Pressure grows on carbon reduction and phasing out of fossil fuels - FlexiSolar responds

Tuesday 23 October 2018

How can we get more large organisations to make the change to renewable energy?

This blog is written at the very time that the IPCC climate change report calls for urgent action to phase out fossil fuels. Pressure really is growing - but we are not surprised. The actions we take now are hugely important.

The IPCC report authors highlight the determination of the international community to cap global warming to 1.5C - but to keep below this level, we need to see cuts in carbon dioxide emissions globally of about 45 per cent by 2030. That's no mean feat.

Where do we currently stand with our carbon emission reduction targets?
Last year, Thomson Reuters reported in its Financial & Risk white paper that only about 30 per cent of the biggest firms have set strong goals to curb carbon dioxide emissions. That same study tells us that without continual reduction in emissions from this group of companies, effectively mitigating the long-term risks of climate change is not possible.

The global landscape is clear, and so is the situation closer to home with the Committee on Climate Change confirming the UK is not yet on track to meet its carbon emissions targets for the next 15 years.

Where are our positive influences and influencers?
It's not all bad news though. More than a hundred of the world's most influential companies have now made a commitment to shift to 100pc renewable power, as shown in the RE100. We applaud them. We want more of them.

Transferring to renewable power can very quickly and cost-effectively reduce an organisation's carbon footprint and its energy costs too and that's just the start of it. In committing to renewable power, companies also demonstrate to their stakeholders they support a low-carbon economy. A survey of 1,000 UK consumers (by Cleantechnica) found two thirds of customers would actively recommend a brand either because it invested in its own renewable energy projects or bought most of its energy from renewable sources.

The end of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) and the move to the simplified Climate Change Levy (CCL), from April 2019, is a welcome move as it will simplify reporting for companies. However, from what we have seen of the proposals, there will be a generous discount scheme for high energy use organisations and exemptions for low energy use organisations, which may have the potential to squeeze the mid-range energy users. Here at FlexiSolar, we are keen to hold high level conversations about this to fully understand the situation and the impact.

How can we get more large organisations to make the change to renewable energy?
The tide is turning. In the day to day work here at FlexiSolar, my colleagues and I are seeing more companies open to conversations about making renewable energy solutions their prime energy source. We are hugely passionate about the part large-scale solar carport solutions can play in this, and it's exciting to see so much interest.

However, there is reticence in the market place, and that nervousness is affecting the pace of development. We know from our work at Bentley and for Sutton Council that large-scale solar solutions, such as our integrated solar carports, make a massive impact on business and community alike - and the solutions are well worth their investment. Our challenge is that we need to educate, inspire and encourage more. That's the mission we are on here at FlexiSolar. Proud to be Driving Solar Evolution.

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