HomeDigitalizationCybersecurityCentrica executive urges UK firms to improve energy resiliency

Centrica executive urges UK firms to improve energy resiliency

Tim Wynn-Jones, head of distributed energy sales in the UK for Centrica, believes that British businesses ought to pay more attention to energy resiliency. The company recently produced research which found that four in five UK businesses had experienced power failure in the last year.

Speaking to Clean Energy News, Wynn-Jones said, “UK businesses are underestimating the cost of an energy failure to their business; secondly, while many businesses expect an energy failure not that many are actually preparing for it; and finally, businesses think that energy resilience is important but there’s a disconnect between opinion and action.”

In a comprehensive Q&A on the subject the Centrica sales chief said more negative variables were at play when it comes to energy resiliency, namely extreme weather events, grid outages, cybersecurity, faulty and ageing equipment.

“Historically in the UK we’ve had very stable electricity supplies and resilience is moving up the agenda for a lot of organisations because the energy landscape is undergoing such a radical transformation from large, centralised power stations to increasingly renewable and small-scale generation that is a lot more intermittent by its nature.”
“Obviously, it’s very important to consider any consequential loss of downtime.”

Wynn-Jones advocated a number of ways businesses can improve their record in this area.

“One is by reducing reliance on grid-imported energy by generating your own power on-site, and putting a plan in place should the worst happen. But really the first step is knowing the building and knowing your facility. That could be through a detailed engineering study or a real-time view of what energy your consuming across your operations.”

“A lot of measures are relatively inexpensive. As an example, you can get very real-time visibility of energy usage on sites through wireless powerless sensors that you can clip on at distribution board level to outgoing cables. They measure in real time what energy you’re using across the site. Typically finding one intervention you could make in terms of energy efficiency or operational efficiency could pay for that solution in a short period of time.à‚ 

“For smaller businesses it might be a case of uninterruptible power supply connected to the server, but for larger businesses it might be the case of looking at larger battery storage or combined heat and power, and then looking at possibilities of functioning independently of the grid.”