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The Energy Trilemma

Energy Sustainability and Net Zero

UK businesses and public sector organisations face mounting pressure from customers, investors, and law-makers to reduce carbon emissions and achieve net zero with sustainable energy practices.

The UK was the first country to commit to a net-zero target, with 2050 set as the deadline for the country to collectively reach net-zero emissions. As a milestone towards that ultimate goal, the government has also set a target of cutting emissions by 78% by 2035, in comparison to levels in 1990.

Achieving this ambitious target will require every household and business in the UK to play a part in a collective effort to reach net zero. With the Committee for Climate Change warning that the UK will need tougher policies to achieve net-zero as progress currently lags behind, failing to act decisively on your carbon emissions now risks struggling to keep pace with new legislative requirements in the near future as the race to decarbonise intensifies.

Achieving net-zero is far from just a legislative rod on the back of businesses. Better energy efficiency and sustainability offers a growing host of benefits for businesses, helping to reduce energy costs while better engaging with key audiences.

sustainable energy and net zero

Cost Savings Through Energy

Energy efficiency is a cornerstone of both effectively reducing energy costs in the face of rising wholesale costs and reducing emissions associated with your organisation’s energy use. Investing on-site renewable generation can also significantly reduce your carbon footprint while also supplying your site with low-cost energy and minimising your exposure to the volatility of the wholesale energy markets.


Currently, only large businesses are affected by mandatory carbon reporting requirements such as the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and SECR (Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting). As legislative pressure on businesses to decarbonise grows, new requirements could be on the horizon for SMEs. Having your house in order now ensures you are prepared for more stringent requirements in the future, as well as providing cost and reputational benefit.

Engaging with Key Audiences

As large businesses increasingly address their own carbon emissions performance, many are looking to their supply chains to unlock further improvements by reducing their Scope 3 emissions, those that occur as part of a company’s value chain. To continue to engage with key, large customers and to ensure you remain competitive it is vital that you are able to demonstrate a clear strategy for achieving net-zero.

Other key audiences are increasingly turning to sustainability performance as one of their key decision-making criteria. Whether this is investors or consumers, the ability to show tangible sustainability improvements and a long-term ambition to achieve net-zero is key.

Balancing the Energy Trilemma – Energy Sustainability

Decarbonising your energy supply is no longer as simple as simply opting for a green energy contract from your energy provider, and requires decisive decisions on your part to be made on how to shape the future of your organisation’s energy use.

On-site generation, EV charging and energy efficiency technologies all have the potential to dramatically reduce your Scope 2 emissions, but require careful planning to ensure that you get the best performance possible out of them.

What Is Net-Zero Carbon?

Net-Zero is the balancing of how much CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere, balanced with how much CO2 is removed from the atmosphere. UK businesses and public sector organisations face mounting pressure from customers, investors, and law-makers to reduce carbon emissions and achieve net-zero. The UK, and many other countries, have passed laws to make the Net Zero by 2050 target binding.

In order to achieve this quickly, it is likely that all of your energy sources will need to be electrified and all of your electricity will need to be from low carbon sources. Converting everything that currently runs on fossil fuels, such as gas heating and combustion engine vehicles, to electric power will dramatically increase your electricity demands and change your usage profile. At exactly the same time you will be converting your electricity supply to renewable sources, which are more intermittent and unpredictable.

How does battery energy storage support net zero?

There are several ways that an on-site battery energy storage system can support your net zero targets, improve your energy sustainability, and help solve your energy trilemma.

Combining on-site renewable generation with a storage system means that you can store excess energy for use when you need it, minimising your need for top-up from the grid at peak times. For example, storing energy from solar panels when it is sunny and using it when it is cloudy. This direct, on-site use of renewable electricity is the greenest possible way of sourcing your electricity. Because it requires no infrastructure or transmission it maximises efficiency, and as a consequence also reduces your energy costs.

A battery energy storage system can also be used to enable the installation of electric vehicle chargers on your site. By acting as a buffer between the chargers and the grid connection, it can be possible to avoid expensive and slow upgrades to the grid infrastructure, electrifying your fleet significantly more quickly.

Uniquely, a Powerstar battery energy storage system has integrated Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) capability. Any site with critical equipment or long equipment reset times requires a UPS to prevent disruptions to their power supply. A traditional UPS loses around 10% of the stored energy during standby. For example, a 1MW UPS battery system consumes around £200,000 of electricity every year.

a Powerstar system is 98% efficient. Therefore, energy waste is cut by


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“Tackling the Energy Crisis with Intelligent Infrastructure – How businesses can navigate the Energy Trilemma”

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Powerstar Battery Energy Storage System

Which sectors benefit most from battery storage?

Any commercial or industrial site striving to achieve net zero carbon emissions will benefit from adding battery energy storage to their electrical system.

Sites that will get maximum value from the system will be those that have a lot of roof space for solar panel installations or a need for rapid charging of electric vehicles.

Any site that also requires a reliable, uninterruptible power supply to protect critical operations will get the greatest efficiency from a combined battery energy storage and UPS system. These combined factors mean that manufacturers, distribution centres, healthcare sites, data centres and large, complex sites with multiple loads and generation will almost certainly need battery storage in order to achieve net zero as soon as possible.

Read about battery energy storage

Find out more about implementing these technologies to progress your organisation towards net-zero.

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Related case studies

NHS: Rotherham General Hospital

Powerstar were engaged to replace a large hospital’s existing Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system with a more efficient, intelligent Battery Energy Storage (BESS) alternative.

Holiday Cottages

The client are owners of rural cottages which provide holiday accommodation in the Norfolk countryside.


AESSEAL needed help protecting their operations from power disruptions while driving forward net zero strategies.

Supermarket Chain

The client is a major supermarket chain with multiple stores and distribution centres across the UK.

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