Sweeping changes to electricity supply systems are needed to protect supply chains, including the removal of barriers to installing commercial and domestic renewable energy systems, according to the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA).
These are some of the recommendations made by UKWA in its response to the government’s consultation document, A review of electricity market arrangements, which closed earlier this month.
The review aims to identify reforms needed to transition to a decarbonised, cost effective and secure electricity system.
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is currently considering responses.
UKWA warns that the demand for electricity is continuing to rise in the logistics sector as businesses transition away from diesel.
It is calling for a number of measures to help secure sufficient electricity supply including the deployment of solar panels on warehouse rooftops, which it says is a largely untapped resource and one close to centres of demand and which has the potential to double the UK’s solar capacity and secure supply.
UKWA chief executive Clare Bottle says: “Our research shows that only about 5% of warehouses have any solar panels on the roof; and where they do have such panels, these usually only cover 10-25% of the available space.”
UKWA also want to see a more ambitious approach to planning and infrastructure development including the extension of solar panels’ exemption from business rates rises across the UK to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
UKWA’s report also stresses the need for Ofgem reform, to change how businesses are charged by District Network Operators when increasing the supply into the grid, as a consequence of deploying renewable generation.
Bottle added: “To encourage and incentivise the installation of renewable energy domestically and commercially, the government must remove these barriers.”