This week saw Made in Group host the first Monthly Industry Meetup, where industry leaders gathered to share their experiences regarding a variety of important industry topics, including a designated group which discussed Renewable Energy.
As the world continues its transition towards a sustainable future, renewable energy plays a pivotal role in manufacturing company’s achieving their own sustainability goals.The UK has made significant strides in embracing renewable energy sources, with manufacturers playing a crucial role in this transformation. However, along with the opportunities presented by renewable energy, UK manufacturers face several challenges that need to be addressed to fully harness its potential
One of the primary hurdles for manufacturers seeking to adopt renewable energy technologies is the high upfront investment required. Establishing renewable energy infrastructure, such as solar panels or wind turbines, demands substantial capital. As part of this discussion, attendees voiced what successes they had achieved through the likes of installing solar panel systems; however, it is ultimately important to adopt long-term thinking with this sort of venture, in terms of financial payback.
To overcome this challenge, the UK government and other organisations can offer financial incentives and support mechanisms. Initiatives such as grants, tax breaks, and low-interest loans can help manufacturers overcome the initial investment barrier and facilitate the adoption of renewable energy technologies. However, companies would likely benefit from more clarity and more information on what grants are available, as this is seemingly not always clear.
Attendees of this discussion also spoke about other emerging renewable energies which companies are adopting, such as biogas and hydrogen. Biogas, derived from organic waste and agricultural byproducts, is a sustainable and renewable energy source that can be utilised for electricity generation and heating while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Hydrogen, obtained through electrolysis of water or derived from renewable sources like wind and solar power, is an environmentally friendly and renewable energy source that can be used for various applications such as fuel cells, transportation, and energy storage, offering a clean and efficient alternative to fossil fuels.
Ultimately, it was clear that — whilst adoption of renewable energy by UK manufacturers presents numerous challenges — attendees were positive that, with the right strategies and collaborative efforts, these obstacles can be overcome, and the sector can successfully navigate this transition.