PowerMarket Blog

Councils can achieve net-zero

May 2022

While protecting residents from rapidly rising energy costs.

Europe has never paid as much for energy as it is in today's market.

With the global pandemic,geo-political tensions, supply chain disruption, and many energy suppliers going out of business,energy prices are at an all-time high – an increase of 200% in the past two years alone. This upward trend shows no signs of slowing down and is actually expected to continue increasing until 2025.

As the UK plans to shut down coal-fired power plants, this energy must be replaced with natural gas. Europe’s largest gas supplier, Russia, imports about a third of Europe’s natural gas and is feared to weaponize their gas reserves over the current Ukraine crisis. Luckily, the UK does not heavily rely on Russia with half of its natural gas being imported from the North Sea and a third from Norway, with remaining liquified petroleum gas (LPG) from Qatar and the US. Gas prices are, however, highly sensitive and interlinked so a rise in gas prices in Germany, for instance, would result in higher gas prices and market volatility in Britain

5G is the future of wireless technology and our ever-connected world, with 5G towers not only being much faster but also90% more energy efficient than the previous generation of 4G. However, despite being more energy efficient per tower, 5G requires significantly more towers than 4G, so the overall 5G network will demand 70% more power than its predecessor, drastically affecting Telco companies’ profits. By 2025,the communications industry is expected to consume one fifth of global electricity, with billions of smart phones, tablets, and computers sending and storing data, spending extensive amounts of energy on servers, data centers (which exhibit enormous cooling costs), and towers.

ADDING SOLAR TO ROOFTOPS

Solar prices are not following this upward trend of fossil fuels, with solar prices plummeting 89% since 2009 and currently being cheaper than coal.

Adding solar to rooftop is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to cut down on energy costs,reduce risk to market volatility, and lower one’s carbon footprint. In 2022, the UK is expected to deploy over 500 MW of installed capacity solar on rooftops, representing the most under-utilized real-estate available (as opposed to expensive land that could be better used for farming, housing,or parks). The UK would need to dedicate 12% of its land to solar panels if its electricity were torun entirely on this renewable energy source.

By installing solar on rooftops, public organisations can save up to 30% on their total energy costs when well-planned and maintained. If focused on areas that are energy poor, these savings will be even more dramatic. In 2021, three million UK households, or 12.5% of Britain’s population, were in fuel poverty, which is classified as having a D rating or below using the low income low energy efficiency (LILEE) indicator and a disposable income of less than 60% of the national median. In2022, due to the unprecedented rise in energy prices, one million more households are expected to fall into fuel poverty with an estimated annual energy expenditure increase of £600 per household,which for some is 12% of their entire household budget. The best way to combat this rise in energy prices is to add renewable energy sources to the electricity mix as the government is incentivizing the inevitable transition to clean energy.

How can POWERMARKET counteract britian's energy crisis?

The majority of Britons, 71%, would like to install solar panels if they were provided with some sort of assistance. The UK government favors solar as the most desirable energy source, so despite government incentives, the public still requires further handholding. That is where PowerMarket comes in as our software can streamline the solar project in a seamless and easy to understand way, from calculating the return on investment (ROI) to monitoring the performance and maintenance of the solar system remotely on one convenient digital platform.

PowerMarket is a clean technology, software as a service (SaaS)start-up that helps organisations simplify and adopt solar energy projects on their rooftops, saving customers 90% of their time and valuable resources. The solar project is digitally centralized onPowerMarket’s artificial intelligence and machine learning platform,which utilizes satellite and weather data to discover the optimal locations to install solar, execute the project, and remotely monitor the assets from the conveniency of a smart phone. All data,communication, and documents are securely stored in one place for the entire 25-year life of the solar system. Utility-scale solar projects typically require a large CAPEX commitment to start(£5M+), yet PowerMarket provides the data and resources to scale a solar project with an initial investment as small as £10,000.PowerMarket’s turn-key solution is the result of years of research backed by the University of Oxford and the European Space Agency and is the future of solar deployment

ADDITIONAL READING

  1. How vulnerable is UK energy system as tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine?
  2. The price of solar electricity has dropped 89% in 10 years
  3. UK solar rooftop deployment to exceed 500MW in 2022
  4. UK would need to cover 12% of land with solar panels to supply itself
  5. Rising energy costs: the impact on households, pensioners and those on low incomes
  6. Majority of UK public want to install solar panels, pool finds

Figure 1: Solar panels at base of telecommunications tower