Independent renewable energy capacity in the UK has reached nearly 11 GW at the end of last year, representing 40% of the country's renewable power, UK firm SmartestEnergy said today.
In 2015, entrepreneurs outside the traditional electricity supply sector added 2.4 GW of renewable capacity, investing more than GBP 376 million (USD 545m/EUR 474m) in 1,007 commercial-scale projects, according to the company's annual Energy Entrepreneurs Report.
Independent capacity has more than doubled in the four years since the report was launched from 4.7 GW.
Independent renewable generators now provide 7.6% of UK power demand, according to the study. In 2015, they produced more than GBP 1 billion of electricity, enough to power 6.2 million households, from a total 5,467 projects.
SmartestEnergy chief executive Robert Groves argued that the traditional electricity supply companies were in no shape to deliver the change towards a low-carbon power system as they were slow moving, beset by problems and lacking funds for investment. "By contrast, the energy entrepreneurs are small, nimble and innovative. They have attracted a global pool of capital to invest in Britain’s renewable capacity and are taking advantage of technologies like wind and solar which are rapidly coming down the cost curve," he said, adding that they were also starting to invest in battery storage.
Groves also noted that there was evidence that rapid growth in renewables can bring down electricity prices.