Centrica says distributed energy tech could slash UK emissions

The UK could meet a significant slice of carbon emissions’ target if it more widely deployed distributed energy technologies.

That’s the conclusion of a new report released today by British energy giant Centrica. The study particularly focuses on the industry, healthcare and hospitality sectors, which together account for 27 per cent of the country’s carbon emissions.

It says that these sectors could meet more than half of the target to cut emissions by 20 per cent by 2030 if they adopted technologies such as battery storage, onsite generation and energy efficiency.

Centrica Business Solutions managing director Jorge Pikunic said: The UK has made a big contribution to the fight against global warming. Much of this has been due to the shift away from coal-fired generation and the deployment of solar and wind energy. But things get more difficult from here, as we strive to hit our goal of an 80 per cent reduction in UK carbon emissions by 2050.

“The good news is that business and the public sector can play a central role over the next decade in our path to decarbonization. This report shows how by adopting distributed energy technologies, we can significantly reduce emissions and make a positive impact to the economy at the same time.”

The report states that the shift away from large centralized power plants to distributed energy technologies “is one of the defining features of the emerging new energy sector. Consequently, these new technologies are providing public bodies, businesses and heavy industry with a toolkit to take control of their energy use, improve their productivity, and lower emissions”.

It adds that “more and more businesses are concluding that cutting emissions is not only aligned with their business models, but can boost their competitiveness for the future”. Centrica believes there are three reasons for this: “First, costs for technologies that can reduce emissions are falling rapidly. Distributed energy costs will continue to come down as technology advances, supply chains become more efficient and manufacturers achieve economies of scale.

“Second, companies recognise that these technologies offer new revenue streams. Organisations with on-site power generation can buy and sell electricity live in the market or access funding through the Capacity Market.

“And third, new financing options are available to companies for the deployment of these technologies. Banks are now alive to the opportunities of the low carbon transition, and a growing number are offering ‘green loans’ to businesses.”

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Kelvin Ross is Editor of Power Engineering International magazine and its associated publications – Middle East Energy and the Global Power Review . Previously, Kelvin was News Editor at UK online news site Energy Live News, Production Editor and Head of Design on daily international shipping newspaper Lloyd’s List, Deputy Editor for a group of weekly London newspapers and has worked as a freelance sub-editor on UK national newspapers.

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