A Banks View On Renewable Energy – Guest Blog

In recent years we have worked with several of our clients on new renewable projects including solar, wind, biomass and combined heat and power (CHP). Paul Forth, Business Development Manager, Agriculture, Energy and Landed Estates, and his team at NatWest Bank have provided funding and advice on many of these projects and we have been impressed by their pro-active and knowledgeable approach to renewables.
Paul has recently published a press release on the future of renewable energy. This is what he had to say:

Rising energy prices and fears for sustainability have arguably led to an increase in renewable energy projects across the UK in recent years. The renewable energy market in the North of England in particular is still going strong and many businesses across the region continue to look at ways they can improve their business efficiency by using renewables.

Our dedicated Renewable Energy team at NatWest is specially trained to help businesses take advantage of these opportunities, and we receive a number of enquiries and see lots of interest from businesses of all sizes across the sector. We were the first bank to launch a sustainable energy proposition which includes a specific policy to support lending to wind, solar, anaerobic digestion and micro-hydro power projects. Working with our colleagues from Lombard, NatWest is also able to offer support for biomass and biomass CHP projects as well as air source heat and LED lighting.

The renewables landscape changes rapidly and we ensure our teams are equipped with the knowledge they need to support customers as new technologies emerge. Over the years we have seen interest in wind, solar and traditional biomass projects peak only now to be replaced by a lot of interest in biomass CHP and anaerobic digestion.

Many projects can be quite complex and some businesses have faced difficulties when it comes to getting connected to the grid as well as getting past some strict planning permission regulations. That is why it essential to have the right team of professionals around you and your business when you set out on a renewables project. This includes your bank, a solicitor, an accountant and technical support to help mitigate any difficulties that may arise. Speak to your colleagues within your industry to find professionals who can cater for your project and provide the right expertise required.

My advice to businesses considering such a project is to be aware that it could take a number of months to get through the process including planning permissions and regulations. But the effort is definitely worth it – with potential returns from energy savings and sustainability.

If you are considering a new renewable energy project and would like to talk to someone with expertise in this area, we would be delighted to hear from you. You can also contact Paul at NatWest on: 07884 116844 or email: paul.forth@natwest.com.

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