Yorkshire renewables could soon power a million refrigerators

James Hall, partner at Barton Willmore

Yorkshire and The Humber could soon have enough renewable energy capacity to power more than one million refrigerators a year, research by Barton Willmore has shown.

Analysis of the number of renewable energy schemes already operating in the region – and those yet to be built – shows Yorkshire is on the cusp of generating 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy.

Experts at planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore analysed data which shows that while Yorkshire and the Humber lags far behind in operational capacity, it will catch up when new schemes are completed. 

Fewer than half of Yorkshire and the Humber schemes are operational, compared with nearly 50 per cent in the North East.

James Hall, partner at Barton Willmore, said: “Our research shows Yorkshire will soon have more than 1,000 megawatts of renewable capacity – enough to power more than 300 homes each year.

“This is great progress, but we must be ambitious for the region – which could be providing so much more. Nationally we are looking at target of 20 per cent energy from renewable sources, by 2020.

“Yorkshire could be leading the field towards this target with its wealth of natural assets – including solar, wind, sea and biomass. Using their strategic economic plans, the Leeds City Region LEP and Sheffield City Region have led the charge to promote renewables and low carbon industry, but we also need to make sure local planning authorities have the tools to make sure developers can capitalise – where appropriate – on these assets.”

Currently the region has around 313 megawatts of operational capacity.

James added: “As a region we need to put pressure on the Government to develop policy that gives confidence to renewable energy investors.

“Development costs have fallen dramatically and improvements in technology – including wind and solar – mean there is now a significant opportunity to capitalise on renewables’ benefits.”


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