Butternut Bikes is one of the countless British companies on the verge of enjoying a green economic boom following the coronavirus pandemic. As the government faces increasing pressure to unveil a climate-friendly post-pandemic economic recovery plan, Britain’s green economic growth is already in evidence.Steven Jennings, partner of global consultancy PwC, said the foreclosure has triggered a paradigm shift for consumers and businesses that is already accelerating sustainability developments – even without a government prompt.
“One of the unintended consequences of the coronavirus crisis is the ability for companies to think about the future. If a business has to rebuild, it makes sense to reconfigure its operations to be more sustainable, ”says Jennings.
The challenge for the Treasury is to design a recovery plan that seizes the emerging opportunities of the coronavirus crisis, which can also meet large-scale climate challenges.
PwC includes low-carbon transportation in its five-pillar plan to “rebuild better”, alongside major stimulus packages to accelerate low-carbon electricity production, reduce emissions from heavy industry and help build a green workforce with the skills to carry out the plans.
Those who do not have a bike in the hangar will find it difficult to purchase a new one due to the huge demand and hangover from the shutdown of manufacturing in China earlier this year. For many, the answer may be shared cycle programs, rental of electric scooters or even the purchase of an electric vehicle.
Lime is one of the booming electric mobility companies. The company plans to attract 20,000 new cyclists to its shared electric bike rental program by the end of the locking elevators, and also plans to soon offer electric scooters in the UK.
Alan Clarke, a director of the firm, says that the number of new Lime users has increased every week since lock restrictions have started to be relaxed and runners are taking longer trips than before. The growth occurs despite a sharp increase in competition from competitors of Mobike, Freebike and the cycling offer of Uber, Jump.
“Ultimately, the main reason why people don’t cycle, walk, or ride electronic scooters is that most of the time, the city’s infrastructure doesn’t prioritize these modes of transportation,” explains Clarke. “As governments are now forced to rethink their approach to urban travel and organizations like TfL are making bold and transformative improvements, we anticipate an influx of new passengers in the coming months as people look for other options of travel.”
The number of people considering purchasing an electric vehicle is also increasing; partly because the link between the deaths of Covid-19 and air pollution has underscored the importance of clean transportation. PwC estimates that government incentives could help the sector support 220,000 jobs.
Ian Johnston, the general manager of the vehicle charging company Engenie, says there has been a huge increase in the number of retail fleets preparing to install charging points. The company installs fast chargers on behalf of owners and retail advice at no upfront cost, in exchange for a share of the revenue from charging points.
“Homeowners are looking for new sources of income and retail tenants need new ways to bring traffic to their stores,” he says. “The economic pressure on both means that people are re-examining the charging of vehicles.”
An electric transport boom has important implications for the UK energy system, providing new opportunities for green technology companies. The drop in demand during the foreclosure combined with record production of renewable energy has helped provide “a window into the future zero carbon world”, according to Jennings.
“We have had strong penetration of renewable energy and negative wholesale prices at certain times of the day,” he said. “With the right government policies and regulations, more new business models will emerge, which could prove to be a tipping point for loads like electric vehicles, batteries, and energy tariffs based on time of use.”
Battery operators can help balance the system by charging when there is more than enough renewable energy on the grid and discharging clean electricity when it is needed. Electric vehicles can play the same role when plugged into a smart charger.
Steven Meersman, the founder of battery operator Zenobe, says the company worked hard during the lockout to manage “the increased demand for our services.”
Even energy supply agreements that offer to pay homes and businesses to use more energy when there is a lot of wind and solar power can play a role in helping better use a renewable energy boom.
Greg Jackson, the founder and CEO of Octopus Energy, said demand for the energy provider’s Agile rate increased by 50% during the lockout. The tariff offers half-hour electricity pricing and allows customers to benefit when costs become negative.
“This is a red flag for policy makers and regulators that making the small changes necessary to enable a smart energy grid will be essential to the green recovery, as many of us are asking,” says Jackson . “It can be done today and will open a revolution in cheap, clean electric heating, electric vehicles and a decentralized electrical system. “
The fifth pillar of PwC’s plan for a green economic recovery is also at home. Jennings thinks that a national upgrade of air draft houses will help amplify the benefits of Britain’s electric future, boost jobs and provide a £ 3.20 benefit to UK GDP – United for every £ 1 invested.
This is a zero risk approach to reduce carbon emissions and household bills, while increasing quality of life and health standards, which is rumored to have left the main aid cold. from Premier Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings. However, he may have misjudged public mood.
“One of the barriers to better home insulation is public apathy, but as people spend more time at home, this can change,” says Jennings. “A recent PwC survey found that 60% are more engaged in their energy use than they were before the lockout. If people are more interested in home improvements and paying attention to their energy consumption, it makes sense to prioritize the energy efficiency of the house. “