As we welcome 2019 and move ever closer to the major environmental targets and deadlines of 2020, it’s a good time to reflect on a pivotal year in business energy, sustainability and especially green energy.
We see more and more companies opting into green business energy procurement as part of corporate social responsibility policies and environmental commitments – so it’s no surprise that green energy infrastructure and generating capacity continues to grow in the UK.
Here are some of the headlines we saw through the course of 2018 and what they mean for green energy for businesses.
ESOS Phase 2 energy data gets underway
Data collection for ESOS Phase 2 began on January 1st 2018, as the 12-month total energy consumption figures reported must include December 31st 2018, the qualification date.
This of course means businesses could start compiling that data later in 2018 if they wished – and those that opted to do so will continue to tally up their energy usage long into 2019 as a result.
ESOS Phase 2 requires proof of compliance to be filed by December 5th 2019, so although it won’t run quite to the end of the coming year, it will still be a big 12 months for affected businesses.
Solar power peaks in summer 2018
A major milestone in the move towards renewable energy and sustainable electricity production occurred on June 30th when, albeit briefly, the UK’s number one source of mains electricity was solar power.
On that date, solar power hit 27.8% of the nation’s energy mix – topping the table of energy sources ahead of all other types including gas.
However, it is worth noting that peak solar power also means peak sunlight, and in the summer of 2018 that meant record-breaking heat waves and hosepipe bans for many parts of the UK.
Environment tops the Statistics of the Year shortlist
As 2018 drew to a close, the Royal Statistical Society announced its winners of Statistics of the Year, and both the UK and international categories had an environmental theme.
The global statistic of the year was 90.5% – the proportion of all plastic waste that has never been recycled, instead going into landfill sites or incineration.
For the UK, the winning statistic was slightly brighter, as the society chose the 27.8% solar power figure from the summer as the most significant of the year.
Dame Jil Matheson, former national statistician who was on the judging panel, said: “2018 was a landmark year for solar-generated electricity in the UK – as well as for renewable energy more generally.”