In June, the CBI released a report which recognised the ever-increasing role of on-site energy generation in meeting the energy needs of Britain’s businesses.
They couldn’t have been more right.Â It is widely acknowledged that energy costs are likely to be placed under increasing pressure from matters such as growing network and distribution costs and the impact of initiatives to tackle climate change.
So we’ve no doubt that on-site generation, also called distributed energy, distributed generation or decentralised energy, will play an important role in creating affordable energy, reducing carbon emissions and ensuring a security of supply for the future.
After several years in the industry, our parent company Centrica has announced a Â£700m investment in this area over the next five years, in recognition of the growing material opportunity that distributed energy could provide to all businesses.
There’ll be more to come on this announcement in the near future, but it’s a clear signal that on-site energy generation is coming of age and should be taken seriously as part of any businesses’ strategic plan.
Case Study:Â Toyota Â reduces emissions by 1,800 tonnes by installing solar array in North Wales
In August 2014, British Gas and Toyota unveiled a large-scale embedded solar array at Toyota UK’s engine production centre at Deeside in North Wales.
Almost 13,000 solar panels provide up to 10% of all the electricity required for manufacturing at the site, which makes petrol and hybrid engines for Toyota Avensis and Auris models sold throughout Europe.
The solar array, commissioned as a multi-million pound project delivered by British Gas, will significantly reduce the site’s carbon emissions. It took three months to install the panels, supplied by Tata Power Solar, which cover an area that’s the equivalent of almost eight football pitches.
The facility can generate up to 3,475,000 kWh of electricity each year – enough to produce up to 22,500 car engines. The Toyota plant’s carbon emissions will fall by over 1,800 tonnes a year, a figure matching the combined weight of over 1,260 Auris hatchbacks.
Toyota’s Burnaston factory in Derbyshire showed the way in harnessing solar power as a renewable energy source when British Gas installed one of Britain’s largest solar arrays at the site in 2011.
The Deeside and Burnaston solar initiatives are part of Toyota’s leadership strategy to reduce the environmental impact of its operations worldwide. Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK enjoys global status as a leading eco-plant, pioneering best practice and sustainable processes that cut pollution, reduce waste, make efficient use of natural resources and work in harmony with nature.