The Government’s historic plans to clean the UK’s energy system and keep bills as affordable as possible have come at a pivotal time for a flourishing North Yorkshire renewable energy company.
Norstar, based at Easingwold, has just teamed up with leading global counterpart to deliver green energy projects in the UK. The renewable energy firm is now working with European Energy to identify and develop suitable sites to promote the green energy revolution across the country.
European Energy, whose headquarters are in Copenhagen, are one of the world’s largest developers and operators of solar farms with 845 sites across the globe.
Rufus Salter, director of Norstar, said: “Green energy is an idea whose time has finally come. The Government has just unveiled its Energy White Paper with a bold £4bn plan, aiming to eradicate the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050.
“This is exactly the boost that the UK’s burgeoning green energy industry needs and it will create sustainable jobs, especially needed in Yorkshire and the North East, as well as substantially reducing carbon dioxide emissions across the country.
“Norstar, in conjunction with European Energy, are proud to be playing our part in this energy revolution. We are currently developing 14 solar farms, mainly in Yorkshire, the North East and Lincolnshire and are actively looking for many more,” he said.
The Energy White Paper, unveiled just before Christmas, aims to release a green economic recovery by supporting up to 220,000 jobs over the next decade across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It also aims to keep consumer bills affordable, especially for the vulnerable and lowest income households.
Building on the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, the Energy White Paper sets out specific steps the government will take over the next decade to cut emissions from industry, transport, and buildings by 230 million metric tonnes – equivalent to taking 7.5 million petrol cars off the road permanently – while supporting hundreds of thousands of new green jobs.
Rufus Salter said: “The White Paper puts affordability at the heart of the UK’s decisive shift away from fossil fuels by boosting competition in the energy retail market to tackle the ‘loyalty penalty’ – longstanding customers who pay more than new ones – and by providing at least £6.7 billion in support to the fuel poor and most vulnerable over the next six years.”
He added: “This White Paper has come at a very significant time for us, as we seek to expand our portfolio of solar farm sites. Our ideal sites are rural farmland of 50 acres or more, on which we would take a 30-year lease with annual rental payments with index-linked reviews. So far we have found this to be a very acceptable and successful business model.
“With European Energy, we are currently delivering over 200MW of new onshore energy projects. With a large UK pipeline, we are committed to the continued development of utility-scale solar farms in suitable rural locations. We collaborate with various stakeholders in the delivery of green power through sensitive developments.
“The decreasing cost of onshore wind in comparison to fossil fuel-based technologies is helping to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and we are very keen to develop green energy wind farms.
“One crucial aspect of all this, which it is important to stress, is that wind and solar power are already fully economically competitive compared with coal, oil and gas. We are working hard to ensure that newly installed wind and solar farms are as cheap as existing coal and gas generators, as we believe that it is the market, not taxpayers, which holds the solution to climate change.”