Green energy capacity up 37%

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According to a major new report published today (July 7), renewable energy now supplies one quarter of all south west homes.

The annual South West Renewable Energy Progress Report, published by independent industry expert Regen SW, says that renewable electricity capacity in the south west grew 37% in the past 12 months to nearly 1.2 GW and that the region now generates 8.3% of its electricity from renewable sources.

Geographical spread of renewable energy capacity

However, despite this strong growth, Regen SW says the south west is not on track to meet the Government target of driving 15% of our energy from renewable sources by 2020 and risks missing out on a huge economic opportunity to build a world-leading renewables industry.

“This year’s progress report is encouraging,” said Merlin Hyman, chief executive of Regen SW.

“However, it should be just the start. With 70% of all investment in energy globally predicted to be in renewables, our success in this market is critical.

“By meeting our renewables targets we could create 34,000 high-value jobs, become less reliant on uncertain oversees supplied fossil fuels, and use our local renewable energy resources to generate income and fuel security for local communities.”

Devon and Cornwall lead the way in the south west for renewable energy capacity at 380 MW and 374 MW respectively (see graphic).