Rapidly evolving energy world turns up the heat on business climate action

4th September 2019
Industrial Energy Legislation

Stuart Reid, Managing Director (Projects), AMP Clean Energy

The recent wave of climate change activism and the UK Government’s commitment to a net zero future have increased the pressure on business and industry to decarbonise.  Against the backdrop of an increasingly unpredictable and volatile energy environment and with large users of energy being most affected by low carbon energy policies going forward, commercial organisations find themselves facing a number of challenges in navigating the path to cost effective decarbonisation.

The introduction of the latest legislation, the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting framework (SECR) will make it more transparent for customers, supply chains and stakeholders to see what progress businesses are making on decarbonisation.  This will increase the pressure on businesses to decarbonise and mean that simple bland “greenwashing” statements will no longer suffice.

I’m passionate and optimistic about the role that low carbon on-site generation of heat and electricity can play in cutting costs and carbon for businesses.  The AMP Clean Energy white paper has been developed to provide a practical guide to what we believe are the current opportunities for cost effective decarbonisation.

 So, what pragmatic and cost-effective steps can commercial enterprises take to protect themselves from rising electricity prices and secure a low carbon energy future? It’s no surprise that each project has to be assessed on a case by case basis, particularly when it comes to the choice of the right technology and funding options. There is a myriad of technologies available, including biomass heat, heat pumps, energy from waste, heat recovery, solar PV and on-site and local gas CHP.  Whether a site is connected to the gas grid or is off the grid is also a fundamental factor in assessing the most appropriate solution.  We also tackle the complex issue of TCR and what potential reforms mean for the viability of on-site gas CHP projects.

One of the main obstacles to on-site generation has been the need for businesses to deploy upfront capital and commit finance over the long term. However, many organisations, including AMP Clean Energy, now provide funding to get projects off the ground quickly, as well the expertise to assess and develop the most suitable project.  As well as helping businesses develop projects that we know can make a positive contribution to cost and carbon savings we also fund clean energy projects that others bring to us.  I’m constantly astonished by the level of innovation and enthusiasm Energy Managers and other key people in large organisations show in developing projects that they believe will deliver decarbonisation – our funding can help ensure the business case for these projects pass Financial Director scrutiny.

Whatever on-site generation an organisation chooses the benefits should remain the same – locking into low cost low carbon energy over the long term, whilst protecting an organisation from grid volatility.

To achieve net zero emissions by 2050 will require a transformation of our entire energy system: shifting our generation from large-scale, thermal power plants to decentralised low carbon energy. Those businesses which get on the front foot now and adopt on-site generation will reap the benefits of cost and carbon savings as well as commercial resilience.

Find out how your business could make the most of the opportunity to decarbonise by downloading the guide today.

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