Preparing the UK for the Inevitable Energy Shortfalls

Borri logo (IT)The anticipated closure of most of the UK’s coal-fired power stations, coupled with increased demand for electricity is putting the country under considerable strain. Stringent EU environmental laws are forcing the accelerated closure of ageing coal power plants, but the national energy regulator, Ofgem recently revealed that ‘no new gas-fired power plants are due to start construction until 2016 and it expects only one to start generating before the end of the decade,’ so, how will the UK cope with this very evident energy void?

Last year coal made up one-third of the nation’s electricity supply and with coal stations closing down at a much faster rate than originally anticipated and the combination of lack of investment from energy companies and unclear guidance from various governments has resulted in a significant unavoidable deficit in electrical supply.

Drawing on these latest predictions, Ofgem has forecasted that there will be four times as many power cuts by 2015, where it is likely that Britain will be most at risk during the colder months. Another stark warning from the company advises that within the next three years there will be a mere 4% surplus in UK energy supplies, compared to the current level of 14% additional capacity.

These narrower margins mean higher risks of outages, spikes and surges, which are a growing concern for all UK businesses, which are individually already losing £1millions a year in lost revenue due to power disturbances. Without any contingency plans to combat this, businesses could find themselves falling foul to irrecoverable downtime losses.

Companies are also feeling the strain from continued rising energy prices, so not only are they crying out for affordable power solutions, they also need resilient technologies. As one of the few remaining European UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) manufacturers, Borri is at the forefront of the latest back-up power technologies and as such designs all of its UPS solutions with ultimate power protection as their primary function.

Also recognising the importance of efficiency and total cost of ownership, Borri’s UPS systems combine the best of both worlds, which make them the number one choice amongst leading blue chip companies and independent users alike.

Borri Ltd’s director, Mark Trolley commented: “The expected increases in power spikes caused by renewable sources switching in and out of the main grid will be devastating to some businesses and we have been surprised by the level of risk that many companies are willing to take.

“Since the recession hit it seems that many have chosen to delay investments and continue to run with out-dated, unreliable back-up power systems or even worse, nothing at all. There is a misconception that UPS investments are high and very few truly understand the total cost of ownership benefits that high efficiency UPS solutions can deliver.

“As a complete solutions provider, we work with a network of leading design and build contractors to ensure that our customers select the right systems for their operating environments and have clear long term power protection strategies in place.”

The first step for any end user is to understand the plethora of UPS technologies, which include line interactive, online, single phase, three phase, transformer based and transformer free. The wide variety of available back-up power solutions makes it even more important for businesses to start mapping out clearer power protection strategies to not only safeguard data but also ensure that investments are made in the most cost effective and practical solutions.

With the threat of more power cuts and £1millions at stake, no-one can afford to take any more risks. Power protection is one investment that in the long-term could save a business from irrecoverable damage. Some welcome news for those looking to invest in more efficient new UPS systems, is that it funding is available.

Equipment that is listed as part of the Governments Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme such as UPS units from Borri’s ECO B9000FXS and B9600FXS enable any sized business to claim up to 100% against the cost of the investment for the first year as part of their corporation tax return.

Not only are these initial savings substantial but as these UPS systems are listed on the ETPL (Energy Technology Product List), they also deliver long term efficiency gains and can achieve annual savings of up to £36,000 on a 100kVA UPS against traditional six and 12 pulse UPS systems.

Mr Trolley concluded: “UK companies must understand that the risks to power supply are greater than ever before and consequently must enforce more resilient protection strategies. We hope that more begin to appreciate the importance of these back-up power contingency plans.

“A carefully mapped out strategy and a small investment into a back-up power UPS solution could go a very long way and our message is simple: Be prepared – do not get caught out!”