Three articles two on new investment by water companies in solar and one on UU backing out of an upland wind site reveal the importance of Government support.

1. Thames to build biggest floating array of solar panels   Thames Water has announced plans for the largest floating solar array in Europe. It will have a total installed peak capacity of 6.3 megawatts and is expected to generate 5.8 million kilowatt hours in its first year.

2. Wessex Water has installed nearly a thousand solar panels to help power its office in Claverton Down. More than 950 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels have recently been installed on the roof of the company’s operations centre as part of its ongoing commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and becoming more energy efficient. The new PV system is 250kW in size and is expected to generate 230,128 kWh of renewable electricity per year, helping to power the office as well as further the building’s green credentials and improve sustainability. Julia Carling, energy generation analyst at Wessex Water, said: “By generating electricity from a renewable source we’ll be preventing the release of 113 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission per annum and the system will also contribute towards our target of 24 per cent renewable generation by 2020.”

3. UU pull out of wind farm scheme – blaming the change in Government Incentives

One of the partners behind plans to expand the Scout Moor wind farm has pulled out of the scheme – as it was revealed a final decision on whether it can go ahead will not be made for at least eight months. United Utilities (UU) say they have dropped out of the joint venture with Peel Energy which would see the number of wind turbines increased from 26 to 42. United Utilities say its withdrawal has been influenced by a reduction in government incentives. Sean Robinson, from UU, said: “We’ve always said the wind farm was an opportunity to restore years of damaged peat and improve water quality for generations to come. “The recent reductions announced by government to incentives for onshore wind means we can no longer justify our part of the investment.’

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