UK industry pays 33% more for electricity than the rest of Europe
Harrowing figures produced by University College London show how much more our businesses pay for electricity compared to our European neighbours. Superior grid interconnections and a more forward thinking attitude to renewable energy has allowed the likes of France and Germany to produce lower electricity prices. Cardiff based steel manufacturers, Celsa has not been able to invest as heavily as it would like because of very high electricity bills. These are around 50% higher than a similar business in France or Germany.
The author of this FT article suggests the UK government reviews its energy policies to reduce the 33% margin and to help businesses. Instead of relying on these suggested changes however, high energy users like Celsa should be helping themselves by investing in solar PV. At current installation costs, a solar PV system delivers electricity at a rate of around 5 pence per kWh. This compares with the current grid supplied rate of 11-15p per unit. Prices from the grid have risen by 30% since 2012 whereas the forward purchase price of electricity from solar has reduced by a massive 35% - a return on investment of 15% is more than achievable.
Bakery suppliers, Bako Western had 996 solar panels installed by Mypower in 2014. It is expected to achieve over £1.1 million in income and savings over 20 years and the solar PV system will have paid itself off in just 4.3 years from now.
If other high energy users invested in solar PV like Bako Western, businesses can help themselves rather than relying on our government who currently don’t appear to have a great deal of interest in utilising the huge benefits renewable energy sources like solar can bring.
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