What are my renewable energy options?
So, you’ve decided that your business wants to become more sustainable. To do this, you’ve chosen to rely more on renewable energy to cut down on your carbon emissions. The next step, figuring out the energy mix you’d like. But what are your renewable energy options?
Renewable Energy Contracts
An easy way to incorporate renewable energy options into your business is to switch to a fully renewable energy contract. To meet the demand for greener energy options, suppliers are now offering 100% green and renewable energy contracts. These contracts usually have a mix of different renewable energy options from different sources. This could include anything from wind to tidal power for your electricity. These types of tariffs will usually be more expensive, but this will all depend on your location and energy consumption.
What are my options for generating renewable energy?
In 2020, the UK generated over 75,000 gigawatt hours of electricity from wind power, enough to power 8.4 trillion light bulbs. This renewable energy option is best for businesses that have a lot of building-free land on their site as installing a wind turbine would take a large amount of space. This is one of the more expensive renewable energy options for businesses with the payback period usually sitting at around eight to fifteen years for smaller turbines.
Solar PV Panels
One of the most common ways for businesses to start generating their own electricity is to install solar panels. A report from the Economist found that one in three businesses are now generating their own energy, with solar being the most popular option. If your solar panels fit within certain requirements, you won’t need planning permission to install them on your premise’s roof. With the payback period reducing for solar panels, it’s now a lot quicker to see a return on investment too.
You could also look to biomass systems to power your business. This involves burning and fermenting different organic materials to generate electricity and heat. This process usually uses materials such as straw or wood pellets. The cost for this will depend drastically on the boiler size and the type of fuel you’re using.
Geothermal and Heat Pumps
This method of generating renewable energy involves transferring heat from one place to another instead of other methods, like biomass, that burn fuel. A mixture of water and antifreeze circulate through loops of piping in the ground and the low-level heat in the ground is absorbed into the fluid then passed through to a heat exchanger in the pump. These pumps can provide both heating and cooling for your site. You’d usually have heat pumps fitted onto the side of your building, but this will often have quite high upfront costs and there are currently no business grants on offer to cover these costs.
This uses food or animal waste as a method of generating electricity and gas. These organic materials are broken down into methane, carbon dioxide and fertiliser which can then be used to power your site. This kind of technology is mostly found in agriculture or industrial sectors as you’ll need large amount of space to store the materials. While animal waste is the most common form of ‘fuel’ for this method, you could even use the food waste from your site – cutting the carbon footprint of your waste management too.
Why invest in renewable energy options?
Investing in renewable energy options for your business comes with a variety of different benefits. The renewable energy you generate won’t be affected by any price rises. At a time of volatile prices, this provides your business with extra stability in your energy costs. You could even start an extra revenue stream by pairing your generation with an export meter to sell any excess to the grid.
You’ll also be exempt from the Climate Change Levy (CCL), a government-imposed tax aiming to encourage businesses to focus on energy efficiency and carbon reductions. If you have to comply with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), you’ll know your carbon emissions from your recent ESOS audit. Investing in renewable energy options can help you to cut down on your carbon footprint. This helps you to show that you’re making steps to reduce your emissions by the next phase of the scheme.
Looking to switch to renewable energy options for your business? Our team of energy experts specialise in providing renewable and sustainable energy solutions for businesses across the UK. Contact our team today to learn more about how Flame Energy can support your business.
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