Time to Tackle the Energy Crisis, say UK Warehouse Owners

We are failing to use the equivalent of 18,500 acres of land for solar power generation that could generate more than the 13.8TwH of electricity required in the UK renewable energy strategy, say UK warehouse owners.

This is because of the failure to enable them to install solar panels on the roof of their buildings over recent decades, says the UK Warehousing Association in its new independent research report, commissioned from the specialist consultancy Delta Energy & Environment (Delta-EE).

Potter Space, a contributor to the UKWA report ‘Investment Case for Solar Power in Warehousing and Logistics’ shows  an example of three businesses to be benefitting from solar at Potter Space’s business park.

Occupying a third of all commercial roof space the warehousing sector alone could double UK’s solar PV capacity and deliver the entire UK requirement for 2030, forecast by the National Grid future energy scenarios (FES).  But UKWA draws attention to the extortionate and highly ineffective monopolist gatekeepers that are preventing businesses investing in energy generation and connecting to the energy grid: the District Network Operators (DNO), controlling who can get access to the electricity grid, when and at what cost.

UKWA Chief Executive Clare Bottle said: “Warehouse owners across the country are struggling to pay for gas-powered electricity from the grid, when they could be generating all the power they need and more from the roof of their buildings. Out of sight, easy to maintain and affordable, the case for solar should be obvious and yet we are being held back by poor market practice and failures of regulation.”

She points in particular to the ‘obstructive, extortionate and not fit for purpose DNOs’ holding back the businesses that could invest hundreds of millions of private sector funding into clean renewable power. “We need a fundamental rethink of the way in which DNOs hold power over access to the grid, how they get renewable schemes connected to the grid and the prices they charge.”

And she calls on the new Prime Minister Liz Truss to act to remove these barriers to investment, so the UK is not exposed to this type of energy crisis in the future.