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Rise in manufacturers considering their own power generation

Research from various sources show that rising energy costs are now the number one priority for many energy-intensive firms, who are increasingly interested in energy independence.

According to a survey by power, cooling and heating equipment supplier Aggreko, nearly 75 per cent of UK manufacturers said that the cost of energy crisis is having a direct impact on their ability to remain competitive.

As a result, more than 60 per cent said they are now considering options to generate their own electricity – a 12 per cent increase from 2019.

On-site power generation

Chris Rason, managing director at Aggreko Northern Europe, said: “The rising cost of energy has long been a concern for the UK manufacturing sector, though recent events have escalated the scale of this challenge to entirely new levels.

“At this juncture, it’s important to re-evaluate how attitudes to on-site power generation might have changed in the last three years to ensure that manufacturers are equipped with effective means of navigating this crisis.”

The findings support the results of research published by NatWest in May, which suggested that the number of UK SMEs generating their own renewable energy could more than double within a year.

Energy is ‘number one’ concern

Elsewhere, a separate survey by npower Business Solutions has found that 77 per cent of large firms now cite energy as their biggest business risk. Anthony Ainsworth, COO of npower’s industrial and commercial division, commented that accelerating energy efficiency, achieving energy independence and maintaining momentum on net zero were crucial for businesses.

“We need to double down on action that can have an impact now; reducing energy demand through energy efficiency and electrifying heat and transport where possible,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has identified high energy costs as the industry’s new ‘number one’ concern.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “From COVID impacts to component shortages, supply chain disruption to trade uncertainty, and regulatory change to rising inflation, the challenges facing this sector are immense. Nevertheless, addressing the UK's high energy costs is the industry's number one ask.”

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