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Europe’s energy crisis to potentially extend well into 2022
28th October 2021

The energy crisis itself probably isn’t news to you – it’s been making headlines for quite some weeks now, and there’s almost nobody in the UK who doesn’t stand to be affected in some way. After the petrol shortages of September, the steadily rising fuel prices and cost of living isn’t welcome news to anyone. But unfortunately it seems that they’re here to stay – for the time being, at least.

While that might be a pretty depressing realisation, the important thing is try not to get too overwhelmed by it (probably easier said than done!). Instead, it’s a good idea to try and focus your efforts on coming up with practical solutions that can lessen the impact as much as possible on your business – and that’s exactly why you might commercial solar panels so useful. First though, let’s quickly examine a few of the key points about the crisis itself, and what factors are influencing its development.

What’s caused Europe’s gas crisis?

To be honest, it’s relatively tricky to pin it down to a single definitive cause – it’s more down to a series of interlinking factors. For starters, the global demand for gas is rising as the economic activity around the globe is recovering from the pandemic. But for various reasons, supplies are more limited than they have been in past years, and that’s led prices to be pushed higher.

Europe is feeling the squeeze because recently the continent’s gas production has been in steady decline. That means that Europeans are largely reliant on imports from a select few countries like Russia and Norway. Complicating that is the increased demand from regions like Asia and the United States, which finds itself in particular need of gas since suffering devastating winter storms earlier this year.

As things stand, there’s already been a 600% rise in European gas prices so far in 2021, and the UK is being hit particularly hard. That’s because we’re more reliant on gas than our EU neighbours, but we have less capacity to actually store the fuel. Just earlier this month, we saw a staggering 37% spike in wholesale gas prices in just 24 hours. now, the gas shortage is impacting everything from food to common consumer supplies.

The 2021 Budget released this week was meant to mitigate at least some of that. While there’s been a freeze on fuel duty though, there’s been no mention so far of direct assistance with those rising gas and electricity bills.

One significant quote came from Ed Miliband, the Shadow Business Secretary, who pointed out that the nation hasn’t built a sufficiently resilient energy system, and called on the government to “move forward” with nuclear power, renewables like wind and solar, and energy efficiency projects like home insulation.

He’s certainly not wrong there, especially if you’re a business owner. Renewables like solar can help give you exactly what your business needs most during these turbulent times – cheaper bills and energy security.

How can commercial solar PV help your organisation?

Solar panels have a huge range of advantages, all of which we’ve explored in more detail on the blog before here at Low Carbon Energy, but perhaps one of their most important ones is their ability to protect you from market volatility. And whatever you think of current events, there’s no question that the market has never been more volatile. The extent of the issue might mean that solar panels may not be able to unilaterally help you bypass the issue, but they can certainly take the sting out of the highest bills by allowing you to generate your own energy on-site, and that alone can make them worthy of investment.

What’s more, they can also provide you with reliable energy security against local, regional or national outages or blackouts. Depending on your sector and the nature of your operations, even a relatively small blackout (and the resultant downtime) can be hugely expensive, and the consequent financial shock isn’t something that every business can afford.

At Low Carbon Energy, we’re here to help you realise all those ever-more vital advantages for your own organisation. Our experts have over 30 years of combined experience, having helped SMEs and large corporations across a wide variety of sectors transform their business’ energy supply.

Each of our installations is bespoke, and we tailor your solution on your specific energy profile, helping us to maximise carbon reductions and save you up to thousands of pounds in energy bills. Feel free to look at our case studies for just a few examples of businesses which have reaped huge rewards from solar, such as Boeing and Allertex. To find out how we can help you, feel free to give us a call today on 01282 421 489!

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