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ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

Maximising the use of renewable energy for net zero

25/1/2023

6 min read

Rows of solar panels on grassy ground set against bright blue sky Photo: Unsplash
More renewable energy generation is essential if companies are to achieve their net zero objectives

Photo: Unsplash

Pressure is growing for organisations to reduce their carbon emissions by maximising the use of renewable energy. But this comes with numerous challenges, particularly for industrial companies. Here, Jane Ren, CEO of Atomiton, a sustainability data and analytics provider, discusses solutions to these challenges.

In the past, companies adopted renewables to improve their brand image and satisfy the demands from partner companies to tick another sustainability box. Today, most companies have a specific sustainability goal that is often aggressive, and renewable energy sources are essential to achieving that target.

 

The challenge companies face is studying the big picture and evaluating what role renewables will play for them. Within the industrial sector, many processes are powered by fossil fuels that each have specific properties regarding the temperature and intensity they can reach and the energy’s responsiveness. For example, if you need to heat a product within 10 minutes to a high-intensity level, you may not be able to achieve that with some types of renewable energy. These constraints are all factors that need to be considered for companies to reach their overall targets.

 

Options for renewable energy
Companies have different options to maximise the use of renewable energy. They can run their own renewable energy generation (onsite or offsite), or they can contract with other power generation companies to do so, for instance by utilising power purchase agreements (PPAs). In addition, companies can purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), or Guarantees of Origin (GO) as they are called in Europe, which verify the attributes of the renewable energy generation they are paying for.

 

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