jobs in off-shore wind generation and the development of new nuclear generation is of vital importance to the county, it is important not to forget the value of generating energy closer to where it is being used.”

“This reduces the energy lost whilst being transmitted and often means all the financial benefits can be retained locally.”

Ms Hopfensberger conceded, however, that renewable energy generation “can sometimes be a controversial issue” and stressed that decisions should take into account “the specific issues for each proposal”.

John Constable, director at the Renewable Energy Foundation, said he was not surprised by the reported growth, given the “extremely generous” annual subsidies, which he claims are placing a “major burden on consumers”.

“The annual cost of subsidies to investors in renewable electricity will reach about £8bn a year in 2020, with extra grid and system operation costs adding about £5bn a year, a total of £13bn a year in additional cost,” he said.

Nationally, nearly £300m was invested in independent projects in 2013, with farming maintaining its position as the fasted growing sector for independent projects.

Brian Finnerty, communications adviser with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) in East Anglia, said farmland has been used for fuel as well as crops and pasture for hundreds of years.

“It is NFU policy that, alongside food production, some farmers diversify into low-carbon renewable energy services of all kinds,” he said.

“Such developments are often complementary to profitable agriculture and can enhance farm succession, especially where farmers own their own renewable energy assets or otherwise benefit from new income streams.”

In total, the projects operating in Suffolk can now potentially generate around £33.8m worth of electricity a year.

shares

2 comments

  • We the consumers in the UK are being exploited by the energy companies. The shambolic and farcical watchdogs that are supposed to prevent this from happening are powerless and unwilling to support the UK citizens and small businesses who are paying some of the highest energy costs in Europe. The Government's energy policies are in disarray. We have some of the best wave and tidal conditions on the planet off our east coast. Sadly many of the specialist companies some of whom are based in Suffolk who design and build wave and tidal generators get little or no support from the government.

    Report this comment

    Grey Fox

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

  • Excuse me, no wonder they are smiling it has nothing to do with being green, just being greedy from disgustingly high government subsidies , bringing solar panels from China , which has a disgusting record with destroying our planet ethically , morally and at what cost to civilisation ! The pollution caused by China for us being "green " is hideous!

    Report this comment

    Sandie

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Keith Norman, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ business development manager (back row, centre) launches the company'’s sponsorship of Suffolk FA’s Walking Football initiative at Whitton Sports Centre in Ipswich.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has become a sponsor of Suffolk FA’s Walking Football initiative.

developer John Howard

Town centre homes plans for important Ipswich town centre site close to the Waterfront

Sam Parnell and Max Shelley of Measured Brilliance

Digital Marketing ‘meetup’ group SIMS teams up with Measured Brilliance and Ipswich Borough Council to help businesses in 2016.

Matt Hampson
, founder of the Matt Hampson Foundation, which is being supported by Adnams through sales of its limited edition beer Prop Hop.
Photo: Jason Bye

Southwold brewer Adnams has reintroduced its limited edition beer Prop Hop to coincide with the start of this year’s Six Nations rugby championship.

Oil and Gas platform

The energy industry in the East has issued a high-level plea urging the prime minister to support the region “as a matter of urgency”.

Most read

Fred Olsen Travel Sale

cover

Click here to view
the Fred Olsen
Travel Sale

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24