In addition to taking up the largest chunk of UK carbon emissions, the NHS accounts for around 4% of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions. During the past decade, emissions have been cut by almost a fifth, and they plan to reduce them by another 80% between 2028 and 2032 and to become net-zero by 2040.
Consequently, in its new guide - Plot Your Path to Net-Zero: A Focus on Solar PV for the NHS - NBS explores the potential benefits of solar PV for organisations seeking to introduce on-site generation into their carbon reduction plans. The benefits of solar PV can be seen in many ways, from cutting carbon emissions to creating net-zero energy and helping the environment.
50 organisations from across the NHS and healthcare sector were surveyed to determine if they already invest or would consider investing, in solar assets. As well, we explored any barriers they face in securing buy-in for a project.
Solar PV offers many benefits to organisations, but also shows some of the challenges they face when it comes to convincing their boards that it is the next logical step in their net-zero plans. Solar PV has been rated as the easiest and most cost-effective means for businesses to switch to renewable energy by 90% of the respondents.
Keeping that in mind, here are three key factors to solar PV success in the NHS.
Assess site suitability
Many of the best solar sites are on roofs in south-facing locations, which is why hospitals, office buildings, and large warehouses are ideal.
Yet, solar PV isn't limited to roofs. Ground-mounted solar and solar canopy systems are also available for those with large grounds or adjacent land or car parks.
However, if there is not sufficient grid availability - which can be determined by working with the local Distribution Network Operator (DNO) - some projects can be stopped before they even start. Our team at Elco Group can assist you in assessing the feasibility of installing solar on your site.
Build the case for investment
There are clear benefits to solar power. Reducing costs, lowering carbon emissions, enhancing reputation, and decreasing reliance on the grid are all benefits of green energy. That said, securing internal buy-in and getting the board ‘on board’ can be one of the key barriers to securing the go ahead for a project.
Simple is best. Show are turn on investment (ROI) of at least X in order to sustain Y. In addition, showcasing similar success stories will strengthen the investment case.
It is not necessary to invest upfront if CAPEX is limited. Our projects, offer a range of payment options included the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), which involves no capital expenditure at the outset. In this way, any fears about finances can be alleviated.
Work with an expert partner
Despite organisations' desire to investigate solar PV, a third (32%) didn't understand how it could benefit them. Similarly, many are unaware that there are flexible and multiple ways to fund a project, according to its specific needs.
That is why it is important to work with an expert partner who could guide you in making the right decision and proving the case for solar PV.
Here at Elco Group, we will guide you from Start to Finish.