UK manufacturers seeking greater flexibility in energy recovery post-pandemic

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Chris Rason, Managing Director at Aggreko, talks through the standout figures from Aggreko’s recent report – Energy in Manufacturing: A Flexible Future?

Over 90% of UK manufacturers want greater flexibility and control when using on-site energy generation post-pandemic. This is the headline finding from Aggreko’s recent report, Energy in Manufacturing: A Flexible Future?

The 2021 report surveyed over 200 senior respondents from the UK’s largest manufacturing companies to gauge the sector’s views on distributed energy models.

Primarily, the industry is under strain from numerous challenges. With electricity demand expected to exceed supply by 40% by 2025, 79% of respondents said they felt increased pressure to lower energy costs since 2020, while 82% identified an increased need to secure supply.

Moreover, last year’s challenges have re-emphasised industry pressures to improve sustainability amid impending climate commitments, with 95% agreeing the pandemic had encouraged their business to pursue greener power methods. When queried on sustainable alternatives they might deploy next year, the most popular responses were high-efficiency combined heat and power plants (61%), solar (49%) and wind power (22%).

Though these figures are an encouraging sign for sustainability, 68% of respondents still believed that depreciating assets pose a significant barrier to decarbonisation. However, the pandemic has constrained budgets, with many lacking the capex to invest in new equipment.

With increasing pressure to go green and funds limited, more flexibility is clearly required for the UK manufacturing industry to transition to more sustainable power generation. Indeed, over 90% of those surveyed agreed with this statement. Outsourcing decentralised energy contracts to specialists like Aggreko could allow businesses to effectively reduce process carbon footprints without falling foul of the balance sheet. Overall, this idea proved popular among UK manufacturers, with a resounding 97% saying they would favour decentralised energy solutions that could be installed without investing capex.

To read Aggreko’s report in full, visit: https://www.aggreko.com/en-gb/energy-in-manufacturing

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