Another technology recommended in the report is fuel cells, which convert hydrogen-rich fuels to energy via a high efficiency electrochemical process. Fuel cells can achieve twice the efficiency of combustion-based systems when generating power. With no moving parts, they also operate very quietly with almost no air pollutants, making them an attractive option for companies in urban areas.
Microsoft is using fuel cells at the heart of a pioneering program to generate power efficiently at its data centers, reducing costs and emissions at the same time. Currently fueled with natural gas, Microsoft expects to switch to biogas, landfill gas, or hydrogen in the future, and do away with conventional fossil-fuel powered back-up generators.
Digital technology is a powerful tool for reducing energy waste and increasing overall productivity, the report underlines.
With the right analytics capabilities to make sense of data, alongside sensors measuring changes in energy use, companies can avoid any unnecessary heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting. Making use of data to predict equipment failure before it fails helps avoid costly unplanned downtime.
Digitally optimizing energy use in offices, stores and warehouses through the Internet of Things considerably improves efficiency and can help increase employee productivity. LED lighting for example, coupled with sensors, can help optimize working conditions.
A growing number of energy-smart companies are making use of digitalization to increase their energy productivity, as part of The Climate Groupâ€™s EP100 initiative with the Alliance to Save Energy.
As a forthcoming EP100 report from The Climate Group will show, many of these companies are reducing their energy bills and generating revenue, thanks to flexibility provided by heating and cooling systems and the latest energy storage technologies.
While many opportunities are open to companies now, the report also looks at emerging trends that will help businesses break new ground when it comes to creating value.
From sophisticated microgrids and the integration of heat and transport systems, to the use of hydrogen to reduce air pollution and emissions, markets are shifting toward a clean energy future.
â€śThe benefits of transitioning to less polluting and lower-carbon energy consumption are undeniable. Organizations need a strategy focused on activating opportunities that are best aligned with corporate objectives. By starting early, companies can explore and identify the right set of initiatives that will deliver value to shareholders and society,â€ť says Kris Timmermans, Accenture Strategy.
To support strategy development and investment planning, the report recommends that organizations ensure they are scanning for and continuously monitoring the commercial maturity of transformative system solutions.
â€śOf course, one of the best ways to stay on top of market changes is through our EV100, RE100 and EP100 initiatives and their associated knowledge-sharing opportunities,â€ť points out Mike Peirce, The Climate Group.
He adds, â€śRBS and Landsec are showing the highest levels of corporate leadership on energy by choosing to join all three, and we expect many more companies to follow as they recognize that to stay competitive in the years to come, they need an integrated energy strategy now.â€ť
Click here to read more from Mike Peirce on the role of the private sector in accelerating the clean economy. Weâ€™ll be showcasing the leaders atÂ Climate Week NYCÂ in September. If youâ€™re not already involved, get in touch at info@TheClimateGroup.org.