Research published by Centrica plc has identified the opportunity for key sectors in the economy to achieve almost £1bn of savings on annual energy spend, while delivering an £18.5bn boost to the country’s overall economic growth.
Published in advance of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, the ‘Powering Britain’s Economic Future’ report assesses the potential economic benefits to the nation if three sectors, which represent over a quarter of the UK economy, were to adopt distributed energy solutions including battery storage, onsite power generation, and energy saving devices.
Commissioned by Centrica, a team of independent economists has assessed the scale of the opportunity across the industrial; healthcare; and hospitality, hotel & leisure sectors, setting out the potential energy cost savings of distributed energy solutions and subsequent potential benefit to the UK economy of additional investment in this equipment. The report, which assumes that solutions would be deployed by 50 per cent of organisations in those sectors, also identifies the opportunity to support thousands of jobs associated with both the delivery of distributed energy solutions and the resultant economic benefit.
Key findings from the report include the opportunity for:
• NHS England to make an annual saving of over 20 per cent on the £0.5bn cost of its energy;
• The potential benefits to gross value added across the UK from industry to hit almost £14bn;
• Annual savings of over £300m across the hospitality, hotel and leisure sector.
The report has been published by Centrica’s international Distributed Energy and Power unit, which provides energy insight, asset optimisation and energy solutions to large energy users under the Centrica Business Solutions banner.
Jorge Pikunic, Managing Director of Centrica Distributed Energy and Power said: “Energy has been a key driver of productivity over the last 50 years, but it’s clear that more needs to be done in support of improved efficiency and future economic growth.
“This report shines a light on the scale of the opportunity for distributed energy technologies to contribute to the aims of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, reducing public sector costs and creating new opportunities for growth in the UK.
“The challenge now is for industry and Government to make this a reality. Together, I believe we can create a new sector for the economy that encompasses energy services, technology, and innovation. I also believe there to be significant export potential that could allow the UK to establish itself as a world leader in developing and managing the energy system of the future.”
The report suggests that more could be done to take advantage of the opportunities for these new energy solutions and calls for BEIS, public sector organisations and the Committee on Climate Change to undertake urgent assessments of how new solutions could reduce energy costs and carbon emissions.