NatWest found that solar and storage was the most popular kind of onsite generation for SMEs. Image: Scott Webb (Unsplash).

Just 7% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have invested in onsite generation, but this is set to more than double over the next 12 months, with solar and storage remaining the most popular choices.

By 2023, a further 10% of SMEs are intending to invest in onsite generation according to NatWest’s Sustainable Business Tracker.

The figures come as strong recovery is being seen in business activity for SMEs, although there is concern around rising inflation rates and the challenges of absorbing the costs of sustainability improvements.

“It’s great news that SMEs have recognised that sustainability measures can boost their recovery, fuel their growth and future proof their business,” said Andrew Harrison, head of Business Banking at NatWest Group.

“Energy prices and global supply chain pressure are leading companies to look for ways to increase efficiency, lower energy bills and invest in employees with green knowledge.”

The research follows Solar Energy UK releasing a Corporate Buyers’ Guide in March, as corporate interest in solar installations continues to grow amid high power prices and the push for net zero.

Beyond onsite generation, NatWest also found that currently only 13% of SMEs have secured a renewable energy supplier, but an additional 10% plan to do so over the next year.

One in three SMEs are planning to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure in the next year, with around 15% of those surveyed saying they had already had, including electric car fleets or charging points. This number is expected to more than double in the next year, with a further 20% of SMEs planning to invest in this area by 2023.


This article was originally published on Current±.