UK food & beverage industry poised to reap benefits of CHP solutions, says survey

Aggreko advises on cold storage operations for UK companies preparing for Brexit

Photo: Aggreko

The benefits and potential of combined heat and power technology are being increasingly recognised by UK food and beverage manufacturers post-pandemic, according to a new survey by Aggreko.

Over 90% of respondents to the temporary equipment supplier’s questionnaire agreed that since 2020, they could see the potential of CHP in their businesses, demonstrating the technology’s exciting future. All 200 manufacturing stakeholders surveyed went on to say that they intend to implement CHP solutions in their operations within an average of five months. These findings come as Aggreko publishes its latest guide on CHP and its use in the UK food and beverage manufacturing sectors.

Launched on 6 May 2021, the guide discusses the UK’s energy shortfall and growing concerns for energy security in the food and beverage sector, and how CHP or ‘cogeneration’ could alleviate these issues and make manufacturing processes more efficient. It goes on to highlight how businesses could save 20% on their energy bills and improve the security of their energy supply with greater uptake of flexible CHP generation.

Cogeneration is a highly efficient process that captures and uses the heat by-product created when generating electricity. This simultaneous process can reduce carbon emissions by up to 30% when compared to conventional generation that takes electricity from the grid to power a separate on-site furnaces or boilers.

Unlike remote power stations, CHP systems are usually situated on-site or nearby, allowing users to make optimum use of ‘waste’ heat. This heat can then be directed for use in a wide range of industrial processes and can even be converted to support refrigeration.

CHP improves sustainability and lowers energy bills, making it a champion technology for both businesses and environmental groups. Its ‘decentralised’ aspect also makes it an attractive option for those looking to stave off downtime as a result of domestic energy shortfalls – a problem that engineers predict will get progressively worse over the next decade.

Despite its considerable benefits, CHP has seen much slower uptake in the UK compared to mainland Europe where the technology is far more common. Previous research from Aggreko has found this can be partly explained by the belief that CHP is difficult to fund as a permanent solution, necessitating the development of flexible rental options that improve accessibility of the technology. With the publication of this guide, Aggreko is looking to break down financial barriers and increase rate of uptake for food and beverage manufacturers across the country, helping these businesses to save money and accelerate efforts toward ‘net zero’.

Matt Parker, head of Temperature Control at Aggreko, comments: “These guides show virtually every manufacturer working in the food and beverage sector can benefit from the introduction of a CHP system and, in the right environment, the results are transformative. Our research has shown capex restrictions often deter businesses in this industry from exploring better energy infrastructure, yet this need not be the case. With strategic hire options, like those from Aggreko, this barrier is eliminated and helps put technology like CHP within reach.”

To access this industry-specific guide, visit: www.aggreko.com/en-solution/chp-report.

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