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The transition to clean NRMM

Supporting the transition to zero emission NRMM

The pressure to ditch diesel affects multiple business sectors but none more so than the construction industry, which uses hundreds of thousands of items of diesel-powered plant.

In the UK alone, non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) releases 4.62MtCo2e every year (source: Sixth Carbon Budget) and, as other sectors clean up their act, this issue risks rendering construction an outlier. The proportion of the UK’s large particle pollution linked to construction is now about 18%, growing to 30% in London.

Of all NRMM, the lack of gensets is most critical to the industry’s drive for net zero, because without low emission off-grid energy generation the sector cannot accelerate its move towards electrically powered equipment.

The problem for NRMM

On air pollution, regulations in London and on key projects like HS2 are already being used to limit NRMM diesel gensets to only those with the highest emissions standards. It’s a move likely to be replicated in other cities and is also being considered nationally by Defra.

On decarbonisation, the UK Government recently removed its rebate on red diesel and biofuel for construction. The Construction Leadership Council is calling on companies to phase out diesel power generation altogether.

It is only going to get harder for projects to source mission-critical generation they need, and to avoid financial penalties and lost revenue.

Clean air zone sign
exhaust pipe for electric generator

The non-diesel options

Replacing diesel gensets where no grid connection is available means moving to a technology that meets air pollution and carbon emissions targets and has the longevity to avoid the need for further transition.

Drop-in fuel alternatives like biofuels are not a permanent solution because of residual emissions and concerns about their long-term sustainability. Gas-to-liquid fuels, including the vast majority of the world’s hydrogen, are made from fossil fuels and involve potentially carbon-intensive global supply chains, coupled with on-site challenges.

Meanwhile the market in cost-effective green hydrogen will take years to mature.

Against this backdrop, it is clear that the transition to zero emission equipment won’t happen easily by using Stage 4 generators, fuel cells or euro 6 internal combustion engine plant.

The Portacell solution

Until now, the use of large batteries to power construction sites was thought to be limited by the size, infrastructure and the charging downtime needed.

But Portacell is different. We provide Power-as-a-Service. Our powerful HD batteries are shipped to site already fully charged with REGO-certified renewable electricity and are swapped automatically for a new one as often as needed by us, and no downtime – ever.

Portacell is at its core a zero-emission way of powering equipment at any location not sufficiently connected to the grid; either as a total substitute for the grid or a partial substitute where diesel plant is widely used as an alternative. 

Each battery holds enough power for a typical construction site for up to five days before being seamlessly replenished by us.

But the real beauty is no site emissions (including noise or vibration) and an unbeatable net zero supply chain from source to site.

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