The big blue planet that we call Earth our home is running out of natural reserves. As unbelievable as it may sound, scientists have estimated that our known natural reserves will last for approximately another fifty years before running out. Overpopulation also doesn’t help this cause. So, once it runs out, then whatis Renewable Energy?
Scientists have been encouraging us to shift to renewable resources of energy for a long time. We can generate unlimited energy from these natural resources, and these will not run out in the near future.
There are many reasons why these business magnets prefer renewable energy sources. Although implementing these systems is costly, they have several long-term benefits like –
- More jobs are created through renewable energy industries
- The nation’s power grid becomes more secure, reliable and resilient
- Enhanced energy independence
- Lower carbon emissions
- Less polluted air from energy production
- Access to clean energy
- Cost-competitive when compared to traditional energy sources
So, many companies across the developed continents are implementing various ways to store these renewable sources of energy. Depending on the extent and type of power usage, electricity storage can be controlled and regulated. That way, power can be used more optimally, thus reducing any chances of breakdowns or burnouts during peak demand time. Efficient energy storage methods not only provide better economic reliability but are eco-friendly.
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Most major businesses are now storing energy in the following ways –
- Pumped Hydroelectric
Here electricity pumps water up to a reservoir which then falls at a great speed on a turbine to generate hydroelectricity.
- Compressed Air
We can also use electricity to compress air and store it in deep underground caverns and release the air through an expansion turbine generator to create electricity.
In flywheels, electricity accelerates the flywheel, and energy gets conserved in it. When you need energy, the spinning force of this wheel turns the generator to generate energy. Some advanced flywheels have magnetic bearings that can generate higher volumes of electricity through 60,000 revolutions per minute.
There are giant industrial batteries that can store immense volumes of electricity. Moreover, these batteries are rechargeable and generally use various elements like lead acid, lithium-ion, lithium iron alloy and others to operate.
- Thermal Energy Storage
We can generate thermal energy from electricity, and we can store this until further use.
These are only some of the examples that are widely used around the world. The technology is ever evolving, and we can find many new technologies like supercapacitors, flow batteries, superconducting magnetic energy storage, etc.
With so many benefits and storage options, it only makes sense that big companies will try to use renewable energy to save money. After all, profitability is the biggest driving factor for every organisation.
10 Ways Renewable Energy Can Help Businesses Save Better
Here are ten ways how renewable energy can be cost-effective –
- Lower Energy Bills
The most obvious way businesses can save money is by reducing their high overhead and bill expenses. High electricity bills are a big concern for industries. Hence, they are now installing solar panels, water turbines, and other forms of renewable energy on their premises. These techs are enabling them to get unlimited power and use them whenever they need to power their operations.
The number of panels or turbines depends on their daily energy usage. Even if they cannot cover 100% of their daily requirements, these natural sources of energy can make up for a significant chunk of their energy needs. As per recent reports, a commercial property can reduce its electricity bill by approx. 75% by using solar panels.
- Protection from Fluctuating Pricing
Energy prices differ over time. They can rise abruptly overnight, and these sudden changes in bill amounts can affect the business severely. Moreover, there are several other factors that a business needs to consider, like the demand for electricity during peak seasons, availability of fuel, and costs of generating and distributing electricity. Rise and fall in these expenses also impact energy prices.
To hedge such financial risks and fluctuations, most businesses are now aiming to generate their own resources. That way, they become independent and don’t have to rely on external factors for their energy requirements. They can also remain above any kind of price fluctuations and can strategise their costs with more certainty.
- Better Energy Efficiency Initiatives
The two things that businesses are most concerned about nowadays are going green and saving money. If any business owner targets to achieve these two goals, using renewable energy sources is the smartest way to do that. If they can pair energy efficiency with renewables, that can save several bucks on energy bills.
Many businesses used the ENERGY STAR program in 2016 as a step to conserve energy. This helped them to set up energy-efficient facilities and save billions of dollars in the process.
- You can Sell Energy to the Grid
When a business installs a new system to generate energy, it can produce much more energy than its requirement. In such cases, these organisations can raise funds by selling the excess energy supplies to the government. Government can buy electricity from these companies to power up the national grids. Over time, these incomes can help businesses to offset the initial high costs of installation of solar panels or other energy sources. So, renewable sources of energy will not just save money; rather, they can generate extra revenues for the companies as well.
- Increased Reliability
Even the biggest electrical grids are not safe from power outages. Short circuits or over usage of electricity can blow up the grids. Big business industries rely on a continuous power supply for smooth business operations. Even an hour without power can result in losses exceeding thousands of dollars. So, businesses are implanting their own sources of energy to reduce the downtimes.
While some are already using renewable energy sources as their primary source, others keep this as a backup that they can immediately shift to during power outages. Some companies are even pairing multiple options for a safer and more reliable power supply.
- Green Energy Incentives
We cannot ignore that the installation charges of renewable energy sources are costly. Businesses need to make a significant upfront payment for solar panels or wind and hydro turbines. Industrial batteries also don’t come cheap, and that forces many mid and small level businesses to reconsider their decision.
However, thankfully, the governments are getting well aware of the green policies. So, they are also launching schemes and policies to incentivise the companies to embrace alternative energy sources. You can find numerous grants and incentives from the local, state and even federal governments for using renewable energy sources. Installing solar panels or flywheels can also give you tax rebates. Depending on the amount of expenditure, you can get eligible for different categories of rebates and tax exemptions.
- Falling Costs
The major blockage in front of most companies from embracing alternative energy sources was the astronomical upfront costs. Many businesses took a back step because of this financial obstacle. However, the situation is changing for good. According to the latest reports from Lazard, the expenses of energy generation from utility-scale solar plants have been lowered. Since 2009, it has seen a dip of 86%, and experts are forecasting that this drop will continue. During the same time, the cost of wind turbines has also dropped by 68%. So, if you want, now is the best time to invest in a solar panel or turbine.
- Increased Efficiency
As the world is witnessing a drop in prices of renewable technologies, they are also getting more efficient at the same time. Scientists across the world are working on a priority to provide better and cost-effective renewable energy sources.
Japan has already achieved a record 26.3% efficiency for silicon collar cells in recent years. We can only expect that these efficiency rates will increase over time.
- Increasing Confidence Among Investors and Customers
Investors and customers alike are getting educated and aware of the benefits of renewable sources of energy. Hence, the investors are requiring lesser convincing to invest in the new-age companies. They feel more proud and confident to be associated with a company that is environmentally responsible.
Customers are also getting motivated to play a part in making a greener environment. Hence, they prefer to buy only from brands that use greener techniques to make their products.
- Better for the Long Run
Prolonged use of renewable sources of energy also diminishes risks in a wider sense. By shifting to renewable energy sources, major companies are also playing an active role in preventing climate change. So, if more organisations adopt renewables, this means we can reduce all the risks associated with climate-related issues in the future.
Although we are a long way from achieving the target, we are certainly progressing in the right way. Most big corporations are purchasing renewable energy through long-term contracts. The amount they buy was already more than double the requirement five years ago. So, in a world where companies are struggling to balance their profitability and environmental concerns, renewable energy is the only alternative. Go through this piece and understand how paper help businesses use renewable energy to save money.