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Centrica: More than half of UK businesses plan to increase on-site energy generation


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More than half of UK businesses plan to increase their on-site energy generation capacity over the next two years in a bid to minimise their exposure to market volatility and meet decarbonisation targets, according to new research from Centrica Business Solutions.

Titled How data, onsite generation and leadership strengthen energy control, the new report surveyed 125 executives from UK businesses revealing that one-in-three thought unpredictable energy costs had limited business growth over the past 12 months.

The report also claimed mitigating price volatility in the energy market was the driving force behind investment in on-site generation technology for 40 per cent of respondents, with a desire to meet decarbonisation targets and increase profitability the primary motivation for 39 and 38 per cent of respondents, respectively.

Moreover, despite the substantial green benefits of deploying solar and energy storage technology on-site, half of businesses claimed reducing energy costs was more important to them than addressing their carbon footprint, while more than a third of firms said they would not invest in on-site generation if it did not provide cost savings.

The report also discovered that while many businesses are investing in on-site generation to boost their green credentials, 38 per cent of firms claim they lack the knowledge and understanding to introduce the technology. However, more than half of firms surveyed said they were more in control of how they generate and utilise energy compared to a year ago.

“Onsite generation is the next step in managing power consumption and costs more efficiently. It will play a vital role in steering firms through the market’s volatility as well as providing businesses with more control over their energy needs,” said Christian Stella, managing director at Centrica Business Solutions Europe.

“While we’re still seeing businesses recognising the carbon benefits of generating their own power, money saving remains the top motivation for the majority of businesses. It’s clear many firms still need the understanding and insight – particularly around commercial savings – to invest confidently in onsite energy generation.

“Sector leaders must play their part in educating UK businesses and get ready to deploy technologies more quickly to unlock the full potential of renewables and accelerate the UK’s journey toward net zero.”

One recent example of the growth in demand for on-site generation capacity saw private hospital chain Spire Healthcare announce plans to invest £5.2m in installing 12,000 solar PV panels at 38 hospitals in England, Wales, and Scotland – the largest ever investment in solar technology made by a private hospital group.

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