Renewable energy, otherwise known as energy which is collected from renewable sources, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat, is changing our planet and if your business is not up-to-date with it all, you could start losing out.
According to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, renewable energy, particularly wind and solar energy, is set to provide close to 50% of the world’s energy by 2050. This is in conjunction with the EU’s renewable energy target of 32% by 2030.
Why should your business focus on sustainability?
To contribute towards that target, businesses need to ensure that sustainability is at the core of their business model. It is no longer a desire for a business to be concerned about environmental issues, but instead a requirement. By choosing renewable energy sources, you can easily enhance your business’ reputation, but it is also necessary in order to comply with the government’s carbon emission reduction targets. If the UK government wants to achieve at least an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, the prime focus will be on businesses to set the example for all. Failing to comply with these reduction schemes will result in regulatory penalties but worse than that, it will generate negativity towards your business.
It’s important to be committed to sustainability to win business, with a number of suppliers now requesting to see sustainability policies and practices in order to confirm corporate responsibility commitment. Those who are taking sustainability seriously are driving innovation which attracts attention and therefore will increase business. Small businesses, like arbnco, often excel in innovation, therefore, it’s important to maximise the benefits of this by adhering to sustainability policies. We are doing this through many of our software solutions, such as arbn renew, our newest solution which analyses a range of renewable energy technologies and demonstrates which would be the most beneficial for a specific site.
Why should your business focus on renewable energy?
The push by the government to reduce carbon emissions means that businesses should first be looking at renewable energy sources as the quickest way to reduce a firm’s carbon footprint and its energy bills. The government has introduced a number of incentives in order to encourage businesses to switch to renewables, such as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). Under the RHI, your business could receive quarterly cash payments over seven years if you install a renewable heating technology. As a result of these types of incentives, Marks & Spencer improved energy efficiency within its stores by 34pc per square foot which saved them £22m in their energy bill between 2007 and 2014.
Another principal reason to switch to renewables is that although the initial costs can be high, the returns outweigh this. One of the great features of our arbn renew software is its ability to analyse a range of onsite renewable energy generation technologies whilst also providing a full financial breakdown, analysing the number of years payback and NPV.
How can you start to deploy renewable energy?
Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways for your business to install renewable energy technologies:
- Wind energy – There is an increase in the number of wind turbines being installed by smaller businesses, however, these require planning permission. The benefit of wind turbines is that they are the most financially viable, with the payback period between 4-8 years.
- Biomass energy – Biomass energy, otherwise known as the burning or fermenting of organic material such as wood and straw, is the most popular renewable energy source within the UK. The benefits of biomass energy are that they can provide payback within 5-12 years and they can be effectively used in combination with a combined heat and power plant to deliver both electricity and heat.
- Solar energy – Sunshine isn’t reliable in the UK, however, solar panels are incredibly easy to install, with no planning permission needed and minimal maintenance needed.
Thanks to the increase in renewable energy installation, official statistics published by the UK government on 14th June demonstrate that in 2017, wind technology installations increased by 37% with Solar PV installations increasing by 7.8%. In addition, overall, renewable generation of electricity increased from 24.5% in 2016 to 29.4% in 2017, again showing the increased importance of shifting towards renewable energy technologies in order to achieve our 2050 target.