From time to time, most organisations need some help or additional resource to define or deliver their programmes. This is increasingly the case in the area of energy and carbon management. Over recent years, organisations of all types have had to comply with a bewildering array of new environmental directives and legislation introduced by both the European and UK parliaments. In addition to meeting their compliance obligations, business and government are increasingly focussed on energy initiatives to support cost reduction and CSR objectives. In many cases, organisations have found it more cost effective to address these issues by employing a consultant who is familiar with the energy industry. This means that expensive pitfalls can be avoided and that delivery of your goals can often be accelerated.
One of the first pieces of legislation introduced to encourage corporate energy efficiency and emissions reduction was the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS). Implemented in 2004, the scheme requires that all large plant has to be registered with the scheme, thus requiring the operator to buy and trade in carbon credits. Next, the European energy performance of buildings directive (EPBD) heralded the introduction of energy performance certificates for all buildings being sold or modified. This was the first step in a process intended to publicise and improve the energy efficiency of Europe's buildings. In the UK, smaller emitters, which are not covered by the EUETS scheme, are also required to comply with the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRCES). Despite its troubled introduction, the scheme is designed to encourage the implementation of energy efficiency schemes through a combination of financial and legislative penalties. Organisations which annually consume more than 6GWHrs in their UK businesses are likely to fall under the scheme and need to implement compliance measures to avoid fines. Other schemes such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme and Climate Change Agreements (CCA) further complicate matters for property owners and operators.
"The legislative landscape is equally complex in the area of renewable energy"
The legislative landscape is equally complex in the area of renewable energy. Whilst the UK has been slow to encourage renewable technologies, the recent implementation of the feed in tariff (FIT) scheme has resulted in the rapid growth of the renewable energy sector. Under the scheme, owners of renewable energy systems are guaranteed defined payments for each unit of energy generated. Although this is welcome, the speed of change has left many organisations and land owners confused about the Government's incentive schemes and about which technologies are best suited to their application. At the same time, developers are also wrestling with peaks and troughs in their resource requirements as they scale up to meet market demand.
"as more options become available, choosing the right technology can become much harder"
The sudden changes to legislation and incentives have been accompanied by rapid advances in technology. New innovations, such as LED lighting or concentrated photovoltaic cells (CPV), are opening up new possibilities every day. As more options become available, choosing the right technology can become much harder. As a result, clients are increasingly faced with complex technology investment decisions that have to weigh the capital costs against factors such as energy performance, maintenance costs and risk. In such situations it is often cost effective to employ an independent consultant or engineer to advise on the best scheme or course of action.
"the pace of change within the energy market can be daunting"
Both the complexity and the pace of change within the energy market can be daunting, especially if you are just starting to develop your first energy efficiency or renewable energy project. If this is the case, and you feel you could benefit from some assistance, please feel free to contact us for an informal discussion. If on the other hand you are an experienced operator, renewable energy developer or investor that simply needs short-term support please feel free to visit our contact page and drop us a line.