Bryt Insight March 2024

Bryt Energy
| 12th March 2024 | Bryt Insight
Global warming breaches 1.5°C limit
New legislation implemented to improve biodiversity
New record achieved in solar efficiency

In Bryt Insight, we usually like to begin each edition with the positive news in sustainability and renewable energy. This month, unfortunately, we need to start by letting you know that global temperatures across the last year have reached 1.52°C above pre-industrial levels – exceeding the temperature limit set by world leaders under the Paris Agreement. The Agreement intends to prevent and reduce the worst impacts of climate change, and exceeding this temperature limit is a clear signal that more urgent and ambitious action is needed.

Whilst this stark warning is a cause for concern, this month’s other news stories show that many businesses are firmly committed to change. From the halving of the UK’s carbon emissions since 1990, to Wales achieving record-breaking growth in heat pumps and solar panels, we are still seeing progress towards a more sustainable energy future.

Here’s what you need to know this month:

Global warming breaches 1.5°C limit

Global temperatures were on average 1.52°C warmer than pre-industrial levels from February 2023 to January 2024, representing the first year-long period that the 1.5°C limit – set by world leaders in 2015 under the Paris Agreement – has been exceeded1.

In this year-long period, we continued to witness frequent extreme weather events, including floods, droughts, heatwaves, and wildfires across the globe. An additional 0.5°C increase would significantly amplify the chances of crossing critical tipping points, leading to potentially irreversible changes in the climate system.

Although this record-breaking year doesn’t breach the Paris Agreement, which looks at average temperatures over a longer period of time, it’s a clear signal that more urgent effort is needed to ensure further warming is limited. Scientists emphasise that by taking immediate action to cut carbon emissions, we can still reduce the effects of climate change.

“Crossing the 1.5°C global warming limit shows that even more wide-scale, immediate action is required to combat the effects of climate change. Here at Bryt Energy, we believe that businesses have a responsibility to ensure that they have a positive impact on the world they’re operating in. Many low carbon technologies required to reduce emissions in energy are not only currently available, but are becoming increasingly affordable and more widely accessible – allowing many businesses to get started on a path to net zero, now.” – Ian Brothwell, Managing Director at Bryt Energy.

What’s next?

Encouragingly, widespread awareness and support for climate action is growing across the world; a recent survey found that around two-thirds of the global population would contribute 1% of their income to help combat climate change, while almost 90% demand more climate action from their Government2.

What’s more, we are increasingly seeing action towards net zero goals. This month, for instance, the UK Government officially withdrew from the international Energy Charter Treaty – which allowed fossil fuel firms to legally challenge Governments over policies to reduce carbon emissions3. Concerns over the treaty’s alignment with modern net zero goals have led several nations, including the UK, to seek a more progressive approach.

Official statistics also show that annual carbon emissions generated in the UK have halved from 1990 to 20224. The increased uptake of renewable energy sources and the phasing out of coal, as well as the offshoring of carbon emissions from manufacturing processes, can be credited for this shift. In fact, in the early 2010s, only 7% of the electricity generated by the UK came from renewable sources like wind and solar – now, renewables make up over a third of electricity on the grid.

Meaningful progress continues towards a net zero, renewable energy future, but it’s clear that more must be done to prevent further increases in global temperatures. To learn more about the world’s first year-long breach of the key warming limit, you can click here.

New legislation implemented to improve biodiversity

The UK Government has launched its new Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) policy, which mandates that all new major development sites in England, such as solar farms, must achieve a 10% net gain in biodiversity5.

The BNG policy marks the first time that biodiversity enhancement has been a planning condition, with land developers required to counteract the direct losses caused by construction activities, and ensure that their biodiversity gains are maintained for a minimum of 30 years.

The new legislation is positioned to enhance the environmental benefits tied to renewable infrastructure projects like onshore wind and solar farms, which can co-exist with wildlife under good management. In a new report looking at the environmental impact of renewable energy developments, the think tank REN21 demonstrates that healthy biodiversity can co-exist with the rapid scale-up and deployment of renewable energy sources, and concludes that the benefits of renewables significantly outweigh their potential negative impacts6.

There is also evidence that well-managed renewable infrastructure projects can even result in more or better natural habitats than before; a separate survey found that well-managed solar farms can support biodiversity and bird species that are in decline7. In fact, Statkraft, our parent company, are currently developing a new solar site that will utilise 10 hectares of new meadow grassland and over 3.5 hectares of woodland, alongside integrating other measures such as hedgehog homes and birdboxes, to enhance biodiversity at the site by 141%8.

To learn more about renewable energy and its relationship with biodiversity, you can read our fuel mix blog, here. If you’re interested in finding out more about how to comply with the new BNG legislation, a step-by-step guide is available on the UK Government’s website here.

To read REN21’s full report on the benefits of renewable projects, you can also click here.

