Renewable energy hits landmark 1GW target
A surge in renewable energy solar parks in Devon has helped push the total electricity generating capacity in the South West past a landmark 1GW target.
Green power production in the region grew by more than 50% over the past year, a report has revealed.
Devon now has more than 13,000 solar projects, more than twice that of Cornwall, producing 50MW.
Proponents of the industry say last year's spike – which saw Devon and Cornwall's solar capacity more than double (120%), adding 178MW – must continue if the UK's 2020 target of producing 15% of energy from renewable sources is to be met.
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Merlin Hyman, chief executive of study authors Regen South West, said at the current pace the region would still "finish a long way off".
But critics of large solar farms say that regions should not have to meet national targets.
Totnes MP Dr Sarah Wollaston has joined her Conservative colleague Sheryll Murray in calling for a "pause" in deployment of solar schemes.
"They are not green but hideously ugly black and blue fields of destruction," she added.