Decentralised energy key to circumventing grid delays

By Ruth Martin, UK Manufacturing Sector Expert at Aggreko
Aggreko is advising the sector to consider short to mid-term decentralised energy solutions as an effective means of maintaining business continuity.

With ongoing grid delays forcing UK manufacturers to place plans for expansion on hold, Aggreko is advising the sector to consider short to mid-term decentralised energy solutions as an effective means of maintaining business continuity.

This warning follows the publication of an article from The Telegraph which claimed that one of Britain’s leading energy technology companies was suspending plans for the construction of a new site after being told it would take up to seven years to establish a connection to the National Grid.

Elsewhere, a spokesperson for a prominent graphene chip manufacturer claimed that their facility had stood idle for as long as six months while they awaited planning permission from the local council for additional power, costing the business up to £1,000,000.

With these challenges in mind, Ruth Martin, UK Manufacturing Sector Expert at Aggreko, is advocating the use of short to mid-term decentralised energy solutions in order to circumvent lengthy planning delays and maintain uptime on manufacturing processes.

She said: “The energy crisis is currently posing a double threat to UK manufacturers, with rising opex cutting into margins while a lack of grid capacity scuppers any plans for expansion.

“At a time when maintaining profitability is more critical than ever, it’s imperative that UK manufacturers take productivity into their own hands. For manufacturers with aspirations of expansion, short-term decentralised energy solutions are an effective method of bridging the gap before a grid connection can be established.”

A Hired Energy as a Service (HEaaS) agreement is one of the most flexible methods of introducing decentralised energy generation on site. Here, manufacturers can take out a contract with a specialist, such as Aggreko, which will supply the equipment and personnel necessary to get the system up and running.

From here, equipment can be scaled up or down as necessary in order to meet demand, without the risk of incurring fees during high usage periods. The flexible nature of this contract also prevents manufacturers from being locked into strict fixed-term energy pricing.

Ruth concluded: “With many UK manufacturers targeting business expansion in 2023, it’s critical that the limitations of the National Grid do not pose a barrier to these plans, in the interest of both the manufacturing sector and the wider economy.

“This is not a new problem, and is one that will likely continue to re-occur for many years to come, so we urge manufacturers to begin re-evaluating their approaches to energy procurement sooner rather than later.”

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