New record achieved in solar efficiency

This month has seen a significant milestone in renewable technology, with a new global record set for the world’s most efficient solar panel9.

Surpassing the capabilities of traditional panels, British-based solar technology firm Oxford PV have developed a new solar panel with a 25% conversion efficiency; better efficiency ensures increased power generation from the same surface area, lowering the cost of electricity output and making solar energy more accessible.

The breakthrough also makes solar technology more appealing to investors and developers, helping to accelerate the COP28 goal of tripling global renewable capacity by 2030 and aiding the transition away from fossil fuels.

Solar panels have become nearly 60% more efficient since 201010, and Oxford PV envisions even greater advancements in the future – anticipating a potential maximum efficiency exceeding 43%.

With continued improvements, it’s clear that solar panels – which are becoming both more efficient and affordable over time – are playing a vital role in the ongoing global shift towards more cost-effective renewable energy.

To learn more about why solar panel technologies are important in driving the UK’s journey to net zero, you can read part three of our series of guides on ‘Navigating the Net Zero energy transition and what it means for your business’, by clicking here.

To learn more about this milestone in solar efficiency, visit here.


Premier League football clubs embrace sustainability

Premier League football clubs in England have committed to taking action on environmental issues, pledging to develop robust environmental sustainability policies by the end of the 2025/26 season11. Under new rules, clubs will need to establish comprehensive reporting of their direct and indirect carbon emissions, and collaborate in creating a standardised approach to tackling pressing sustainability issues in football, such as carbon emissions from short-haul flights.

It’s encouraging to see sustainability reporting becoming prominent across a range of sectors, with more awareness helping to drive the UK closer to its net zero ambitions.

To learn more, you can visit the Premier League’s website by clicking here.


West Midlands allocates £1.2 billion to propel net zero transition

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), representing 18 local councils across the West Midlands, have approved £1.2 billion of funding to help fast-track progress towards achieving net zero in the region by 204112. The budget includes funding to improve sustainable transportation systems, including a £111 million investment in tram extensions and £41 million dedicated to ‘Clean Bus’ services, as well as £200 million to upskill the local workforce. With our office located in the heart of Birmingham, it’s encouraging to see investments in more sustainable transport options across the region, helping to propel the wider transition to net zero.

For more information, visit the West Midlands Combined Authority website.


Financial benefits of circular economy practices for businesses

A new study has revealed that large office-based businesses in the UK can achieve substantial financial benefits by embracing simple circular economy approaches such as recycling, reducing their waste disposal costs by up to 70%13. The research found that by implementing stricter segregation practices to prevent contamination across dry mixed recyclable waste (including paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, and aluminium drinks), businesses could cut their costs significantly.

In fact, the report focused on a 32-storey office in London, where identifying these interventions led to average savings of £24,000 annually. These findings reinforce not just the environmental benefits of sustainable business operations, but also the financial benefits.

If you’d like to read Bywaters’ full Circular Economy report, you can click here.


Wales achieves record-breaking growth in renewable installations

MCS (The Microgeneration Certification Scheme) has reported 20,000 certified renewable installations across Welsh businesses and homes in 2023, more than doubling the installations of the previous year14. Solar panels accounted for 14,730 installations, while heat pumps saw a remarkable 147% increase from the previous year with 5,853 new installations. This record-breaking level of renewable installation is encouraging, showing a wider adoption of the low carbon technologies that will help drive the UK to a net zero future.

To learn more, you can read more in the MCS press release by clicking here.


Statkraft receives green light for new 50MW battery energy storage system

Statkraft, our parent company, has recently secured planning permission for its Coylton Greener Grid Park in East Ayrshire, which will work to enhance grid stability in the region15. Greener Grid Parks directly support the transition to a net zero energy system by helping to increase the amount of renewable electricity transmitted through the grid. Statkraft’s Coylton Greener Grid Park will use a 50MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) to help maintain a stable voltage and frequency in the electricity grid, and support a consistent and reliable supply of renewable electricity.

You can learn more about Greener Grid Parks from Statkraft’s website, here.


UK Government launches initiative to boost community understanding of onshore wind projects

The UK Government’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) has published the outcome of a consultation which considered improvements to the current system of community engagement and benefits of onshore wind projects in England – with an aim to reduce misconceptions and prevent delays in the development of new onshore wind projects16.

DESNZ concluded that by providing local communities with detailed case studies that showcase the community benefits of onshore wind, as well as embedding more local engagement into official planning guidance, they can encourage communities to embrace new onshore wind projects. By more actively involving communities in decision-making processes, we hope that DENSZ’s findings will support further development of onshore wind, helping the UK on its transition to net zero.

For more information on the outcome of its consultation, you can visit the Government’s website here.


If you have any questions on how any of the updates might affect your business, our team of experts is on hand to answer them. You can get in touch with us on 01217267575 or at


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