SBS21: Renewable Technologies Explained- NFU Energy

NFU Energy

This blog post has been produced for the Greater Birmingham and Coventry and Warwickshire Chambers of Commerce as part of the 2021 Sustainable Business Series: Net Zero campaign.

The Sustainable Business Series: Net Zero is the Chamber’s first campaign on environmental sustainability, which aims to share best practice, guidance and knowledge to increase business progress to net zero. In 2021, this involves 5 free online webinars taking place from the end of September and throughout October along with publishing thought leadership podcasts, videos and blog content. The campaign will feature a Sustainability Summit on 3rd November

Thanks to our Headline Sponsors – Aston University, Arup, Morgan Sindall and the University of Birmingham - all webinars and the Summit are free to attend. Interested parties can find out more and register to attend Sustainable Business Series: Net Zero events here, and the Sustainable Business Summit here.

Renewable Energy Solutions 

Each year Government comes up with new business obligations and incentivisation schemes to encourage us to go green. They target big energy users at the moment, but this could be about to change.

As more installers and manufacturers make the switch, the cost of setting up renewable energy systems at your workplace and home is getting cheaper. And in parallel to that is the sobering fact that energy prices have risen by 212% in the last 12 months and are continuing to climb.

UK emissions targets

To ensure Great Britain hits its carbon emissions reduction targets, large companies of 250 employees or more or with a turnover in excess of +44.1 million are required by law to participate in the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and/or Streamlined Energy Carbon Reporting (SECR). These assessments monitor energy usage to set out energy saving strategies that the businesses must comply with or risk getting fined, and they must be undertaken every 4 years.

NFU Energy helps companies of this size to comply with these obligations, but for SMEs - the Auditing work we carry out (with adjusted costs) can be just as valuable a cost saving measure for your business too. They present you with a baseline for smaller improvements but also help you to look ahead in planning your long-term energy use strategy. It is also worth noting that government is currently considering whether it should widen the participation of the ESOS to include medium sized businesses too.

What is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint is a way of accounting for the greenhouse gas emissions of a business, a product or a service through its entire lifecycle. Although we call it a carbon footprint, it also includes the other greenhouse gases of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), that are then presented as a carbon equivalent according to their Global Warming Potential. We collect your energy-use data, carry out a full onsite walk-through and then provide you with a high-level overview of potential efficiency and cost saving improvements. Additionally, recommendations are made where upgrades or changes could be beneficial and financially worthwhile.

What are Renewable Energy Solutions?

Despite an ever-growing share of the UK’s power coming from renewables, we’re still far too dependent on gas to heat our homes and generate electricity – the majority of which is imported.

We are set-up to install renewable systems where the majority of energy will be consumed on-site. However, we can also help assess and develop much larger schemes where exporting power to the grid is the primary objective too.

The service begins with a conversation to check if renewable technology is appropriate for your site. Then a full feasibility study with clear cost savings and timescales is carried out before you make any commitments.

Renewable technologies

Benefits of solar PV

Solar Photovoltaic panels (often referred to as Solar PV or PV) capture the sun’s energy and convert it to electrical power. Solar panels do not need direct sunlight to work, they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day.

How does wind energy work?

Over the last few decades a growing wind power sector has begun to make use of the UK’s geography and take advantage of the fact that we are one of the windiest countries in Europe.

British landowners have been harnessing the wind’s energy for centuries. However, generating electricity has only been developed more recently, with the first commercial wind farm built in 1991 in Cornwall.

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump is a device that takes low temperature (low grade heat) and upgrades it to higher temperature (high grade heat). They work essentially by acting like a fridge or freezer but in reverse. With a fridge the inside is cold and the outside is warm, we want the inside of the building to be warm and the outside to be cold. Most heat pumps use a refrigerant which is pumped around a system of pipework from a heat source (air, water, or ground), to the area where heat is required. The low grade heat which is captured, is boosted by a compressor into a higher grade usable heat.

What is anaerobic digestion?

Anaerobic digestion is the process in which organic materials such as food or animal waste are broken down by microorganisms, in an anaerobic (oxygen free) environment – the digestor. This process produces biogas for combustion in a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit or boiler, or can be enriched with propane to produce biomethane (green gas), which can then be fed back into the gas grid with a payment attached to it. The government has laid out plans for the new Green Gas Support Scheme (GGSS) and although final details have not yet been announced, it is likely green gas producers will be paid for injecting gas into the gas grid.

For the full guides on these renewables visit our website

Find out more

If you are interested in finding out more about how NFU Energy can help you install renewable energy systems please contact us on or 024 7669 6512.

NB NFU Energy earns commission on successfully installed Renewable Energy Solutions based projects, but this is paid by our installer and finance partners and is not added onto the price you pay.