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Renewable energy is the way forward
Posted by NatWest and RBS on 20 Jun 2013
The UK’s renewable energy market continues to grow, generating 11.3% of the energy we consumed last year compared to 9.4% in 2011.
And it seems like more and more businesses are recognising the potential benefits and investing in some long term energy methods.
Ian Burrow, Head of Renewable Energy at NatWest and RBS takes a closer look.
Although there were mixed feelings in 2012 with the government’s Energy Bill in November generating some debate among commentators and investors, the future appears to be bright for renewable energy projects.
Renewable energy technologies are becoming increasingly attractive as businesses and landowners recognise the potential of renewable energy and the chance to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, reduce costs and provide a positive environmental impact.
This is particularly true in the farming community where opportunities are rife to make solid investments for the future.
RenewableUK estimates that the average farmer can make between £12,000 and £50,000 a year through utilising renewable energy.
In July 2011, NatWest launched a dedicated Renewable Energy Fund to support businesses looking to install wind turbines and solar panels.
Since the launch of the £50million fund, interest has grown notably.
In the past 12 months alone we have seen the average loan request for renewable energy grow from £250,000 to £500,000 – showing the growing interest and recognition in the investment potential.
This can be said to be down to a growing awareness of the potential for return on these kinds of projects, as well as the continuing development of technology and research.
Whatever the reasons for the use of renewable energy, it seems this is not a trend that is going anywhere soon.
Although how businesses use renewable energy may change and develop as time goes on and technology develops.
There could come a time where we have regional renewable energy systems that will be supplying heat and electricity to local schools, hospitals, local authorities and small industrial areas.
We are already meeting people to discuss the opportunities for communities to combine together with nearby farmers and landowners to supply whole villages with energy and I do see a breakthrough coming in this direction within the next two or three years.
I can also see a future in off-grid systems, using fuel cell storage to maintain a constant supply of power to prevent the sort of outage some sectors of the energy industry are warning about in the not-too-distant future.
In the next couple of years, people will become even more aware of what we need to do with renewable energy and where we should be going.
If you are considering investing in a renewable energy project, it is vital to work with advisors with expertise in the industry.
Make sure you undergo thorough research to explore what opportunities there are. Installing some sort of system now will help reduce costs, as well as providing some energy security for the future.
Natwest’s Renewable Energy Team have been named winners of the Skills Development Award at the prestigious 2013 British Renewable Energy Awards.