Vattenfall is launching Power as a Service to support the UK food and drink sector as it strives to meet decarbonisation targets.
Its Energy Security on the Path to Net Zero paper highlights the challenges facing the food and drink industry on the road to net zero and provides critical advice on remaining competitive, electrical reliability and environmental compliance.
Until now most UK food and drink businesses have managed their own on-site electrical infrastructure but, with the raft of challenges coming downstream, and the obvious need for changes requiring specialist support, Vattenfall is introducing a new Power-as-a-service model.
Maria Lindberg, a Director at Vattenfall Network Solutions, said very few UK businesses even know there is an alternative to owning their own private wire networks.
"In most instances they have large amounts of capital tied up in their electrical assets, which are often not maintained with the required level of diligence, because naturally a food or drink business has more interest in producing its’ product than in managing complex electrical infrastructure - and that’s where Vattenfall comes in," she said.
"We don’t know much about producing food and drink but we know a huge amount about private wire networks. In Sweden we’ve been partnering with businesses to provide power as a service for over 20 years and by making our service available in the UK we aim to offer an alternative model, which will help food and drink manufacturers remain competitive, ensure their energy security and support their transition to net zero at the same time.”
Energy power as a service: Case study
Vattenfall is providing Power-as-a-Service to Swedish tomato and salmon farming business Peckas Naturodlingar. While Peckas focuses on its core business, Vattenfall is responsible for everything from ownership, project management, investments, electrical safety and operation and maintenance of their electrical infrastructure. The partnership came into its own when Peckas wanted to expand its operation, which required two substations to be moved to free up space. As its Power as a Service partner, Vattenfall project managed the relocation of the substations and their ongoing operation.
Tackling food and drink decarbonisation and promoting sustainability
Food production from farm-to-fork represents 30% of total carbon emissions within the EU, with the manufacturing process accounting for 11% of this share, or 3% of the total.
Plants need to take decarbonisation measures relating to both energy demand and supply, according to FoodDrinkEurope. Across the EU, the food and drink sector remains the largest industrial manufacturing sector.
In the UK, the food chain involves about 300,000 enterprises, employs 3.3mn people and generates 15mn tons of food each year.
The food and drink industry is a major user of energy in a large number of diverse applications, which include the provision of steam or hot water, drying, other separation processes such as evaporation and distillation, refrigeration, and baking.
Animal agriculture produces more than 100mn tons of methane a year, and a single cow produces about 80–110kg of methane over the same period. All in, carbon equivalent emissions from livestock are greater than the emissions from all passenger vehicles globally.
The global food system is set to face unprecedented pressures over the coming decades, with challenges including competition for scarce land, water scarcity, mounting waste flows, drought, and declining crop yields and productivity due to climate change.