….could this be the start of self-sufficient energy production?
I read an interesting article on EnergyLiveNews.com about a document from an organisation called Thinktank ResPublica. Backed by environmental campaigners Friends of the Earth, the organisation has published a paper recommending that the Government opens up the “closed shop” energy market to community energy projects. It reminded me of something I think about every time I turn into one of those large business and industrial parks that many of our customers are based at – why can’t the business park become a producer and generate enough energy for all its residents so that they can be self-sufficient?
It wouldn’t cost the earth to set up, however, it would probably require the establishment of an umbrella company. Once established, payback from revenues on electricity sold would be quick and tie-ins with big utility companies would ensure dual supply could be guaranteed and feed-in tariffs provide a useful reduction in energy tariff – or an income to set aside for future development. In times of high demand, the utility could subsidise the business park and at other times the business park could feed energy into the utility grid. This is the epitome of a community energy project, except that it’s a business park rather than a school, hospital or university campus.
The Government has made several assertions that it is trying to radically overhaul the way energy is generated in the UK. Currently, around 99% of the country’s energy is supplied by the big six energy firms, the Government’s plans for Electricity Market Reform are aiming to redress that balance and industry watchdog Ofgem is also pushing for a more open market.
Thinktank ResPublica’s report suggests that communities could eventually own their own local grid network – why not business parks?
Of course, there are some companies that have facilities as large as business parks, and many of them are coming up with ever more inventive and environmental ways of generating their own energy.
Apple is one such company. Press articles earlier this month highlighted that the company is building the largest end-user solar array and carrying out the largest non-utility fuel cell installation in the USA at its data centre in Maiden, North Carolina.
When completed, the 100-acre, 20MW facility will supply 42 million kWH of clearn, renewable energy annually.
There is nothing like being self-sufficient where energy production is concerned – provided supply is power protected of course. That’s where we come in. Riello UPS has been providing power protection products, equipment and services for customer’s mission critical systems for over 30 years. We supply a range of emergency standby power solutions from entry-level 350VA to 6MVA. Wherever your supply originates, whether from a utility grid, community power plant, or your own power generation plant – we are here to ensure its power continuity.