Market volatility experienced over the past few years has led to many businesses taking a more strategic approach to energy. Whether improving efficiency, maximising resilience, or embracing a fresh approach to sustainable procurement, energy is now firmly a board-level discussion. Policy developments, geopolitical disruption and climate change are focusing minds on future solutions at a local, national and global level.
The energy system is evolving to meet future needs, with alternative fuels and smart infrastructure top of the priority list. But progress requires a step change in how we both think about and use energy. Savvy businesses alerted by high prices and talk of constraints on supply are already working hard to future proof their approach, looking to save cost and consumption in the long-term.
As a result, decarbonisation continues to lead the agenda. Across various industry sectors, energy intensive users are aligning with the transition towards net-zero, implementing strategies across their energy supply and contracting solutions to deliver further improvements to their carbon footprint and energy efficiency – benefitting both the environment, as well as the bottom line.
According to our own indicative research, 47% of large energy users consider reducing the carbon in their energy supply a major priority, with direction from senior management (43%) and policy requirements (45%) considered the biggest influencers on reduction goals. What’s more, 46% are actively looking to increase awareness about their sustainability efforts.
Transparency around decarbonisation reporting by some of the UK’s biggest businesses shines a light on real world adoption of the technologies and strategies that will help deliver real change in the way we think about, consume and produce energy. For energy intensive users, contract opportunities exist for 100% renewable energy. In addition, purchasing teams should look towards partners with strong energy efficiency expertise, renewables capability, load balancing, on-site solutions and favorable financing options.
The drive for decarbonisation continues at pace, with the International Energy Agency report Energy Technology Perspectives 2023 estimating that annual clean energy technology investment will triple by 2030. It reports that countries and businesses are increasingly diversifying their access to clean energy to increase supply security.
Towards the end of 2022, the UK generated more than 40% of its electricity from renewable sources – and the increasing focus on decarbonisation will drive that figure further. As businesses look to focus on managing the risks and costs of their energy supplies, the time is now to gather the data they need to inform the investment and procurement decisions they need to make. A top-down assessment of all energy requirements, opportunities to curb demand, or increase flexibility in operations to access cheaper tariffs, explore contract options including increasing access to renewable energy, should all be on the boardroom agenda for businesses with high energy demands.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach, but working with an experienced supplier that can help you to navigate the complexities of decarbonisation will be invaluable as the market continues to transition.
To find out more, visit: https://www.shellenergy.co.uk/business/business-energy/energy-products *Results from a UK survey of intensive energy users, conducted on behalf of Shell Energy by Energy Live News among 106 B2B respondents.  https://www.iea.org/news/the-world-is-entering-a-new-age-of-clean-technology-manufacturing-and-countries-industrial-strategies-will-be-key-to-success  https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/energy-trends-and-prices-statistical-release-26-january-2023#:~:text=Gas%20provided%2042.6%25%20of%20electricity,also%20broadly%20unchanged%20at%2044.5%25