Lasered Components currently runs four Trumpf 5030 laser cutting machines which are one of the most efficient machines of its kind on the market. A recent development from Trumpf is the Highspeed Eco cutting nozzle which reduces the use of cutting gas by up to 70%, the cutting gas pressure by up to 60%. This is significantly lower power consumption than previous machines. Combined with our use of renewable energy, this has lowered the carbon footprint of every component we cut.
However, the laser cutting process is still energy hungry and one of the major running costs we have to consider. We have been using a green energy company since 2018. Currently 100% of the energy used to power both our production and office sites comes from renewable sources. The company we use is called Pozitive Energy, every unit of renewable energy purchased with them comes with its own Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificate. These certificates allow Ofgem to verify the source of every supplier’s electricity.
RENEWABLE ENERGY GROWTH
In the third quarter of 2019, 40% of energy used in the UK came from renewables, including 20% from wind, 12% from biomass and 6% from solar. This was the first time that electricity from renewable sources overtook fossil fuels in the UK since the first power plant fired up in 1882.
Britain went without coal-fired power generation for its longest stretch since the Industrial Revolution, as of the 28th April 2020, breaking the existing record of 18 consecutive days. As of the 6th May it was a run of 22 days and still counting. (The Guardian) According to National Grid data, this is the longest uninterrupted period since 1882.
The 22-day stretch has broken the UK’s previous record, which was set on 4 June 2019, as a combination of a collapse in demand for electricity during the coronavirus lockdown and because of greater use of solar power.
The UK set a new solar power record on 20th April after solar farms generated more than 9.6GW of electricity for the first time.
A significant reason for this growth in production is a boom in offshore wind farms around the UK coast, alongside the closure of all but four coal-fired power stations. Less than ten years ago, fossil fuels made up four-fifths of the UK’s electricity, split between gas and coal, but recent analysis by Carbon Brief shows that coal-fired power plants generated less than 1% of electricity used in the UK in 2019.
“75% of the UK’s electricity came from coal in 1990, in 2019, it had fallen to just 2.1%”
Using energy whose production creates less greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels reduces air pollution and does not produce hazardous by-products requiring costly and complex waste management.
Buying green energy supports the diversification of energy supply and reduces dependence on imported fuels like oil, coal and gas. In 2018, the energy sector supported 620,000 jobs across the UK – the equivalent to 1 in 46 jobs.
Using green energy to power both of our sites was an easy decision to make, alongside being the most environmentally responsible choice to make, it means we are also supporting a sector that is a significant employer in the UK.