SunGift founder Gabriel Wondrausch argues that the current energy crisis shows more than ever that people and businesses need to seek out alternatives. He says that interest in the opportunities presented by clean energy has risen exponentially in the past year, with commercial solar deployment across the UK having its most successful 12 months ever, despite the pandemic.

“Here at SunGift enquiries for commercial projects are now consistently high, with ever more specifications for integrated systems utilising battery storage and EV charging – showing there is a real appetite for change. In addition we have recently experienced the single best month in our 17-year history for residential enquiries.”

Gabriel believes that the three reasons for the increase are firstly a generic rise in demand as people rushed to make home improvements after the lifting of all restrictions; the greater awareness of the need for environmental action, especially as the government, local councils and businesses realise they need to make good their zero carbon pledges; and thirdly the recent energy price rises. In response, SunGift has increased staff numbers to better manage the increase, with a 25% jump to 30 full time staff and 10 permanent contractors.

“With so many new enquiries we are currently pushed to our limits on capacity and are currently having to ask customers to wait. We are doing our best to give each customer the right level of attention but it takes a while to recruit and train people to deal with the level of demand. It’s not just us, it’s a sector-wide situation; there is nowhere near enough staffing capacity within the renewable industry and with the level of demand likely to stay high, it’s imperative that the sector pushes for recruitment in order to meet capacity.”

In fact, figures release by the International Energy Agency (IEA) earlier this year indicate that globally the sector, including windfarms and solar power projects, grew by 45% in 2020, its fastest pace since 1999 despite the pandemic, which is likely to have established a standard for growth in the future – very true if current levels do continue.

SunGift’s mix of clients spans large commercial projects with several on the go for local authorities in the South West and a solar carport project underway in Nottingham – all calling on the skills of our experienced designers and installers, to more straightforward residential installations with some homeowners now adding to their solar array to provide futureproofed energy supplies.

The government has just revealed its net zero strategy pledges which include a commitment to aiming for the UK to be powered entirely by clean electricity by 2035, subject to security of supply, and an increase in offshore and onshore wind power, solar and other renewables.

“Ultimately the increase in renewable and clean energy systems won’t just futureproof against price rises but will also help combat climate change. You could look at it in an optimistic way, that this energy crisis might just have saved humanity!”