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Bank support renewable investment

Firms exhibiting at the Royal Norfolk Show reported rising demand for renewable technologies – particularly among farm businesses – as access to finance became easier.

The market has also been transformed by the introduction of the government’s renewable heat incentive in 2011, an £860m scheme which was expected to increase green capital investment by £4.5bn up to 2020.

Chris Abel, managing director of Watton-based Abel Energy, said the firm had noticed an increased demand for solar technology, particularly among farmers, while there was also commercial interest from out-of-town retail parks.

“In solar there has been a high uptake in commercial recently because the cost has reduced,” he said. “Businesses now are finding they can get the finances. Banks are much more willing to lend, which has made a huge difference for us.

“The main sector in our market is agriculture, or high energy use businesses, and it’s mainly for photovoltaics (PV), making as much use of their roof space as possible.

“Farmers are using it for drying grain. The banks weren’t initially willing to lend for PV, because it was untested technology, but it became commercially viable when the tariff came in.”


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