Since the beginning of 2021, gas and electricity prices have increased dramatically in Ireland with little sign of easing in the short term.
The energy economy continues to be highly dependent on fossil fuels. It has been estimated that 40% of our electricity is still generated from burning gas, with 10% sourced from burning coal and oil. Changes in the price of fossil fuels can dramatically influence electricity bills, and in the current climate, volatility can make planning ahead difficult for consumers.
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and wider geopolitical issues have exacerbated the situation and with runaway inflation – estimated to reach 8.5% in the coming months – and the current cost of living crisis, many individuals and businesses are struggling with the steep overheads. This also follows from the major disruption in the global supply chain at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, creating logistical bottlenecks as the economy slowly rebounded.
The current energy crisis has at the very least shown how delicate our relationship has become with existing traditional energy suppliers and the impact that environmental and economical influences can have on the end-user. Events taking place in another part of the world can have a huge impact on Irish businesses (for example, Russia supplies around 40% of Europe’s gas – any sanctions or trade relations embargo will influence prices for the rest of Europe).
While uncertainty remains, and as Irish businesses have seen their energy bills skyrocket into tens of thousands, it has become clear that it is not sustainable for many companies.
‘Energy is a significant input cost for most businesses that we deal with, and the sad fact is that given the Russia-Ukraine conflict, rising inflation, supply-chain disruptions and wider global economic issues, many businesses simply won’t survive this downturn. The current economic environment has created a perfect storm which will drive many companies into debt just to cover the huge increases in energy costs. Unless they take action now, it won’t be a sustainable position for these companies in the longer-term. Energy independence is key and renewable technologies are a major part of the solution’Aidan Mc Curtin, General Manager, Solgrid Limited.
In light of these events, many businesses are now being forced to re-evaluate their relationship with traditional energy sources. Newer modes of capturing, circulating and efficiently using other sources of energy are becoming more prevalent, expedited by rising prices in oil, coal and gas.
Companies engage Solgrid to analyse the impact of new trends, manage challenges and maximise economic opportunities associated with renewable energy for the benefit of their operations.
There are many renewable energy sources available, and we encourage businesses to consider the viability of these options before adoption. Solgrid work with each company to assess their ambitions and develop a roadmap to ensure they reach their environmental and economic targets.
For example, many companies strive to become ‘net zero’ – achieving a balance between the carbon emitted into the atmosphere, and the carbon removed from it. A recognition of the rising costs and ‘dirty’ emissions that are created in the traditional model, can help inform and future proof many of the energy strategies that companies wish to employ.
Consumers are, more than ever, opting to choose companies that use sustainable energy sources in their production processes and, where possible, implement a circular economy where waste is minimised.
At Solgrid, we deploy state-of-the-art monitoring solutions for customers to visualise and analyse real-time energy usage across their entire operation, be that one site or multiple sites.
Reducing a company’s exposure to one source of energy, and embracing alternative channels can help in a number of ways.
- Cost Efficiency. Leveraging the knowledge of the Solgrid team can identify sunk costs and savings opportunities.
- Green Business Credentials. The world is changing, and eco-conscious consumers are voting with their euro, investing in businesses that have implemented a greener, cleaner model.
- Gain Control. Improve efficiencies by reducing logistical bottlenecks and surplus energy waste.
If your business is concerned about an overreliance on a traditional energy source, or if your costs are spiralling out of control, and you need advice and direction – we are eager to help you start your journey toward a net-zero, low-carbon future. A future where you take back control of your energy consumption and cost expenditure and are better prepared for whatever may happen in the economy.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help, call us today on 091 335 335.