Last week as part of their Sustainability Day the NHS announced they had saved over £300 million in energy costs due to implementing a number of new efficiency and sustainability measures including saving over £1 million tonnes of carbon emissions. The measures included installing a number of renewable energy generation developments onsite.
NHS Trusts and health boards across the UK have adopted energy conservation measures and onsite renewable generation such as combined heat and power (CHP).
That includes York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust installing 1.2MW and 1.3MW CHP engines as well as upgrading their lighting.
They have been procured through the NHS Carbon and Energy Fund and underpinned by energy performance contracts with Vital Energi, which guarantee minimum financial savings and carbon reductions for the duration of the contracts, varying between 15 to 25 years.
Ashley Malin, Project Development Director at Vital Energi said: “The NHS is under a lot of pressure to cut costs but most hospitals need to update their infrastructure and address serious maintenance backlogs.
“The fact that just 14 hospitals can generate over £300 million in savings and one million tonnes of carbon reduction is a great indicator of how much potential there is in the NHS, with regards to revolutionising the way it generates and uses its energy.”
The NHS is to be applauded for taking this action to help counteract the effects of global warming. However at time when cost cutting measures are being sought throughout the service it makes financial sense to adopt the measures they did. These savings can hopefully be transferred into a greater level of care for the patients.
It was also announced last week that a Scottish manufacturer of solar panels is the only company of its kind in Europe to have been selected to work on an EU wide project which will promote the development of renewable technology.
The company AES solar of Forres in Moray received £250,000 to provide its expertise in the design of solar thermal and solar PV systems. They will work alongside other researchers and companies who specialise in other renewable measures in Spain, Italy, Denmark, Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, Belgium in what is called the Heat4Cool project.
Grant Feasey, senior design engineer at AES Solar, said: “I’m thoroughly enjoying the work on the Heat4Cool project. It is fantastic that we have been selected and are able to contribute our expertise. It’s a real accolade for us that we were the solar company that were selected to represent solar from thousands of companies and researchers in the whole of Europe. It just reaffirms that AES Solar are the experts when it goes to solar installations.”
Grant who has already attended one meeting in Brussels and will soon be heading to Bilbao for the next added: “The purpose of the project is to create a fully integrated system using all the different renewable measures available, making them work together in the best way,” he added. “It means we are working with high level partners across Europe and are networking with top industry players. It will also give us new expertise in other renewable energies and will mean that we can identify more opportunities for the business.
“One of the most exciting parts of the project for us is that will be working on four buildings throughout Europe. Two are actual homes and two are test centres. We will be physically installing systems in these premises to test the technologies we are developing with the other partners on the project. The idea being that by the end of the project there will be one super, fully integrated renewable system that can be replicated across Europe.”
The success of AES Solar once again shows Scotland to be a leading figure in the renewable energy industry. With our generation figures continuing to grow and our research and development constantly finding newer more efficient methods for production we are respected throughout the world for our expertise and achievements.
Having plentiful resources help but for a small country we are doing really well and can be proud of what we have achieved so far.