A CONSTRUCTION and renewable energy company is calling for the Government to drive green growth after investing £350,000 in a new factory.
Berwick-based Maden Eco has just added the finishing touches to its 8,000sq ft premises at the Ramparts Business Park, but says a lot hinges on whether or not the Government’s environmental agenda is watered down in the next 12 months.
The company got heavily involved in renewable energy systems including rainwater harvesting, photovoltaic arrays and wind turbines back in 2010 when the sector was at its most buoyant.
The Government’s feed-in tariff, which pays out to generators of clean electricity, is attracting businesses with an eye for high returns.
However, the coalition is divided over whether it should commit to new greenhouse gas targets.
Maden was set up by brothers Andrew and Simon Maden in 1996 with a £500 grant from Business Link and a £1,000 interest-free loan, initially with the aim of being a project management company.
It now employs around 20 staff and has a turnover of around £2.3m a year. Simon Maden said: “We’re looking to sustain our turnover because obviously a lot of that was achieved in a boom period for renewable energy. It will be quite interesting and quite challenging to see what happens over the next 12 months.
“The commercial types of generators are coming through the planning system at a trickle because of local objections. We do a lot of work over the border in Scotland because the local authority red tape is nowhere near as severe.
“Central government needs to commit to carbon reduction or not. We’re flexible enough through construction and have a solid enough reputation with our customers to profit against any government decision, but it would help businesses looking to invest if they committed to one thing or another.”
Maden said turbine installations range from around £28,000 to over £520,000 with full capital payback in around five years.
It is currently working on a 225kw farm-sized wind generator contract with turbine manufacturers Norwin to erect around 10 wind turbines in 18 months around the country.
Each turbine installation is worth £600,000 to the Berwick-based company, and they are available for businesses to own a part-share in a bid to offset their carbon footprints.
Maden added: “We employ all our bricklayers and do everything in-house.
“We also decided there was a gap in the market for a company that would sit down with the customer directly and work through pricing.”