Coninciding with the Government’s transition towards a ‘green’ Brexit and with its sights set on achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the renewables sector is expected to continue to grow.
The coronavirus pandemic, which saw the UK set a new record for the longest period the grid has ever operated without coal, could act as a catalyst for further investment in the sector, with eyes on leaders across the world to reduce global warming.
According to the recently released EY annual Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI), which lists the top 40 countries based on renewable energy investment, the UK had moved up a notch to rank sixth.
Rural areas where there are pockets of marginal or under productive land are ideal for siting wind turbines and solar panel arrays.
“There is no doubt that clean energy is the future, which is why it is no surprise that we have seen a growth in renewable energy focused commercial property transactions – although the timing of this increased interest may be unexpected.
“Lockdown has made landowners look for financial opportunities outside of their usual agricultural uses whilst agents and developers are proactively looking for land, particularly large-scale 200+ acre plots with access to the electricity grid that are ideal for solar farms.
“New technologies – such as double-sided panels – mean that solar farms are now more efficient than before and some sites that would previously have been considered unviable may now be capable for being developed.”
Wind and solar energy are both given priority access to the grid, but with public opinion turning against wind farms in the late 2000s due to their bold impact on the landscape, solar farms have become increasingly popular in the last decade.
With solar farms now financially viable without government subsidy, they remain an attractive option to landowners.