We’re here to make your involvement with renewable energy in the East of England easier. If you’re already involved in sustainable power, if you’re an investor, a business owner, an academic – or anybody else with an interest in renewable energy – this is your gateway to sources of further information.

Renewables East works in three key areas:

  • Offshore Renewable Energy
  • Bio Energy
  • On-site Renewables

Activities within each work stream include:

  • Arranging events to give regional companies real opportunities to become involved in the renewable energy industry (visit our events section for the latest diary dates)
  • Exploring the relationship between biomass and bio fuel supply chain development
  • Supporting the commercial development of biomass technologies, and systems for heating and transport fuels
  • Supporting the commercial use of renewable energy technologies and systems in new housing developments
  • Developing the skills base needed to satisfy the supply chain needs of the wind energy and biomass sectors
  • Finding ways to assist the removal of planning barriers to renewable energy development at strategic and local level
  • Encouraging market opportunities for renewable energy industry
  • Stimulating design, manufacturing, assembly, installation and maintenance, and other supply chain opportunities associated with offshore wind power
  • Stimulating renewable energy products and services
  • Identifying areas where research and development outputs need assistance to achieve commercial application
  • Finding the best applications of regional funding to stimulate renewable energy business development
  • investigating the opportunities for significant capital investment to stimulate renewable activity within the region

We’re working with diverse organisations to build a common agenda and achieve seamless cooperation, in order to see the East of England at the forefront of renewable energy innovations

Following on from the success of bringing forward the OrbisEnergy project Renewables East has secured funding from EEDA to investigate the feasibility of four new capital projects focused on capturing economic value for the economy whilst being effective in stimulating low carbon activity. It should be noted that no commitment has been made for these projects and until such a time that it is clear investment is shown to be appropriate and EEDA or other public lead investment have made an investment decision these project remain a concept in the pre-development phase. It should further be noted that these projects are aimed at stimulating economic actvity and / or tackling economic failure and not commercially driven.

The four projects being investigated are:-
1) Bioenergy Campus concept is investigating a demonstration of bioenergy technology within a campus environment that offers facilities for R&D, incubator & start-up plus business space for multinational bioenergy companies.

2) Solar Energy Park will aim to demonstrate the significant economies of scale that can be achieved by developing large scale solar energy parks (2 MWe £6m) and delivery of a new financial model preparing the way for next generation solar technologies in development in the region.

3) Marine Energy Demo Zone aims to provide a prototyping facility to stimulate development, entrepreneurship and innovation in tidal, wave and wind power technologies for pre-commercial technologies.

4) Offshore Wind Operations and Maintenance Centre concept aims to support the capture of an enhanced regional economic benefit from the long-term, post-development phase of large scale offshore wind energy projects.

We’re here to provide you with the information you need, either through our website or by talking to us directly – if we’re not coming up with what you want, please tell us!

Offshore Renewable Energy

Renewables East champions the offshore renewable energy agenda for both the East of England and the East Midlands Regions.

Our role is to:

  • Support the development of the supply chain for industry, helping businesses to use their existing knowledge and experience to diversify into this fast developing market
  • Support the operation and maintenance service industry for the offshore renewables, identifying market failures and bottlenecks to services and finding solutions for these


Biomass is organic material such as wood, crops and animal wastes that can be used as fuel in either raw or processed form.

For example:

  • Fast growing trees and grasses like Willow and Miscanthus i.e. energy crops
  • Agricultural residues such as cereal straw or used vegetable oils
  • Wood ‘waste’ such as sawdust and tree prunings
  • Municipal waste

Energy derived from these sources is described as Biomass energy and is an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels. Biomass energy can be used to generate electricity and heat and also for the production of liquid transport fuels such as Bioethanol, a petrol additive or substitute and Biodiesel, a diesel substitute. A variety of technologies are used to convert Biomass into useful energy. These include anaerobic digestion, gasification of wood and combustion.

People used Biomass as their main energy source, in the form of wood fuels and crops grown as feed i.e. fuel for horses, etc, up to the time of the industrial revolution. This was powered by fossil fuels, initially coal. Since then coal, oil and gas have become the world’s predominant fuels. Biomass in the form of wood fuel, animal manure and other wastes currently accounts for approximately 14% of the world’s total energy demand.

It has been estimated that, globally, 76% of the 1990 world primary energy demand could be sustainably generated from dedicated Biomass resources. In the UK it has been estimated that up to 60% of the country’s primary energy production could come from Biomass. The current target is 2% and to help achieve this Defra have estimated that 125,000ha of energy crops would be required.

On-site Renewables

Renewable energy technology can be deployed at a local level even at individual building level. Energy generation from each technology is dependent on site opportunities and demand, for example, whether there is sufficient wind speed, obstructions from other buildings (for wind or sunlight), ground conditions for heat pumps or sustained supply of biomass fuel. Indeed, other factors such as availability of a gas network could be important when deciding which technology is most suitable for a particular site.

For further information on which technologies are most suitable for different building types (especially in an urban environment) take a look at the London Renewables Toolkit.

Technologies include:

  • Small scale wind
  • Solar thermal (hot water)
  • Photovoltaic
  • Heat pumps (ground, air and water sourced)

Facts & Figures

The total number of PV installations before year 2000 was in the region of 100. Since the Photo Voltaic Major Demonstration Programme (PV MDP) grant scheme, approximately 1,000 small scale installations and 150 large scale installations have been awarded grant funding, although it is difficult to say at this point whether all of them will be installed.

The PV MDP grant scheme has observed a slight decrease in price (approximately 5%) over the past 5 years, but it is anticipated that the lack of silicon (the raw material for PV cells) will increase prices towards 2010. When the silicon issue is solved, prices could drop again by 5% towards 2015. These are very sensitive to world market prices and are therefore just assumptions.

Ground Source Heat Pumps have been installed for domestic applications since 1990 but only a handful annually. One of the first UK commercial sized heat pumps used water from the River Wensum in Norwich and was in use during the 1940’s. In the last 15 years, installations have increased to approximately 200-300 annually which is still very low in comparison to gas boiler installations (approx. a million a year).

Solar Water Heating Systems have been installed for over three decades and many of those that were installed over two decades ago are currently being replaced. Estimated installation numbers for SWHS’s vary from 5,000-6,000 systems annually.

Modern biomass boilers have only been installed since 2000
and are still in very low numbers.