Water supply and treatment utility company, Yorkshire Water, is investing £25 million into solar projects at 28 of its sites and facilities. The move towards solar energy is one of the ways in which the company is progressing towards becoming net zero by 2030. The solar projects are predicted to produce around 21 MW which equates to 4% of the electricity the company needs annually.

Yorkshire Water’s Commercial Programme Manager, Daniel Oxley, has stated that, “This project is a significant step in reaching our aims of carbon net zero by 2030. Due to changes in the treatment process at our sites over recent years, many have been left with surplus operational land which can be used for the generation of renewable energy.”

The investment comes after the company partnered with investment firm, Downing LLP. Downing’s Investment Director, Sean Moore, has claimed that they are working towards helping companies reach net zero and he stated that “We’re delighted to be partnering with Yorkshire Water for this solar project. Assisting a national utility company with its goal of reaching net zero by 2030 is a superb example of Downing’s commitment to responsible investing. We are delighted to support energy-intensive industries such as water companies in making progressive strides to reduce their carbon footprint.”

This investment is an incredibly important step in the right direction as water companies in recent weeks have been criticised for dumping sewage waste into rivers and beaches.

Nine of the biggest water companies in the UK, including Yorkshire Water, have developed a Routemap for bringing their customers water through a net zero supply chain.

The sector has plans to become net zero by 2030, with steps within the Routemap that outline sustainable changes including the use of solar panels and electric vehicles. Along with plans for investments to be made into solar and wind generation. With these investments, the sector plan to meet up to 80% of their electricity demands by generating 3GW of energy.

If these companies stick to this Routemap, there is the potential for them to reduce their emissions by up to 10 million tonnes.