Centrica: New energy tech could deliver half of UK industry's carbon targets

The UK's healthcare, industrial, and hospitality sectors could meet more than half of their greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030 by deploying distributed low carbon energy technologies such as battery storage and onsite generation, a new study from energy giant Centrica suggests.

The 'Powering Sustainability' report, which was released yesterday to coincide with the start of Green Great Britain Week, calculates that battery storage, onsite generation, and energy efficiency measures could deliver an 11 percent CO2 saving across the three sectors, which together represent over a quarter - 27 per cent - of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions.

The government's Clean Growth Strategy last year challenged UK businesses to improve their energy efficiency - or energy productivity - by 20 percent by 2030, and the report argues distributed energy technologies could help companies achieve around half of that target.

Centrica - which owns British Gas - said the deployment of distributed energy technologies in just half of the organizations across the three sectors could achieve savings of nine megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year, culminating in a total of 137MtCO2e by 2030.

For healthcare, that would mean annual emissions cuts equivalent to 16 percent of the NHS's current carbon footprint, while industrial sectors could save the equivalent of 11 percent of their current carbon footprint, according to the report.

The hospitality and leisure sector, meanwhile, would be able to cut its carbon footprint by around 14 percent by deploying established clean technologies.

Given the potential for CO2 savings across these sectors, the report also argues a full assessment should be undertaken right across the entire UK public and private sectors to identify the breadth of economic and emissions reduction opportunities that could result from distributed energy technologies.

The study follows a separate analysis last month by Centrica which argued the UK's energy-intensive industrial and manufacturing sectors could save at least £540m on their energy bills by adopting clean technologies such as solar arrays and battery storage systems.

Jorge Pikunic, managing director of Centrica Business Solutions, said while the UK has made "a big contribution to the fight against global warming", much of this has to date been due to the shift away from coal power to solar and wind energy.

"But things get more difficult from here, as we strive to hit our goal of an 80 percent reduction in UK carbon emissions by 2050," he explained. "The good news is that business and the public sector can play a central role over the next decade in our path to decarbonization. This report shows how by adopting distributed energy technologies, we can significantly reduce emissions and make a positive impact to the economy at the same time."

The study comes as the government continues to face criticism over its medium-term decarbonization plans after the independent Committee on Climate Change warned the UK is currently off track to meet its binding emissions goals for the late 2020s and early 2030s.

The watchdog argued urgent action on energy efficiency and emissions from buildings were required to deliver the promised carbon cuts.

Source- Business Green