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Looking beyond coal with decentralised energy solutions

Published: 15 May 2019 - Carly Wills

Following news that Britain has gone a week without using coal to generate electricity for the first time since 1882, Aggreko says that the country needs to continue identifying sustainable and stable energy sources.

The UK government is committed to phasing out coal-fired power by 2025, meaning alternative energy solutions must be implemented to make up the energy shortfall. Yet as well as being more environmentally-friendly, any coal replacement needs to be affordable and secure. Considering that UK manufacturing energy costs have risen over 37 per cent in the last five years, Aggreko says it is crucial that any prospective alternative balances long-term sustainability with short-term financial viability. 

According to a recent report from Aggreko, decentralised energy solutions may offer an answer. Whether through solar power, combined heat and power (CHP) systems, or wind power, decentralised energy technologies enable users to generate energy on-site and lessen overreliance on the national grid. As well as reducing energy consumption and enabling more flexible demand, these solutions can ensure security of supply while lowering overall carbon emissions.

Historically, a potential barrier to adopting a decentralised energy technology has been the prohibitively high investment costs associated with purchasing a system. However, Aggreko is encouraging UK energy decision-makers to consider long-term hire as a solution. By doing so, they can reap the benefits of decentralised energy for comparatively less cost.

Chris Rason, managing director, Northern Europe, said: “Decentralised energy solutions offer a tantalising glimpse of a future where companies can generate their own energy, adhere to their sustainability targets and sell their surplus back to the grid. Though this technology already exists, cost is a significant barrier to its implementation. We hope that by providing a long-term hire solution, we can provide a bridging gap between current overreliance on the national grid, and a future of secure power generated on-site.”

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