SportF1Mercedes energy bill causes them to build a solar...

Mercedes energy bill causes them to build a solar farm

A number of factors have led to a huge rise in UK energy bills for citizens, but things are even worse for businesses as there is no system in place to cap prices.

Mercedes has seen its energy bill triple through 2022, and it looks set to get even worse over the winter as prices are expected to rise again.

With the Formula 1 team having few options to reduce electricity use without sacrificing their jobs, Silver Arrows boss Toto Wolff said they have had to look at how to improve the situation.

And that has led him to approve a plan to reduce his energy costs in the long term, investing in a solar farm in collaboration with an experienced solar company.

The plan is to create it in a location, which he has not yet revealed, near his factory, which he will be able to supply power to directly.

Asked by about Mercedes’ reaction to the growing energy price crisis in the UK, Wolff said: “We’ve tripled our energy expenditure at Brackley. We’re talking in the millions: £2m to £6m[ between 2.3 and 6.9 million euros] in energy alone. Freight and air transport have also increased enormously.”

“I try to see ourselves as a high-tech industry and, with the positive momentum, we are going to create a huge solar farm that provides us, and others, with energy,” said the Mercedes boss.

“Although today we are supplied with 100% green energy, to be CO2 neutral, we have to do what we can,” continued Wolff.

Although the project is in its infancy and may not come online until 2024 , the director of the Germans believes it will be a great investment for the team in financial terms and will help their sustainability plans.

“We have set ourselves some pretty extreme and ambitious goals in building our own solar farm,” he said. “This year we have spent over £1m [€1.1m] offsetting sustainable jet fuel, and we will continue to do so.”

“The short- and medium-term goal is to have our own solar field, and to pay for it in 20 years. I guess now, with energy prices rising, you can argue that, whatever the evolution of the price, that is going to be much less,” he acknowledged.

Wolff also said that the impact that the increase in energy bills has on the economy of families has led him to take measures to increase wages.

“We understand that they are, especially with the lower wages, under extreme pressure,” he said of his workers. “Energy costs are a significant part of their income, and we are going to react and find ways to offset the relative loss in purchasing power.”

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