Small business leaders show growing interest in renewables

SMEs are increasing turning to renewable energy generation such as solar panels and anaerobic digestion (AD) to power their own business operations, according to a new survey.

Research from energy supplier Opus Energy suggests a growing level of interest among SMEs in renewable power, with one third (32%) expecting to introduce solar panels, wind turbines or anaerobic digestion, and 38% expecting to be generating their own renewable energy within five years.

Despite recent cuts in energy tariffs, and perhaps faced with finding new ways to generate income – 42% highlight the revenue opportunity behind any decision – a large number of business leaders expect to be generating renewable energy within the next five years.

The research also found that 42% of SMEs said they would switch to generating some or all of their own power from renewables if it could be proven that they would make money out of it. Most business owners (59%) felt they would definitely be interested in generating their own power if the Government provided subsidies.

Opus Energy’s managing director Charlie Crossley Cooke said: “There’s real dynamism in the SME sector from people who are genuine entrepreneurs and we expect to see more examples of SMEs powering other businesses as well as their own.

“With so much talk around the consumer energy sector, we need to be championing the cause for business. We need more carrot than stick when it comes to the Government’s intervention in renewable energy generation.”

Maxine Perella

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