Installing renewable energy in your business is a big deal. It can cost your business thousands upon thousands. But is it a worthy investment? Unquestionably so.
As we plunge deeper into the 'Anthropocene' (the point of environmental destruction which cannot be reversed) the pressure to make renewable energy switches is higher than ever. The truth is - the tiny little changes we make in our businesses and lives just aren't enough anymore. Paper cups, shorter showers, and well-insulated walls are all valuable steps we can make toward a better planet. But in the end, it all boils down to fossil fuels.
We must make more significant changes for more extensive sustainability results. A whopping 87% of the planet’s CO2 emissions come from fossil fuels (Our World in Data, 2020).
Using these fuels might supply reliable energy. But the extraction, usage, and transportation aren’t so reliable for the planet. It’s no secret that they’re causing environmental chaos.
Causing irreversible symptoms like wildlife destruction, habitat depletion, land degradation, and oil spills...the rolling consequences are endless. That’s why the global transition into renewable energy sources must happen very soon.
It won’t happen in the flick of a switch, and it will take decades. But if all businesses (big and small) opt for renewable one by one, a shift will eventually take place.
- The benefits: in a nutshell
- Cleaner air quality
- Drastically reduces carbon emissions
- A worthy ROI
- Better brand reputation
The benefits of switching to renewable are invaluable in all senses – environmentally, economically, and socially.
Cleaner air, cleaner environment
Opting for renewable energy is a cleaner way of running your business, and transitions businesses from being part of the problem to part of the solution.
Wind, solar, and geothermal energy sources don’t emit harmful gases when they’re generated. By switching to these alternative energy sources, your business doesn’t contribute to the emission of these gases.
An increase in greener energy would also see an improvement in air quality. Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are terrible for our ecosystems and habitats. Cutting the emissions of these gases leads to cleaner air and healthier environments.
Renewable energy is more affordable than it used to be
Renewable energy sources might sound costly, but they’re actually getting cheaper. In the last decade, green energy suppliers have drastically cut costs, with most now cheaper than fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels are expensive to source. They have to be extracted from the ground, and generated in an operated power plant. Billions upon billions have been spent sourcing and burning fossil fuels for mass consumption.
But never in history have we had to pay for the earth to generate wind or sun. It was the technology and installation of these new green technologies which made renewable expensive. But of course, like everything, renewable technologies are vastly advancing. They’re becoming more accessible and affordable than ever.
A worthy investment
Switching isn’t always easy. It costs a lot and it can be challenging to transition into, and can take time to make your money back.
But opting for renewable means your business is totally energy independent. Cutting those hefty payments to energy companies can save your business thousands.
There are so many renewable options out there. It's all about choosing a system that works with your budget. It’s also worth considering your lease duration compared with the scale of ROI. Depending on which source you opt for, ROI takes time. Ground-sourced heat pumps can take 15 years to make returns, while large wind turbines can get you returns in as little as a year (Bionic, 2023).
And it just looks good
Entire business models are being shaped by sustainability as a central USP, with businesses being supported solely by environmental pillars. More and more consumers would instead opt for sustainable businesses.
Buying into environmentally friendly business philosophies is more popular than ever. That's why green energy businesses have solid brand reputations, appealing to a wider range of audiences.
By 2050, the UK government aims to reach net zero (GOV.UK, 2023). In light of that goal, the government released an energy grant scheme for UK businesses.
£5 billion of funding was given to UK businesses to help install new renewable energy systems.
The scheme ended in March 2023. But with the rate of environmental decline, it won’t at all be surprising if future business schemes like this one are pushed again. So keep your eye on any financial help or green energy grants which might pop up.
Little by little
But there is still a long way to go. In an ideal world, we could all switch to renewable in the push of a button. But if all businesses of all sizes can make greener energy switches, we'll start to see the benefits. Sustainable living will come to fruition if we all push renewable as individuals, as communities, and as a whole society.
Ultimately, it is no longer a question of whether or not we should switch to renewable energy sources – it's a matter of when and how.