Distributed Energy

Seeing new possibilities

Evolution of energy

The energy landscape is in a state of flux – moving rapidly through a period of decentralisation towards localised energy sources. As the focus on sustainability increases and new technologies like electric vehicles put even more pressure on the existing energy infrastructure, businesses are looking for alternative sources of power – sources that are more affordable, more flexible and more environmentally sound. 

Driven by industrial-scale digitisation, advances in energy technology are now in a position to provide the solution - distributed energy. 

Cost-efficient and easy to integrate, distributed energy is enabling businesses to take greater control of their own power supply. It’s also making the ‘cleaner, greener’ energy sources that businesses – and their customers – demand more accessible. Businesses are starting to discover the wide-ranging benefits of transforming from energy customers into energy creators through alternative energy generation.

What is distributed energy?

Distributed energy is the on-site generation, storage and delivery of power for businesses of every size.

By utilising a variety of different technologies to analyse, generate, store and even sell power, businesses can improve operational efficiency by lowering energy costs and carbon emissions, and strengthen their business resilience by controlling their own energy sources – giving them the flexibility to react quickly to any changes in market or environmental conditions.

Distributed energy landscape

Businesses need a strategic approach to energy 

There are four main reasons why businesses need to be more proactive about energy management:

  1. Non-commodity energy costs are rising – these are obligatory charges passed on from third parties and they will continue to inflate. Businesses who don’t find new approaches to energy management will end up paying more.
  2. Energy resilience is becoming harder to achieve – the grid is becoming more volatile and supply gaps more frequent. Businesses reliant on the grid face a growing threat to their core business operations.
  3. Where uncertainty increases, so does risk – the uptake of new energy technologies is accelerating. Businesses must take measures to safeguard against the impact such innovation will have on energy supply.
  4. Employees and consumers expect sustainability – there is a growing demand for brands to be greener and embrace energy efficiency. Those that lag behind risk losing reputation and market share.

Distributed energy is an opportunity for businesses to become more future-proof. It will significantly lower energy bills in the short term and give you more flexibility and responsiveness in the long term.

Why should businesses consider distributed energy?

The benefits of distributed energy are many and far reaching:

  • Optimise the way your business uses energy
  • Align energy management to your overall business objectives
  • Move from energy user to energy creator - driving additional revenue
  • Strengthen your energy resilience
  • Drive your sustainability agenda forward

Putting distributed energy to work

In this new energy landscape, businesses can now turn their energy use from a running cost into a value-generating asset that drives efficiency, powers growth and helps to deliver a real competitive advantage.

Energy insights solutions, based on Internet of Things (IoT) technology, let you see exactly how your business uses energy – giving you the energy intelligence you need to choose the most effective solutions for your business. Power-creation and renewable energies like photovoltaic (solar), combined heat and power cogeneration (CHP) and battery storage are more affordable now than they’ve ever been, making them an increasingly cost-efficient way for businesses to take control of energy.

Combine these with the ability to sell the surplus power onto the grid through demand management solutions such as Demand Side Response (DSR), and the energy market is no longer a one-way street.

installed generation capacity decentralised by 2030*
battery storage could be deployed by 2021**
projected value of smart grid market worldwide by 2020***

Is distributed energy right for you?

You should be exploring distributed energy generation if your business:

  • Has high energy usage and spend
  • Has increased use of electricity-heavy infrastructure as part of core business functions
  • Relies on having a secure energy supply for mission-critical functions
  • Needs to upgrade a dated energy infrastructure
  • Is experiencing regulatory or compliance issues
  • Comprises a large-scale site and facilities

Customers can improve their energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions

Places Leisure has saved £250,000 a year, and reduced carbon emissions by over 2,600 tonnes, using our Combined Heat and Power solution.

Why Centrica Business Solutions

Centrica Business Solutions is a strategic energy partner for businesses who want to drive results from energy investments. We help organisations take advantage of the changing energy landscape by building intelligent, end-to-end energy strategies and solutions across design, manufacture, financing, installation and maintenance to help you power performance, resilience and business ambition.

Our portfolio of future-facing distributed energy solutions and deep industry knowledge has been enhanced by our acquisition of market leading specialists in distributed energy solutions, including ENER-G Cogen International, Panoramic Power and REstore.

*FES 2018
**APPG 2017
***Green Tech Media