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A Focus On Sustainable On-Site Generations

The key benefits of investing in onsite generation are reducing carbon emissions and energy invoices. Other advantages businesses should look at are the increased stability of supply and the ability to integrate it with other low-carbon technologies, such as energy storage or electric vehicles (EVs).

For example, in two recent projects, the results were clear:

Solar PV is also the most popular choice for businesses that are planning to invest in on-site generation, again followed by CHP. Wind was also a choice for a quarter of respondents. (Figure 2.)

One of the key reasons for the growing popularity of solar PV systems could include the falling costs over the past few years, even in a post-subsidy world. It is also one of the easiest technologies to install, yielding immediate results.

‘Other’ answers included batteries and energy storage, as well as ground or air source heat pumps (ASHPs), with several organsations starting plans to combine a renewable energy source such as solar PV or wind with storage to help protect against intermittency and ensure a more stable supply.

On-site generation is sometimes not an option for small businesses due to the cost of an installation, one route to a renewable energy supply from an on-site source is via a PPA. This can be done by a third-party funder, who can help install and manage the on-site asset. The organisation then buys the energy from the third-party funder overtime of a long-term PPA, giving the opportunity to pay upfront for the investment.

If suitability for a particular site is also an issue, businesses can still benefit from a PPA to purchase energy from a local renewable energy source.

favourably, this was a route that most of the respondents who could not install on-site generation (73%) were either already taking, or were considering. (Figure 3.)

Although businesses highlighted some of the barriers to on-site generation, when it comes to overall decarbonisation targets, most of them (73%) were in a settlement that the climate advantages to achieving net zero outweighed the potential cost implications to their business. This is reflected in what businesses believe are the main advantages of investing in on-site generation. When asked to rank the positive impact of having an on-site source of electricity – with 1 being the most important – the results were as follows:

  1. Reduction of carbon emissions
  2. Reduction in energy invoices
  3. Stability in terms of security of supply
  4. It is future-proof as it has the potential to integrate with other low-carbon technologies, such as EVs
  5. Potential revenue opportunities i.e. selling surplus energy back to the grid reputational benefits

On-site generation is described as the ‘production of energy at the point of use’ i.e. where the energy generated will be primarily utilised. It can also be referred to as ‘decentralised energy’, as it means an organisation can generate its own electricity from their own building, without needing to buy energy through the grid.

Here is a screenshot from SolarEdge designer which is where we design our PV Installations. This one is taken from one of our recent PV installations at Staveley Mill Yard and as you can see by the results the PV installation has saved CO2 emissions by 133.61t which is one of the most positive benefits of a PV system.

Also by installing a solar PV system customers usually reduce the energy being used from the grid by more than half. Stats taken from the installation at Staveley Mill Yard shows that in April 2019 the amount of energy being used was 95.141% and in April 2021 it was 31.412, this could also be lower than expected due to the pandemic affecting the number of customers at that time of year. We were excited to see this figure confirmed after the first solar PV installation at Staveley and hope to lower it more by continuing to install future PV systems for Staveley. Our client also saved over £8,000 on energy bills and they got 5.5p KWH for export for 23.59MWH they would receive another £1300.

Here, we look at some of the ways you can generate your own energy from solar PVs.

Solar PV

According to Solar Energy UK, solar technologies can be found on one in every 25 buildings in the UK, from ‘residential houses to large business sites’. It works by capturing the sun with thermal or PV panels to create heat or electricity.

Solar PV systems are growing massively in popularity, as it is easiest to install and most cost effective ways to generate renewable electricity. It enables businesses to unlock value from existing assets like their roof, parking areas, or ground space and generate their own efficient energy supply.

What makes solar PV an attractive option?

What sites are solar PV suitable for?

Article reference – A-Focus-on-Sustainable-On-Site-Generation/npower-business-solutions

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