As spring gets into full swing, here’s a bit of sunny news: according to a new report from energy analysts Ember, the world will use fewer fossil fuels to generate electricity this year, in what’s being called a turning point for planet friendly energy. It’s a particularly welcome headline for organisations already making good use of commercial solar panels.
2023 marks the first ever annual drop in the use of coal, oil and gas to produce electricity. (Notably, the steepest fall outside of a global recession or pandemic.) It’s pretty big news, largely because generating electricity is widely agreed to be the single biggest contributor to global warming. Cutting out coal, oil and gas in the sector is hugely important to help us as a species avoid the most devastating effects of climate change.
So, what exactly is going on?
Renewables on the rise
International experts agree that the world is experiencing a boom in renewable energy right now, and one that’s mainly being spearheaded by China – with plenty of excellent progress being made across a number of other countries and continents, too. The combined forces of wind and solar are particularly influential – together they now produce 12% of the world’s electricity, or about 1/8th of the total energy mix.
Globally, solar grew by 24% last year, which is significant enough to theoretically meet the annual demands of a country the size of South Africa. And it’s worth highlighting that the UK remains a world leader in wind generation – in 2022, enough wind turbines were added to our energy mix to power almost all of the UK.
Now, in the interests of full disclosure, Ember did highlight that the use of coal edged up too. That’s because overall demand for electricity grew in 2022, and not all of it was supplied by clean sources. The hydrogeneration and nuclear generation sectors each experienced issues – several major French generators were offline, and multiple rivers in Europe were too low for hydrogeneration to happen on a practical scale. However, elsewhere, countries like Brazil managed to successfully capitalise on their hydrogeneration potential, which allowed them to cut their use of gas by 46%.
As we move further into 2023 though, the Ember report predicts that the growth of wind and solar will exceed the global rise in demand for electricity – possibly allowing us to finally turn the tide against fossil fuels.
What does this mean for you?
In short, commercial solar panels will continue to become an even more economical way of generating electricity. Having become continually cheaper almost year-on-year for the past decade, they now stand poised to benefit from the global economy becoming even more favourable towards them.
If you’re planning on installing commercial solar panels on your own premises, that means that it’s never been easier to enjoy the many and varied range of benefits they offer. First, there’s the significant savings they can offer you on your energy bills. Crucially though, they also offer energy security – allowing you to generate your own power on-site means you’re less reliant on the National Grid, which insulates you from the peaks and troughs of the market.
There’s also the cultural shift. As the climate emergency becomes more pronounced and renewables become increasingly widespread, customers and potential investors will tend to be most strongly drawn to the businesses and organisations that demonstrate a more proactive approach to cutting their climate footprints – and commercial solar panels provide the perfect way to do that.
Those are just a couple of key advantages of solar – you can check out our previous post to find out more!
And if you’re in the midst of considering plans for commercial solar panels, you’re in exactly the right place. 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 Irish Water. To find out how we can help you, feel free to give us a call today on 01282 421 489!