INDEPENDENT energy entrepreneurs in Hampshire invested in 14 new renewable projects with a total 70MW of capacity in 2015.

The county has now seen £66 million invested in 125 projects with a total 371MW, supplying three per cent of independent renewable power in the UK, putting it in the top 10 counties for independent energy entrepreneurs.

As previously reported Hampshire ranks third in I solar power output from solar farms and panels on private roofs.

Nationally energy entrepreneurs outside the traditional electricity supply sector invested more than £376 million in more than 100 commercial-scale projects during 2015, adding 2.4GW of new renewable capacity across the UK.

Independent renewable generators now supply 7.6 per cent of UK energy needs, providing £1 billion of clean electricity, reveals SmartestEnergy’s fourth annual Energy Entrepreneurs Report, released today (Wednesday).

Developers were responsible for 89 per cent of the new renewable capacity last year, with 408 projects adding 2.15GW.

Corporates investing in on-site generation was another significant growth area – building 155 projects with a combined capacity of nearly 100MW, to improve energy security, cut costs and reduce carbon emissions.

Farmers and landowners developed 209 new renewable projects with a capacity of 56MW, providing valuable revenue streams.

Waste disposal operators added 77MW with three large projects Community groups contributed 10MW with eight new large-scale projects, generating revenue to support local initiatives.

SmartestEnergy is Britain’s leading purchaser of electricity from independent renewable generators with more than 600 projects in its portfolio, representing 13 per cent of Great Britain’s independent renewable capacity.

The company, which supplies to large industrial and commercial organisations, claims businesses are now demanding more renewable energy due to pressures from CSR programmes and consumers.

Its CEO Robert Groves said:; “tThe government should ensure that the capacity market allows all participants to compete on a level playing field and it should also work with the industry to develop frameworks to encourage the roll out of energy storage and maximise its ability to accommodate the growing amount of renewables on the grid.”