Cleve Hill – Will it be the first subsidy free solar park in the UK?

So far, solar installations and growth has relied on government subsidies, but a new project gives hope that solar energy can be self-sufficient, giving the government less control over the growth of the industry.

 Cleve Hill in Kent is hoped to be home to a solar and energy park. It is said that enough energy will be produced to support 91,000 homes and no government money will be required for this to operate. Energy storage will be used on the site along with a habitat area for birds and wildlife, this being the main cause for concern from the general public as the area is home to many species of birds. While there are plans to lessen this impact, should we accept that there must be some environmental impact related to these projects but recognise, however, that what they bring to the table is also extremely valuable.

A final decision is expected by 2019/2020 and planning applications have been made. If successful, this will be the first subsidy free solar park – a great achievement for renewable projects and solar which has so far relied on subsidies to make them happen.

The UK has had uncharacteristically sunny weather this summer. On some of the sunniest days, solar was responsible for 30 percent of the electricity supplied nationally and teamed with wind at another 30 percent, that’s over 50 percent of electricity supplied by renewable clean energy!

We do need projects like Cleve hill in the UK. By 2025 coal power will no longer exist and the demand for electricity is rising with new technologies and electric cars becoming used more widely. Projects like this will provide clean energy to homes and potentially save homeowners money on their energy bills in the future.

After fears that abolishing the feed in tariff and cutting subsidies would deter further solar PV projects, this brings fresh hope to future projects and smaller installations. While over previous years the momentum for projects has slowed down based around what the government subsidies where offering, Cleve Hill could prove these subsidies are no longer needed to make solar projects a success. This could mean significant growth of the industry and good news for installers and businesses alike.

Hugh Brennan of Hive Energy said:

“The Cleve Hill solar park is a pioneering scheme that aims to optimise the technological developments in solar energy.”

So, while the final decision is unsure at this stage, it will certainly be a ray of light for a clean energy future if successful.