Last chance saloon for the planet?

Our planet is drinking in the last chance saloon. The damage we are doing to our world will be irreversible unless we act swiftly and decisively now to combat climate change.

This is not me scaremongering. Look at the evidence of the last few months alone: The horrific floods which claimed nearly 250 victims in Europe this summer; the Australian wildfires which destroyed more than 10 million hectares and killed at least 28 people and the devastating heatwaves in southern Europe which saw temperatures exceed 40C for days on end and the mercury hitting an unprecedented 48.8C in Sicily in August.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s leading authority on climate science, says we have all but run out of time to act and brushes aside those who say the changes are not necessarily man-made.

We act now or we never get the chance again.

The good news is that solutions to some of the most pressing issues are close to hand – and here at the AceOn Group we are helping lead the way with some really exciting work in cutting-edge battery technology and renewable energy storage solutions.

In November, to coincide with the Storage & Solar event taking place in Birmingham, we launched a brand-new residential energy storage battery – the ACEON2.6, which brings together 30 years of knowledge and experience in the design and manufacture of batteries.

It can capture the energy created by photovoltaic solar panels and give residents the opportunity to use it as and when they need it, making their renewable generation even more efficient.

Using an energy storage battery enables households to reduce their carbon emissions and save money on their electricity bills. It’s also worth noting that when fitted in affordable or social housing, a renewable energy and storage system can help vulnerable families out of fuel poverty. At a time when both the environmental and the financial cost of energy is spiralling, such an installation could be a lifeline for many families.

The ACEON2.6 battery can be fitted in new build homes, but importantly it can also be used for retrofit installations. Research suggests 80% of the homes we need to make more energy efficient by 2050 have already been built, so we need solutions that are simple to install in existing properties if we are to reduce building emissions.

But having a great product which will significantly reduce residential carbon emissions is no good unless we have the people who can fit them safely and correctly. It’s like telling everyone to buy electric cars, but not investing in the charging infrastructure required to keep those cars on the road. Joined up thinking is a must.

That’s why we have been working with MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) on a new Battery Installation Standard to ensure installers are given the proper knowledge and training to fit electrical energy storage systems.

We’ve also teamed up with a renewables specialist training provider in Yorkshire – GTEC – on the delivery of accredited training courses, where installers can learn how to safely size and install an energy storage battery.

There is not just one answer to fixing the problem of climate change. One solution, such as battery storage, requires many other pieces to be in place such as training opportunities, the installers to fit them and for homeowners, developers and affordable housing providers to be aware of the benefits, before we will start to see the fruits of our labour. But we have the seeds and we are planting them now.

There’s no time to lose to start saving the world. Not only is there no Plan B, there’s no Planet B either.

* Mark Thompson is managing director of AceOn Group and a member of Faraday Battery Challenge Advisory Group