Economies use energy to help them grow. It is needed in many sectors such as manufacturing and mining, public infrastructure, agriculture, and others. Although energy is important in these sectors, economies are realizing the importance of using sustainable energies. They have seen some undesirable results that come with using unsustainable energy and they seek to reduce them.
Energy-efficient technologies are important to consider at an organizational level for any organization seeking to be environmentally conscious. These technologies are using alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar, hydroelectric, biomass, geothermal, which are cleaner and sustainable. Let us see how these energy-efficient technologies can contribute to sustainability:
1. Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Coal, distillate fuel, and natural gas produce carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas. The aim of using sustainable technologies is to reduce the emission of these gases.
With alternative sources of energy, the emission of these gases is reduced. Unlike coal and natural gas, these alternatives do not produce carbon dioxide that can increase the amount of greenhouse gases during combustion. Biomass, for example, has its carbon dioxide neutralized by plants during the natural carbon cycle. So, any carbon dioxide produced during the combustion of biomass is considered neutral.
Interestingly, biomass produces the same amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during decay, which is also a natural cycle.
Fossil fuels, on the other hand, have their carbon dioxide locked for as long as they exist. When not combusted, these fuels do not emit this gas to the atmosphere. Instead, it keeps building up, and when combusted, all the gas is released.
So, instead of using fuel whose carbon dioxide has been building up for years, using alternative sources such as biomass, solar and wind are more sustainable because they do not increase the level of greenhouse gases.
2. Prevents the Depletion of Natural Resources
Fossil fuels occur naturally and are non-renewable. When solely dependent on energy, these resources continue depleting because as the global population increase, the need for more production increases.
Alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar, and geothermal are sustainable options. These sources are renewable and can never be depleted. They are also clean sources of energy. When used, they help in preventing the destruction of natural habitats, reducing global warming, and climate change.
When economies embrace the use of sustainable technologies, there will be reduced demand for energy from natural resources.
3. Help Companies Save on Energy Bills
Companies often spend a lot on their energy bills. But, they can reduce them and have a lower cost of production. It means they can sell their products with better profit margins by either reducing their prices and increasing their demands or selling at the same price. On average, they reduce their energy bills by 75% when they use energy-efficient technologies.
To enjoy energy-saving, a company can invest in wind or solar energy. Wind turbines are used for converting wind into energy while solar panels are used for converting solar into energy. Depending on a company’s need for power, the installation capacity varies.
4. Create Better Living Standards
Emerging and developing economies have a high energy demand. These economies largely depend on non-renewable sources of energy such as coal, natural gas, and oil. These fuels are carbon-emitting and can create health implications.
With energy-efficient technologies, these economies can have access to clean energy. It is environmentally friendly, which means they will have less pollution in the air.
Besides, these sources of energy are easy to obtain because they occur naturally and are renewable. They are also cheaper when compared to non-renewable sources, which makes them affordable. When people from these economies use such energy, they have better living standards in terms of health and affordable living.
5. Reduce Soil Degradation
Soil degradation is a major problem facing farmers around the world. It has been estimated that globally, approximately 40% of agricultural land is degraded. The main causes of soil degradation are poor farming practices, climate change, and human activities such as deforestation, urbanization, and industrial development.
There are several ways to address soil degradation, including improving crop rotation, using cover crops, and applying organic amendments. However, these methods are often expensive and require significant investment.
A new technology called energy-efficient technologies (EETs) could provide an affordable solution to soil degradation. EETs, use solar power to generate electricity, which can then be used to run farm equipment.
6. Job Creation
Economies are using energy-efficient technologies such as wind and solar power to produce power. They have been transitioning from using non-renewable fossil fuels in a bid to reduce production costs and maximize their profits.
The transition from fossil fuel to using clean energy has helped with job creation in many countries around the world. For example, a study by the international renewable energies agency found that every $1 billion invested in renewables creates about 2 million new jobs worldwide. This is because of the increased demand for workers who install, maintain, repair, operate, or sell these systems. So, people are able to earn a livelihood, which improves their standards of living.
Because there is an increasing rise in demand for energy-efficient technologies, there will be a continuous demand for labor. Skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled labor will be wanted during the transition. It means many people, regardless of their qualifications will have somewhere to earn a living.
7. Sustainable Economic Development
Sustainable economic development aims at reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and reducing emissions from waste generation.
The following is a list of some examples:
Energy efficiency in buildings can be achieved by using more insulation materials or better windows to keep heat inside during winter time and cool air outside during summertime. This will save on heating costs for people living there. It also reduces carbon dioxide emission which contributes to global warming.
In the transportation sector, electric vehicles have been developed as an alternative to conventional gasoline-powered cars. These use clean energy that does not interfere with the atmosphere.
Using energy-efficient technologies has many benefits towards creating sustainability and economies should embrace them.