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Transform energy sustainability with green innovation

Writing for the edie insights report on sustainable food and drink manufacturing, Ian Hopkins explores how game-changing green innovation is transforming environmental performance.

You've probably deployed the energy efficiency "easy wins" and maybe you're using onsite generation to take sustainability further, but it's unlikely that this will be enough to deliver on your net-zero ambitions.

Now is the time to deploy green innovation to re-engineer and rethink your sustainable energy strategy.

First step is to look beyond your metered energy data to discover energy saving opportunities at equipment and process level. Internet of Things (IoT) analytics and monitoring technologies provide the deep visibility and energy insights you need to uncover hidden waste, highlight improvement opportunities and inform  sustainability investment.

With more detailed intelligence, you can produce a full and accurate energy profile. This is the basis for designing a sustainable energy strategy that's aligned to your business objectives.

Mission Possible: Achieving a net-zero carbon future for food and drink manufacturing

Rapid returns of distributed energy

Every business will take a different energy pathway, but food and drink producers can achieve rapid return on investment from distributed energy technologies, such as Combined Heat and Power (CHP), solar and battery storage

The extended heat and cooling demand of many manufacturers makes high efficiency CHP a perfect match. Increasingly, businesses are exploring new green gas fuelled CHP systems to further improve sustainability benefits.

To keep pace with changing business demands, we've introduced Flexible Term Agreement financing that enables food and drink manufacturers to relocate or return the CHP unit after 3-5 years.

While our solar technology is helping The London Borough of Southwark has invest in solar photovoltaic (PV) at a cost-effective price, leading to a 337 tonnes of CO2 reduction annually.

Energy optimisation

Growing numbers of manufacturers are taking advantage of the shrinking costs of solar PV and battery storage to optimise their energy portfolio and become renewable power producers. When these two technologies are combined to create renewably hybrid systems, the cost savings and sustainability benefits are multiplied.

Energy optimisation leverages even more value from distributed energy assets and industrial loads. We are taking this to a new level using artificial intelligence (AI) Virtual Power Plants to automate the dispatch of smart aggregated portfolios of  power flexibility. This means manufacturers can generate revenue from the most lucrative markets, including real-time trading, grid balancing and other fast response demand side opportunities.

Cleaner transport

One of the most exciting new opportunities is to integrate electric vehicle (EV) fleet charging into onsite distributed energy infrastructure  to maximise emissions reduction from transport.

Find our more about implementing EV in your business and how to power the transition to sustainable transportation.