MANUFACTURING COMPANIES can slash their energy costs and take a big step towards hitting their net zero targets by installing solar photovoltaics on their premises, delegates at a conference in Milton Keynes have been told.
Sustainability expert Dr James Crosby said the 100% renewable energy source offsets the embodied carbon of the initial manufacturing process within a few years and enables carbon-free electrical production and consumption.
During his presentation at the Sustainable Manufacturing Summit, staged at ArenaMK next to Stadium MK, Dr Crosby highlighted how solar PV panels, which produce electricity, are becoming increasingly popular among commercial organisations looking to boost their onsite energy generation and efficiency – a key solution to the environmental and energy crisis.
With energy prices likely to remain above pre-pandemic levels for at least the next three or four years, manufacturing businesses should focus on implementing smart-building solutions which will make their infrastructure more efficient, he said.
“Manufacturers should note that the greenest form of energy generation is that which you generate yourself and it is also the most affordable method of consumption,” Dr Crosby pictured left, head of sustainability at Advantage Utilities, added. “In addition, the cheapest form of electricity is that which you do not consume at all. This is why on-site generation and on-site efficiency are the two most effective strategies for manufacturing companies who want to minimise energy costs and maximise energy sustainability.
Dr Crosby said: “Now is the perfect time to explore the greener options available, given that government incentives such as full expensing allow businesses to invest into energy-efficient machinery and equipment through year end profits.
“Businesses will not only benefit commercially from greener energy; they will be helping the industry as a whole to move closer towards net zero targets.”
The Sustainable Manufacturing Summit was part of The Manufacturing and Supply Chain conference at the arena, attracting more than 2,500 delegates.