Renewable energy is possibly the greatest and most formidable frontier of environmental conservation today. While many companies are changing the way they process, package, and ship their products to reduce environmental impact, many are still hesitant to rely on renewable energy for their power. And there’s a good reason. Much of the renewable energy sector is still new, which brings the potential for great returns, but even greater risk.
Below we want to explore to different pros and cons of switching to renewable energy, and how commercial facilities can do so while minimizing risks:
Alternative energy is (in some cases) more affordable
Many facility managers are hesitant to switch to alternative energy partners because they believe the cost is much higher. However, some renewable sources such as wind energy can be more cost-effective than non-renewable forms of energy, especially as the methods for extracting fossil fuels become more and more expensive. If your facility invests in an energy alternative along with energy efficiency measures, you can significantly reduce your operating costs long-term.
Not all buildings are suited for alternative energy
While renewables produced by power plants can be effectively used for most commercial applications, some pieces of equipment will still require fossil fuels to operate. Solar panels, which are a popular choice for commercial facilities, are also not suitable for all facility types. Some buildings require more energy than a solar panel system can handle, while others do not have the roofing structure to support them. There are many more limitations to alternative energy in the built environment than traditional energy sources.
Alternative energy reduces your building’s environmental impact
Energy consumption is typically a business’ greatest contributor to environmental damage. Even large factories that consume raw materials have the highest emissions from their energy consumption. Alternative energy sources can help reduce the environmental impact of your business, which positively affects your bottom line as well as your community.
Alternative energy not available nationwide
Not all geographic locations have large-scale alternative options available. In larger cities where the land for wind or geothermal energy production is not possible, you may be limited to alternative options for your business. However, some companies offer the option to buy credits to ensure that an equivalent amount of green energy to what your business uses will be produced elsewhere. The Empire State Building recently switched to 100% wind energy using this option.
Renewables are inevitable
Despite the drawbacks, renewable and alternative energy is inevitable in the commercial space. Fossil fuels are unsustainable at the current rate of consumption around the world, and every change a company makes helps to complete the global puzzle of living in a world without them. In 50 years, your company won’t have a choice but to switch to an alternative energy source. The sooner you are able to make incremental switches, the easier the transition will be.
MaintenX has embraced the switch to alternative energy by training our maintenance staff in both traditional and green technologies for commercial facilities. We work closely with our clients to choose sustainable options that meet their bigger business goals.