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Clean energy is critical for energy intensive, high emitting industries like manufacturing to decarbonise its processes, reduce emissions and reach net zero.

Accelerating manufacturing’s transition to clean energy is crucial- but what is holding us back?

There are two barriers:

  • Prioritising reducing rather than capturing emission. Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) will remain key for the hard to abate industries such as iron and steel, and it is important to continue developing the technology while the other measures to reduce emissions are put in place.
  • Volatile energy Prices. Rising and volatile energy prices are expensive. Currently some are unable to run their operations due to the prohibitively high cost of electricity, currently 10 times higher than gas.
  • The right infrastructure. The adoption of hydrogen by manufacturers will depend on the availability of the infrastructure distributing it. Although hydrogen will be available in clustered sites in the 2030s, its distribution to dispersed sites on the other hand, is conditional on a national (versus localised to clusters) hydrogen infrastructure being confirmed and on time. In the current strategy, the distribution to dispersed sites is only planned for after 2030, which means that these sites (which constitute the bulk of manufacturers) will be unlikely to decarbonise before 2040, curbing their progress.

What can Government do?

Explore a carbon border adjustment mechanism. Stable and fair carbon pricing is key to the transition to clean manufacturing and government policies in this area will be critical to ensure government delivers upon its promises.

The establishment of a carbon border adjustment mechanism would help British manufacturing stay competitive and encourage the consumption of greener imported products is urgent. Make UK recognises the complexity of a CBAM and would rather favour a harmonised carbon price, and the upcoming G7 would be the ideal forum for the UK to hold these discussions.   

How can Inspired Energy support you?

Carbon insetting: Investing in carbon reduction projects within their own supply chain.

  • The Co-op is already investing to help their suppliers to become more climate resilient by implementing a programme designed to involve young people in the coffee value chain in their Co-operative Society in Kenya. DHL also recently called for logistics companies to get behind carbon insetting in order to drive decarbonisation in the sector.

Ensure you’re collecting quality data

  • Prior to investing in low carbon alternatives, you need to understand where your consumption lies. You need good quality data – preferably from half-hourly or AMR meters – to get a really accurate view of your usage.

Monitor Usage Monitor usage over an extended period of time.

  • Focus on the difference between the energy going into your boiler plant and the energy it’s outputting, so that you can get an accurate view of your current system’s efficiency. This should help you to build a business case for new technologies – if your boiler is only operating at 80% efficiency, for example, many new technologies will offer 90% efficiency or higher. 

Read more: and explore the Net-Zero toolkit:

Blog / Make UK