29 March 2023
A useful insight that has emerged from the energy crisis is the need for increased energy resilience. Between soaring bills and the threat of power outages, businesses are considering their energy consumption, infrastructure, and strategy more so now than ever before.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at energy resilience in more detail to investigate what it entails, how it can benefit your business, and the ways in which you can go about implementing it.
Energy resilience is essentially the strategy and measures a business takes to ensure it has a regular supply of energy and the necessary contingency measures in place to deal with a power failure.
In sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, transportation and education, an unstable energy supply has the potential to bring day-to-day operations to a standstill. As such, energy resilience is critical, especially when people could be affected.
Case in point, should a food manufacturer experience a power failure, its products may be improperly stored at incorrect temperatures. If the food is then sold to the public, it could have a disastrous effect on said business’ reputation should consumers fall ill or products need to be recalled.
Increasing its energy resilience would give the manufacturer the resources to deal with the hypothetical power failure, maintaining business continuity and sparing itself the potential for a whole world of problems in the process.
But it isn’t just emergencies like these where energy resilience can be useful. As increased government legislation designed to curb emissions comes into effect, businesses who rely on fossil fuels will begin to bear an increasing financial burden. Therefore, there’s a greater need to adapt to market changes and ensure your business is well placed to cope with incoming technologies and practices.
As an indirect consequence of this, a sound energy resilience strategy can help a business to introduce renewables into its portfolio, allowing it to transition to cleaner energy and embrace sustainable processes of production.
If a power cut was to occur on your premises, how would it affect things? To answer this, spend some time walking around the premises and investigating your energy consumption data. In doing so, you’ll be able to answer things like:
When you can more readily understand how your equipment and processes might be affected by a loss of power, you can then begin to locate the weak points of your business.
You should also estimate the costs that a power cut might result in. If the power went down across your site for an hour, completely fracturing operations for the duration, how much would it cost you? With these costs to hand, you’ll then have a better idea of how to budget for any energy resilience measures you bring in.
If you’re serious about safeguarding your business from the risks and resulting costs of power failure, then you need to make sure that your entire energy strategy has details on how to safeguard your energy supply.
You can do this by re-evaluating your findings from the assessment stage. The pain points you identified, for instance – what are you going to do to improve their resilience?
Likewise, you can use your energy data to determine the volume of energy your business-critical assets need to stay up and running. Making sure you have an alternative power supply that can provide this “critical load” is important, ensuring that all your essential assets can continue to function in the event of power failure.
If you’re particularly vulnerable to power outages, then it’s well worth taking time to address this issue. The majority of businesses that have implemented on-site generation note that it has allowed them to speed up their response time in the event of power failure.
These on-site generation methods include Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS), back-up generators, or battery storage solutions combined with renewable generation. Of course, the cost and scale of these options will largely depend on the impact to your business caused by both short and long-term power interruptions.
If you do already have energy-generating assets and energy storage on-site, then you have the option to take advantage of demand-side response schemes. In a grid that increasingly relies heavily on consumer flexibility to balance future supply and demand, such schemes allow you to prevent power failures caused by intermittent supply, which can greatly reduce threats to your business.
Despite the current energy crisis and long-term questions about the strength of the UK’s energy supply, power cuts remain a rare and unlikely occurrence. Still, there is little harm in being prepared, particularly while the energy market continues to fluctuate.
Energy resilience doesn’t happen overnight, but even the smallest steps now can make a big difference in the future. For more related news and features, be sure to visit our energy crisis support hub.
The views, opinions and positions expressed within this article are those of our third-party content providers alone and do not represent those of SEFE Energy. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. SEFE Energy accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.