One third of those surveyed by energy supplier, Opus Energy – 39%, up from 32% in 2011 – expect to introduce solar panels, wind turbines, hydro power or anaerobic digestion to their business, with almost half of these (48%) expecting to be generating their own renewable energy within a two year timeframe.

The research showed a significant rise since 2011, at which time 26% were looking to introduce renewable energy within five years.

In addition, a sixth (15%) of those surveyed are already generating renewable power. This is versus just 6% in 2011.

It also found that SME business owners aged 55 and over are leading the way, with 20% already generating renewable power on the premises.

The research highlighted three main benefits stated by businesses for renewable energy generation which are the self-sufficient supply of energy (28%), generation of additional income (23%), and ‘doing our bit’ to tackle climate change (17%).

When asked what would encourage businesses to generate renewable power themselves, the majority of those surveyed highlighted income.

According to the survey, the three main incentives for businesses to generate power were a government grant or subsidy to help set something up (52%), if it could be proven that it would make money (46%), and if the government introduced extra taxes/penalties for not doing so (23%).

Leigh Stringer

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