Independent renewable capacity grew 28% last year and now supplies 7.6% of the UK’s power demand, according to the fourth annual Energy Entrepreneurs Report from SmartestEnergy, Britain’s leading purchaser of electricity from
independent renewable generators.
However, a 20% drop in wholesale electricity prices caused by falling oil and gas prices means that while independent renewables capacity grew by 28%, the wholesale value of the electricity it generated dropped by more than 4%.
In 2015 independent energy entrepreneurs across the UK generated more than £1 billion of electricity from a total of 5,467 projects, enough to power 6.2 million households.
Last year energy entrepreneurs outside the traditional electricity supply sector invested over £376 million in more than 1,000 new commercialscale projects, adding 2.4GW of renewable capacity to meet UK energy demand.
This includes 155 corporate on-site generation projects, which added 99MW of new energy capacity or almost £100 million worth of electricity. The most active onsite generators are retailers and wholesalers, as supermarket and warehouse roofs are ideally suited to solar. Together, they developed 88 new projects, adding 9.3MW of new capacity.
Overall, there are now 728 corporate on-site generation projects around the country, accounting for 13% of all renewables projects and 6% of renewable energy capacity.
In the four years since SmartestEnergy began tracking independent renewable energy generation, almost £2.5 billion has been invested in projects above 50KW, more than doubling independent capacity from 4.7GW to nearly 11GW or 40% of UK renewable power.