Energy security and cost concerns are highlighted as key barriers for UK industry to realise the benefits of decentralised energy, according to a report launched by Aggreko.
Entitled Bridging the Energy Gap, the new report is the result of 200 key energy decision-makers across industry offering their views on decentralised energy in the UK. It finds that energy security remains a major or significant concern for most respondents (82 per cent), while reducing energy consumption is viewed as a medium or high priority for the vast majority (94 per cent) of correspondents.
With energy prices continuing to rise over the last five years, knowledge over what interim and affordable energy solutions are currently available is still required. Aggreko’s report acknowledges that, faced with such circumstances, finding the right long-term solution while meeting business short-term needs around energy security and production continuity can be even more challenging. It points out that many energy users across industry are now finding themselves caught between this desire to reduce their costs and environmental impact, while also navigating the technical and financial issues these solutions must solve.
The report addresses this situation and engages with a number of concerns, including electricity pricing, energy security and usage, attempts to reduce consumption, the appetite to move towards a decentralised solution, and barriers to adoption. It goes on to look at finance and incentives, with a contribution from Caroline Bragg, policy manager at the Association of Decentralised Energy.
Aggreko’s report identifies decentralised energy solutions as a potential answer to industry cost and consumption concerns, provided barriers surrounding its adoption are overcome. Nearly half (49 per cent) of the respondents cited prohibitively high investment costs as a reason why they had not adopted decentralised energy technologies, such as solar power, CHP, gas generation and wind power.
The document highlights that by hiring these solutions instead of purchasing them, companies could enjoy the benefits of decentralised energy without being bound by capex restrictions. It also suggests that hiring can help energy users avoid the long payback periods which may otherwise deter them from implementing new, energy-efficiency technology and decentralised energy solutions.
With this in mind, the report proposes viewing hire as a bridging gap between current overreliance on the national grid and a future where the majority of electricity is generated onsite. By doing so, companies can more easily access innovative, secure and environmentally-friendly technologies that could offer immediate savings.