According to Bloomberg’s report on Global trends in renewable energy, the investment in the Renewable Energy sector has reached £170 billion in 2014, marking an increase of almost 17% compared to the sector in 2013. Altogether, renewable energy sources contribute to 9.1% of the global electricity generated in 2014, and are becoming more and more attractive energy options for businesses that want to be environmental friendly and to cut down their energy costs. This raises the question of what are the actual benefits of renewable energy and how they can benefit organisations and businesses.
Reduced Global Warming Emissions
One substantial benefit from using renewable energy is the positive effect on the environment. Compared to coal, oil and natural gas the CO2 emissions from renewable energy sources are minimal, making renewable energy an environmental friendly alternative worth investing in. Furthermore, in 2014 alone renewable energy has resulted in saving a total of 1.3 gigatonnes of CO2 worldwide.
Health and Environmental Impact
Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy results in less air and water pollution, reducing the risk of health problems and premature mortality and decreasing overall healthcare costs. Wind and solar systems produce no air polluting emissions and do not require water to operate, making them the two most environmentally friendly energy sources available. Biomass systems, on the other hand, emit air pollutants and use water for cooling, but compared to fossil fuels have insignificant environmental impact.
Renewable energy is, well, renewable in its essence. Relying on wind and solar power for fuel, the energy supply is unlimited and inexhaustible. Biomass, on the other hand, consists of animal waste and plant material and requires annual harvests and maintenance to keep the source sustainable.
Boosting the Economy
The renewable energy industry is more labour intensive, rather than automated, which leads to the creation of new job placements. According to an analysis conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), renewable energy creates three times more jobs than fossil fuels, while producing the same amount of electricity, which in turn has a positive effect on the economy.
The costs associated with renewable energy technologies have been steadily decreasing, a trend which is expected to continue as more companies adopt them and markets mature. Despite the required initial investments in facilities, operating at low cost and using fuel that is free, results in more stable energy prices.
Renewable energy systems are more distributed (spread in a geographical area) and modular (composed by separate modules), which makes them more resilient to weather occurrences and equipment malfunctions. This results in lower risk and higher reliability of the systems.
Renewable Energy Sources in the UK:
- Solar Energy – Solar energy is a clean, environmental friendly alternative to fossil fuels, with enormous energy potential. Experts predict that if the UK realizes its renewable energy potential by 2020, 10 million homes will be equipped with solar panels.
- Biomass Energy – the UK’s biomass plants are fuelled by wood pallets, making the country the largest wood pallet importer in the world.
- Wind Energy – With a total of 369,597MW capacity of Global Installed Wind Power in 2014, compared to 318,644MW in 2013, wind energy is the fastest growing electricity source worldwide. The UK wind power capacity in 2014 reached 12,440 MW.
Nexus Energy Solutions specialise in helping businesses find sustainable, renewable energy solutions that are tailored to the individual situation. Contact us today to learn more about our services, including expert advice on available funding and incentives that could help your organisation become more sustainable and environmentally friendly.