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Implementation of Solar Energy - Empowering Businesses on the journey to Net Zero

By Talk Power Team | Posted June 03, 2024

TalkPower Guest Blog with EDF Group Partner 'SAS Energy, EDF Renewable's solar division'

Implementation of solar energy in private and public sector environments is vital for achieving Net Zero across the UK. Rob Murphy, Sales and Originations Director at SAS Energy, EDF Renewable's solar division for commercial and industrial clients, will be discussing the possibilities and challenges of transitioning to on-site energy generation. He'll also examine how these shifts will affect the broader goal of achieving emission balance by 2050, high energy users, and the National Grid.

There has never been a better or more important time to consider on-site energy generation as part of your asset’s energy management. Embracing sustainable solutions is a proven strategy for reducing a company’s carbon footprint and a clear statement about a business’s commitment to sustainability, helping to meet regulatory requirements and positioning a company as an eco-conscious leader within the industry. Over the last decade, there has been a marked increase in environmental consciousness within all sectors and industries. As a result, solar power has emerged as one of the most practical solutions to address the climate emergency while also providing financial benefits.

What are the challenges?

One of the major challenges faced in solar PV projects is applying solutions to behind-the-meter assets. Each project is unique and must be evaluated individually, which can have an impact on both the financial aspect and the timeline of the project, which may be perceived as a disadvantage by the client. It is important to recognise that the bespoke nature of each project requires careful consideration to ensure optimal results. The implementation of renewable energy solutions within businesses can also be challenged by the asset’s energy usage patterns, i.e., low onsite demand at peak solar irradiance output, making it difficult for some organisations to transition to onsite energy generation. The limitations on grid availability can also affect the installation of site-connected solar projects, which in most cases can be managed, but can add more cost and complexities to design.

However, tailored design and careful planning can prevent most of these challenges, maximising the energy production on site. Battery storage can also be a valuable asset for organisations with larger generating space, permitting excess energy generated throughout the day to be stored and utilised when the client is operating outside of solar generation periods, or when more demand is required beyond the solar arrays output.

Safran Pitstone


The benefits for business and organisations

Given the potential benefits of solar power, businesses and organisations are increasingly recognising the value of investing in this renewable energy source. The growing need for sustainable energy sources has led to the development of innovative technologies and policies that aim to incentivise the adoption of solar energy. First and foremost, the benefit of being partially independent of the national grid and its volatile energy prices offers a great way of saving money on operational costs and provides a secure energy source.  It represents a notable long-term investment, especially for businesses. After covering the initial costs of the installation, the business can see quick ROI, usually within three to six years – all thanks to energy-saving measures. Correct maintenance of the system can boost the lifespan of your solar PV solution from 20 to 30 or even 40 years. This low-carbon technology provides considerable environmental advantages, allowing businesses to lower their CO2 emissions. Renewables are also a clear statement to the community that your business is actively fighting climate change and that the environmental measures are within the core values of your business – something everyone should be considering.  

Resilience and reliability of the power network

The deployment of solar installations has a significant impact on reducing the dependency on electricity generated and procured from conventional power networks. This, in turn, results in a decline in the power demand through the traditional network. Additionally, the adoption of clean energy resources and their integration within our power networks will play a part in the development and upgrading of our power networks.

This underscores the critical role of transitioning to renewable resources and their seamless integration within our power networks. Eventually, smart grids that use multiple power sources such as wind, solar, hydro, battery storage, and traditional sources powered by fossil fuels will become the most sustainable way to deliver and keep our supply and demand in check.

Harnessing the power of renewable energy in the management systems of private and public sector assets is the key to unlocking a sustainable future. The UK can become a leader in solar capacity and pave the way towards a Net Zero future. Be part of the journey to a better future, one panel at a time.

Want to find out more? Contact your EDF Business Solutions Account Manager or get in touch with the EDF team LetsTalkPower@edfenergy.co.uk.

 

Rob Murphy, SAS Energy, Author