Energy security wasn’t a term many of us paid much attention to until recently. Now, as we face an energy price crisis that threatens our lifestyles, “energy security” features regularly on the news and it is the subject of a whole new Government strategy.
It is the link between national security and the availability of resources to make energy. Modern economies depend heavily on access to affordable energy. However, because access to that energy is unevenly distributed, many countries like the UK, have come to rely on imports. This makes energy prices and availability highly vulnerable to market fluctuations which can be triggered by disruptions to production and supply chain. These can range from labour shortages like those experienced during the pandemic to disruptions to trading routes like the blockage in the Suez Canal, but more recently, geopolitical tensions surrounding the conflict in Ukraine have contributed to growing energy insecurity across Europe which is affecting global markets.
To protect ourselves from these risks, we have to switch over to energy sources available right here in the UK. Solar, wind and hydro energy already play key roles in the UK’s strategy for energy security. But we need a full portfolio of energy sources to meet all of our needs and make the most of everything available to us. And that is where Olleco and you come in.
Your kitchen has the power to protect our country
Used cooking oil and food waste are rich in energy. Collected and processed correctly, both can play a significant role in the UK’s national energy security strategy.
The used cooking oils and fats we collect are taken to our sophisticated biorefineries where they are converted into premium biofuels. These biofuels are being used to reduce vehicle emissions by up to 88% and will continue to be an important contributor to the UK’s energy security and carbon reduction activities as part of a more sustainable future.
Feeding a more secure future
Food waste is similarly energy intensive. The energy contained in 1kg of dried food waste is almost as much as 1kg of low-grade coal. The food waste Olleco collects is processed in our advanced anaerobic digestion (AD) plants where it generates methane that can either be used to generate renewable electricity or be fed into the mains gas grid.
The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) estimates that AD could deliver 30% of the UK’s 2030 carbon budget, provide green heat to 6.4 million homes and create 30,000 jobs by 2030.
Olleco’s technology and your renewable fuels keep power in our hands
By fuelling our renewables facilities with your food waste and used cooking oils, you are not just making the UK’s energy supply more secure. You are doing the wider world a service on a number of levels.
Not only could you reduce the use of fossil fuels and help to address the global climate emergency by decarbonising our energy supply. You could have a positive impact by ensuring that our energy is produced to high ethical and environmental standards, and you could help to reduce our vulnerability to profiteering and influence by foreign powers and producers.
Renewable fuels are only part of the UK’s energy security story
While capturing more of the UK’s renewable energy resources is one way to reduce our dependence on external sources, it is equally important to reduce the overall amount of energy we use in all of our operations.
There will be many ways you can do that in your business, from installing better insulation to deploying more efficient technologies such as LED lighting.
We have done this across our business using a wide variety of energy efficiency tactics. One of the simplest but most effective tactics we have deployed, is to collect used cooking oil in the same vehicles that deliver fresh oil. This has reduced fuel use and carbon costs by 50%.
Putting Britain back in the driving seat
For much of its industrial history, the UK has been energy independent - first using vast underground reserves of coal then shifting to oil and natural gas reserves under the North Sea and the first generation of nuclear power stations. More recently, we have become increasingly dependent on energy supplies from overseas as we moved away from coal and nuclear sources. This has made the UK heavily dependent on foreign energy supplies and, as a result, we are now vulnerable to fuel supply chain issues right across the world.
With your help, and the application of advanced renewables technologies, we can ensure that the UK enjoys energy independence once again. Together, we can protect the planet, strengthen our economy and ensure we are much less vulnerable to events outside our control. To find out more about how Olleco can help you reinforce Britain’s energy security, get in touch.