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Will 2017 be a big year for renewable energy?

Will 2017 be a big year for renewable energy?

Will 2017 be a big year for renewable energy?

As a new year begins, many businesses will be looking at how they can improve their efficiency and become more eco-friendly in 2017.

There are many factors to consider, such as employee habits and practices in the workplace, waste disposal and the performance of your electrical appliances. You might also want to consider the green credentials of any cleaning companies and other third-party service suppliers you work with.

For those firms that are taking a serious approach to their environmental performance, one topic worth considering is the benefit to be gained from renewable energy.

There are indications that the coming year could be a big one for renewables.

'Greenest Christmas ever'
Britain has just had its greenest Christmas ever for energy generation, with more than 40 percent of electricity generated on Christmas Day coming from sustainable sources, according to Drax Power.

The low-carbon energy supplier released figures showing that, on average, 12.4GW of electricity generated on December 25th 2016 came from green sources. That's 63 percent more than the previous year and a 195 percent increase from 2012, when only 4.2GW of electricity came from renewables.

Provided by Electric Insights, the data also showed that three-quarters (75 percent) of renewable energy produced on Christmas Day was from wind turbines. 

Drax Power said these statistics were evidence of large-scale change in how electricity is generated and supplied in the UK.
"These Christmas figures show that the UK energy system really is changing," said Andy Koss, the company's chief executive officer. "Renewables are increasingly vital to the UK's energy mix as we decarbonise and move away from coal.

"Since upgrading half of the power station to run on wood pellets, three million households are powered with renewable energy generated by Drax. We provided 20 percent of the UK's renewable power in the first half of 2016."

Renewable energy for businesses
There are many options available to companies that want to increase their use of renewables, such as switching to a green energy supplier or installing features like solar panels.

When it comes to improving the sustainability of electricity supply, research has suggested that many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) want their energy company to be more committed to renewables.

Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of the SMEs surveyed by Haven Power said they would like to see a greater commitment to sustainable power sources, but only 11 percent would rate their current provider's performance on renewables as 'excellent'.

Jonathan Kini, chief executive of Haven Power, said: "SMEs want more from their supplier and a commitment to renewable energy is one of the demands they are pushing for. This suggests there is some fundamental change happening, and we in the energy sector need to respond to it by not only helping SMEs reduce their energy usage but also being able to supply 100 per cent renewable energy."

Many companies will be looking ahead to 2017 as an opportunity to improve their environmental standards, raising the possibility that use of renewables and energy efficient practices could become much more important elements of business performance.

 

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock/Petmal