Small Business Brief

Solar Energy

Green Business Initiatives: The 7 Types of Renewable Energy

Today, renewable energy produces about 25 percent of global energy. This number could rise to 30 percent by 2022. You might’ve heard only about solar energy.

But, there’s much more to renewable energy. Have you considered turning your business green? If not, there isn’t any day better than today.

Before you start calling your energy company or installing solar panels, you must learn more about your renewable energy options. Don’t know where to start?

We’ve got you covered. We’ll tell you all you must know about the types of renewable energy and which is the right one for your green business initiative. Read on to learn more.

What Types of Renewable Energy Can Turn Your Business Green

You may think that using an alternate source of energy is more expensive for your business. While you may have to invest capital to make the switch, the benefits of renewable energy outweigh the costs.

Some of the most important advantages of renewable energy are reducing service interruptions, lowering pollution, creating jobs, boosting your brand, among others. Also, switching to renewable energy can be a big money-saving strategy for any business.

Not all sources of renewable energy fit all businesses or require a huge investment to get started. The key is finding the right source that lowers your operational costs while making your green initiative vision a reality.

During your research, you must focus on your business needs and green initiative purpose.

Do you want to be eligible for the biggest tax credit? Are you going to apply for green business certifications? If so, what requirements must your business meet?

Those are some of the questions can guide your research. Don’t know what renewal energy sources you should consider?

Here are 7 renewable energy types you should consider for your green business initiative.

1. Hydroelectric Energy

You may not be familiar with this energy source. Because the implementation of this renewable source depends on the geographical location. To take advantage of this power source, you need access to a dependable waterway source.

To produce hydroelectric energy, you can build a dam to contain water and release the water flow into turbines to generate power.

Another way to produce this type of renewable energy is by funneling the flow of a river through the turbines.

This energy source may be reliable. The disadvantages of hydroelectric energy such as initial costs and environmental impact make it unfit for businesses without access to waterway sources.

2. Geothermal Energy

This energy source comes from the heat of the earth. Geothermal power plants harness this power from heated rock, the Earth’s surface or underground hot water reserves. This technology leverages these constant temperatures to provide energy.

Some businesses use geothermal energy to heat their offices or buildings. You could consider using this source of energy as part of your larger scale green business initiative. The implementation of this technology may depend on your business and the industry you serve.

3. Bioenergy

This type of renewable energy is becoming more popular due to big players like Shell. Recently, this company bought the rights to technology for producing biofuels. Bioenergy comes from biomass that creates power and heat.

Biomass is organic material that comes from recently living animals or plants. The production of ethanol, biodiesel and other liquid fuels are bioenergy as well. In contrast with other renewable energy sources, you could use bioenergy to power your facilities but also fuel your fleet as well.

4. Ocean Thermal Energy

You can use the ocean to produce thermal energy from the heat of the sun and mechanical energy from the movement of the waves and tides.

Waves caused by the wind can also produce mechanical energy. Regulations and geographic location can limit your use of this renewable energy source.

5. Solar Energy

In the last few years, this energy source has risen in popularity. This power requires you to install solar cells that convert direct sunlight into electricity. You may be thinking twice about using this power source due to the initial investment.

Yet, you should jump on the bandwagon as soon as you can. Solar energy equipment and installation pricing are going down making it affordable for any business. Experts say businesses can enjoy free electricity for 25 to 35 years depending on your equipment.

6. Wind Power

Besides solar energy, you may have heard about wind power. In the United States, the state of Texas produces most of the wind energy. To produce this source of energy, the wind flow pushes turbines to convert the wind currents into electricity.

The great thing about this type of power is that many energy companies offer it. Wind power can be a great energy source for businesses that don’t have the capital to invest in equipment.

7. Hydrogen

While hydrogen is found in gasoline, methanol, propane and other gases that pollute the environment. Alternate production methods exist to produce hydrogen with little to no pollution. The great thing about this alternate source is that it doesn’t impact the environment when burned.

Hydrogen cells contain this element to convert the chemical energy into electricity. The byproducts of these cells are water and heat making it a clean renewable energy source.

The only thing stopping the use of hydrogen is the cost of producing hydrogen cells and scarcity of fueling stations. You could use this power even to fuel your car.

Right now, this renewable energy may not be as cheap as we like. But, you should expect a shift in the pricing as it rises in popularity.

Which Renewable Energy Source Is Right for Your Green Business Initiative?

Finding the right renewal energy source for your green business initiative isn’t easy. Yes, it may be difficult to keep up with all the types of renewable energy. It will come down to your research and your business objectives.

Why are you considering implementing a renewable energy green initiative? Is it only to lower costs? Are your services or product related to the renewable energy industry?

Those are some of the questions that can guide your research. During your green business initiative development, it’s important to consider the costs of your chosen renewable energy source, potential tax rebate, and environmental impact. Sometimes switching to a renewable energy source can make your business eligible for certifications that can improve your revenue and boost your marketing.

Want to learn more ways to improve your business or turn it green? Check out our blog for more small business advice articles.