UK industry weaning itself from the grid

British business lobby group Confederation of British Industry says UK manufacturers are looking to generate their own power to sidestep fears of rising energy prices and threats to supply security.

Nicola Walker, director of business environment at the CBI said more and more firms are going off-grid, especially in energy intensive industries.

A CBI survey showed over half of businesses believed the UK’s energy security has declined over the past five years, reflecting a 2013 report by Ofgem that showed capacity margins would be at a historic low next winter.

Car maker Nissan has been installing wind turbines at its site in Sunderland since 2005 and now has ten which generate about 7 per cent of the plant’s energy needs.

Trainers manufacturer New Balance, which has a factory in Flimby, Cumbria, has installed solar panels at the site in a bid to beat rising energy costs.

The panels generate 7 to 8 per cent of the site’s needs and the company is planning to install more. The new solar panels would result in the plant generating 18 to 20 per cent of its energy from September.

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