Renewable energy in the south west of England is a success story and 2013/14 was another year of rapid growth. We now generate 8.3 per cent of our electricity from renewables, the equivalent of 627,966 houses or just over a quarter of south west homes. The largest source of renewable energy is now large scale solar projects, which have seen a record year.

The south west leads the way in small and community scale renewables and renewable heat. Our natural resources, partnership working to overcome barriers and excellent supply chain has helped us deliver 21 per cent of the government’s Feed-in Tariff, more than any other UK region, and 14 per cent of the Renewable Heat Incentive, second only to Scotland.

Despite strong growth, we are not yet on track to deliver our share of the national 2020 target for 15 per cent of our energy to come from renewables.

To meet this target we will need all renewable technologies and a mix of large and smaller scale projects. The decision of RWE to pull out of our largest project, the Atlantic Array offshore wind farm, was a significant blow and makes the Navitus Bay project even more important. 

Failing to meet the 15 per cent target means missing out on an opportunity for the south west to take a leading role in the renewable energy revolution – we think that meeting the target could deliver 34,000 jobs.


Published: August 2014