NEW research has identified growing interest among UK businesses to generate renewable energy from their own premises.
Almost 40% of those surveyed by Opus Energy expect to introduce solar panels, wind turbines, hydro power or anaerobic digestion and almost half of those businesses expect to be generating their own energy inside two years.
The statistics reveal a significant uplift since 2011 when just 26% were looking to introduce renewable energy within five years. In addition, 15% of those surveyed are already generating renewable power, against 6% in 2011.
SME business owners aged 55+ are most ahead of the game, with a fifth already generating power on the premises.
Opus Energy said it is experiencing growth in the number companies signing up to its renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) which enable it to purchase businesses’ excess power to supply to its customers. The agreements allow companies to generate additional income while bolstering their social responsibility credentials.
Companies said the main attractions of renewable energy generation were self-sufficient supply of energy (28%), additional income (23%), and ‘doing our bit’ to tackle climate change (17%).
Opus announced its 500th renewable generator agreement in December and among recent signings is Knocknain Farm in Scotland which sells 100% of its 330KW wind turbine’s power to Opus.
Another signing from 2012 was with the Port of Milford Haven. That agreement sees Opus purchase power from solar PV systems across 13 of the port company’s sites, including the flagship 100.8kW Phoenix Power PV Station – the largest integrated solar PV system in Wales – located on the roof of a tenpin bowling centre.
Charlie Crossley Cooke, managing director at Opus, commented: “It is great to see companies warming up to the idea of powering their businesses by generating their own renewable energy.”