Complex energy scene should not 'fuel' inertia
London – The UK process industries are facing unprecedented rises in their energy bills over the next few years that threaten to reduce their competitiveness in international markets - even against companies in EU countries.
As we have reported previously, the Government’s own figures show that its self-imposed ‘green’ targets will add more to UK manufacturers’ electricity costs than those of their counterparts in any other industrial country - including China, Japan, Russia, the US, France and Germany.
Given this, it is surprising to find a general inertia in the UK process sector with regard to addressing energy issues: even when it comes to practical measures, such as the monitoring and control of energy usage consumption.
Talking to end users and suppliers for an Energy Management supplement in the next issue of Process Engineering, there are, as yet, few signs of a drive to adopt new technologies or systems that can allow effective monitoring and control of energy usage across plants, sites or even entire organisations.
Some observers have linked this lack of momentum to the growing complexities around UK incentives for ‘going green’ as well as the uncertainty being created by the Government’s Energy Bill and, within this, the Electricity Market Reform.
To stay in business, though, all process manufacturers will soon have to get a grip on their energy consumption, rather than just waiting for the policy makers’ ‘stars’ to align. Measuring it would be a good starting point.