Industry barriers to decentralised energy strategies must be addressed, admid rising costs and fears over energy security, concludes a new report by Aggreko. ‘Bridging the Energy Gap’ highlights the findings of a survey of 200 key energy decision makers from industry and show that energy security remains a major or significant concern for most respondents (82%). Reducing energy consumption is also viewed as a medium or high priority for the vast majority (94%).
Some 55% of respondents said energy prices are impacting their competitiveness, while 26% of companies surveyed said energy costs constitute 10-20% of their operating costs. Despite these high costs, 38% had an investment for new equipment, to reduce energy consumption, turned down in the last five years due to capex restrictions.
Aggreko’s Bridging the Energy Gap’ report points out that many energy users across industry are now finding themselves caught between a desire to reduce their costs and environmental impact, while also navigating the technical and financial issues these solutions must solve.
The panel were also asked their views on generating their own energy. The responses suggested that many remain reluctant to actively consider alternative methods of generating electricity, with 43% reporting that they had not considered their own electricity generation. The survey further examined the reasons why decentralised energy technologies have not been adopted and found that prohibitively high investment costs was the most commonly cited reason (49%). The panel of industry leaders overwhelmingly identified solar (56%) as the technology with the greatest potential, with gas generation (18%) trailing behind – along with CHP (14%).
The document highlights that by hiring 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.
“The statistics from this report show that UK industry requires some education in how it can benefit from secure, cost-effective and efficient decentralised energy solutions,” said Chris Rason, Aggreko Managing Director, Northern Europe. “We hope our findings show how there is an opportunity for more companies to implement a decentralised energy option and using hiring as a bridging gap solution does not require a significant capital outlay.”