Norfolk Business Awards 2018

Watton-based biomass and solar firm Abel Energy sells assets as it scales back

PUBLISHED: 09:34 08 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:54 08 January 2018

Chris Abel, managing director of Abel Energy. Picture: Shaun Lowthorpe

Chris Abel, managing director of Abel Energy. Picture: Shaun Lowthorpe


A property company has mothballed its energy division and sold some of its assets citing a decline in the market as a result of a drop in government incentives.

Solar and biomass firm Abel Energy, part of the Watton-based Abel Group, has sold its service and maintenance obligations and £20m sales pipeline to South Gloucestershire’s Wood Energy – part of the Strong Group and Forest Fuels.

Some staff have moved to the other biomass companies while the rest will remain to continue scaled back operations with Abel Energy, director Chris Abel said.

Mr Abel, an Abel Group director, said: “The biomass industry has had quite a few reductions in the renewable heat incentive to the point where there is so little business available that we have decided to mothball biomass and solar PV.

“We have passed the servicing side, where we have sold maintenance as part of the deal, on to Wood Group to fulfil those obligations and we have sold our biofuels business to Forest Fuels.

“Although we are not taking more orders we still have a couple of projects ongoing which we will continue.

“When the industry picks up again we may restart operations.”

Mr Abel said he believed the industry would pick up again but it would require a change in focus from the government to do so with a return to incentives required.

He said: “It is a shame the government have lost their focus on solar PV and biomass.

“The incentives were too good initially which gobbled up a significant amount of the government’s budget.

“It has now gone to the other extreme where it doesn’t stack up because the government has used its budget and is now having to cut costs.

“But I think we will bounce back.”

Mr Abel said the group had decided to focus on the its thriving housing development and property divisions.

He said: “The housebuilding business is still doing exceptionally well and that is the area we want to focus our energy on.

“The property company [Abel Properties] is also doing well and we want to do more with that.”

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