FDBusiness.com

Are We Sailing into a Perfect Storm For Energy Prices?

 Breaking News
  • Year of Considerable Progress For Dairy Crest Dairy Crest, the UK dairy group, increased revenue by 10% to £456.8 million and adjusted profit before tax increased by 2.8% to £62.3 million for the year ended 31 March 2018, compared with the previous year. Dairy Crest’s Cheese & Functional Ingredients business increased revenue by 8.8% to £277.2 million while revenue at the Butters, [...]...
  • Edrington Unveils the New Home of The Macallan Edrington, the international premium spirits company, has revealed the new distillery and visitor experience for The Macallan brand. The new distillery and visitor experience is located on the stunning Easter Elchies estate in Scotland, which has been home to the leading luxury single malt since 1824. From humble beginnings, the brand has risen to become [...]...
  • Nestlé Strengthens its Research Capabilities in Switzerland Nestlé has announced changes that further strengthen its research and development operations, the largest of any food company worldwide. Nestlé will bring together its two scientific discovery units, the Nestlé Research Center and the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences, to build one impactful organization, Nestlé Research. The combination of two world-renowned research facilities with highly [...]...
  • Algaia Receives €4 Million Boost Algaia, will accelerate development and install a new specialty seaweed extract production unit at its Lannilis (Brittany-France) manufacturing facility dedicated to specialty algae extracts. The company’s main shareholder, Maabarot Products, has injected an additional €4 million in equity to support further expansion of the production facility and innovation center located in Saint-Lo (Normandy-France). Algaia works with local [...]...
  • Smarter Factories – Safer Working In food produce environments and packhouses, the benefits of automation when it comes to workforce health and safety are uncontended. From eliminating arduous and repetitive tasks to working uninterrupted within inhospitable chilled settings, robots are most certainly the future. Case loading specialist Brillopak and industrial automation pioneer Omron explore how smart robots, hardware and software can [...]...

Are We Sailing into a Perfect Storm For Energy Prices?

Are We Sailing into a Perfect Storm For Energy Prices?
December 22
12:00 2016

Believe it or not, UK industry has been enjoying a two-year cheap energy holiday, with costs for 1MWh of power and gas as low as £85-£15 for some. But that mini-era is coming to an end.

Goodbye to Fair Energy Waters

Consider these facts:

  • With commodities priced in dollars, the low post-Brexit pound is already pushing up the cost of heat and power.
  • The non-commodity costs of power are rising faster than inflation, and will surpass £55/MWh for many industrial users in the next 12 months.
  • The closing gap between generation capacity and demand is driving further volatility. Prices spiked as high as £1,000/MWh in May 2016, even before Brexit.*

Indeed, most suppliers’ power price forecasts are now much worse than DECC’s last attempt in late 2014:

basepowergraphicnovember2016

Tinkering at the edges isn’t going to solve this problem and it’s not just about getting a better deal out of your supplier. Riding out the energy price storm means using less energy.

Battening Down the Energy Hatches

First, get a mixed-discipline team together.  Your engineers usually have an idea where the savings can be made, but they will need help to make the case. As a minimum, co-opt someone with commercial skills and the language and influence necessary to get investments and interventions signed off. A senior environmental person is also very useful as energy savings mean carbon savings, and that’s a good supporting story.

Second, it’s impossible to make a valid investment case without data. Collect an hourly picture of energy use for each major plant item throughout the year for the engineering team to analyse for usage and wastage, and calculate how much it will cost to put right.

When the team has identified where savings can be made and what the investment requirements are, then it can make the case for intervention.

In some cases the solution will be behavioural, such as turning off plant when production stops and optimising flow and temperature settings.  In these cases employees will need to feel that adjusting settings will not compromise normal operations. And it helps to share the benefits that savings bring – even if only with praise.

Moving on to technical solutions, there are an increasing number of ‘plug and play’ fixes that are easy to install and have well-documented paybacks. Examples include LED lighting, boiler economisers and variable speed drives. The impact of any of these in isolation is relatively small. However, demonstrating successful payback is really effective in building confidence for more ambitious interventions.

Once some of these are in place, then larger energy saving projects can be considered. Combined Heat and Power (CHP), boiler house refits or ‘de-steaming’ will save the largest sums. BasePower’s own CHP technology is proven to save between 10-20% of the cost of energy supplied; for sites using over 1MW of power this can be a sizeable six-figure sum. The larger savings serve to justify the additional complexity and the need for third party expertise to interpret vendor sales pitches.

It looks like stormy energy waters are ahead for high-energy users in narrow margin industries such as food and drink manufacturing. Ask your electricity supplier for a five-year power price projection if you doubt it. Our advice is to get the team together and start looking at your energy use data now.

For more information contact Basepower on info@basepower.com or visit www.basepower.com.

*https://www.ft.com/content/0ac7d2e4-16b9-11e6-b197-a4af20d5575e

About Author

mike

mike

Related Articles



Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2016

Upcoming Events

  • June 1, 2018Gluten Free Expo Slovakia
  • June 3, 2018Vinoble
  • June 4, 20188th WSO World Congress on Stevia Tasteful 2018
  • June 17, 2018The Excellence of Italian Food and Wine (Bellavita Expo)
AEC v1.0.4

find food jobs

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

New Subscriber





Subscribe Here



Advertisements