5 Ways Solar Energy Positively Impacts The Environment

Solar energy is one of the most eco-friendly power sources out there. And because of the environmental benefits of solar energy, an increasing number of homeowners and business owners are having solar panels mounted on their properties.

As a green alternative, solar power doesn’t only help reduce power costs but also provides numerous benefits to the natural surroundings. Below you’ll find just a few of solar energy’s most notable impacts on the planet.

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1. Promotes Water Conservation

Water is an essential natural resource, and if people continue to use it unabatedly, it may run out sooner rather than later. Traditional power generation and transmission processes use significant amounts of water to cool generators and refine and transport fuel through pipes. The same is true whether the facility uses natural gas, nuclear power, or coal power to meet massive electricity demand.

Solar energy, however, doesn’t require water to produce electricity, so it doesn’t further strain water resources. Residential solar panels maintenance works only require periodic rinses and removal of debris and other types of obstruction. In addition, it doesn’t give off wastewater, so it doesn’t contribute to water pollution.

2. Reduces Greenhouse Gases And Carbon Emissions

Most of the energy we use on the planet is produced from burning fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide. This chemical compound generates heat once released into the atmosphere, that’s why it’s called a greenhouse gas. It’s said that carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for more than a thousand years, worsening global warming and negatively impacting the weather systems.

With solar panels meeting residential and commercial electrical needs, fossil fuels don’t have to be burned to make appliances and other power-hungry devices work. Making your home more self-sufficient by mounting solar panels on your roof isn’t only a way to reduce your electricity expenses but a planet-saving measure as well since it relies on a stable and renewable energy source.

3. Avoids Strain On Earth’s Non-renewable Resources

The majority of the world’s current power sources, such as natural gas, oil, and coal, aren’t infinite like the rest of the Earth’s natural resources. As the population continues to grow, so are the demands for those assets. This imbalance continues to strain the Earth’s finite resources, such as fossil fuel. In the face of fast-depleting natural reserves, humans should tap other means of renewable energy sources and minimize their use of the current supply available.

Solar Energy Guide for Students

Switching to solar energy is one great way to preserve the planet’s power resources and lower the demand for them. The sun is nature’s main energy reservoir. It’s said to generate about 173,000 terawatts of solar energy per second. Comparatively, the world’s electricity consumption for 2018 was pegged at 23,398 terawatt-hours. Best of all, solar energy is accessible as long as the sun’s still shining.

4. Helps Slow Down Climate Change

When released into the atmosphere, dangerous emissions from burning fossil fuels damage the environment. What’s more, they can contribute to global warming and extremely erratic climate patterns.

Methane, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous oxide can amplify the greenhouse effect. Under normal circumstances, the greenhouse effect is a natural process of warming the earth, making it suitable for life. Unfortunately, processing fossil fuels to generate energy has led to abnormally warmer temperatures at unprecedented rates. As a result, the planet has experienced highly dramatic weather disturbances, including unpredictable atmospheric conditions, violent storms, extreme flooding, and severe drought.

Solar panels produce electricity without emitting dangerous chemicals or toxic gases. As more homes and buildings are switching to the use of solar panels, the current power generation practices are expected to become more environment-friendly. With solar energy, you don’t need to burn fuel and exacerbate the greenhouse effect.

5. Minimizes Air Pollution

Besides the environmentally harmful carbon dioxide, burning fossil fuels can generate other hazardous gases such as methane and sulfur dioxide. These toxic chemicals are released into the air and decrease air quality.

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Such gases can endanger people’s health and well-being. Various health problems are linked to long-term exposure to air pollution. These include lung cancer, asthma attacks, allergies, lung diseases, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and headaches, to name a few. Inversely, you won’t have any of those problems with solar energy since it doesn’t produce toxic emissions that harm people and the environment.

Wrap Up

Energy use is essential for human existence. But common power generation methods, for the most part, have proven to be detrimental to the planet and human beings. Access to sustainable and eco-friendly energy sources should be a priority for everyone, and you can do your part by harnessing solar energy for your own power requirements.

Where Are All the Electric Vans?

The USA is way behind Europe when it comes to electric vehicles, with sales in Europe exceeding 1 million in 2018, while US figures stood at just 750,000. This is despite the giants of Silicon Valley, including Google, Amazon and Tesla, all making strides to offer electric vehicles to the mass market. The area where the contrast is most clear is in regards to vans. While Europe has many on offer, electric vans are almost non-existent on American roads. Where does this leave commercial enterprises looking to cut their carbon emissions?

Europe Leading the Way

Although hardly the norm, it isn’t uncommon to see fully electric commercial vehicles on European streets. German based DHL are selling over 5000 StreetScooters a year, allowing companies to offer battery powered deliveries. Meanwhile, the UK’s best selling plug in van is the Nissan e-NV200. This attractive commercial vehicle is on sale throughout Europe, selling more than 4000 a year. Unfortunately, it is not available in the US.

If you are a businessman looking to cut fossil fuel usage, while driving a commercial vehicle, then you may be better off moving to Europe. Greenhouse gases in the continent fell 22% between 1990 and 2016. The USA is struggling to keep up with the switch to renewable energy sources.

Is Tesla the Only Game in Town?

Don’t worry – it isn’t all bad news for the USA. With companies like Tesla offering their own electric pickup and semi vehicles, there could be a shift in sale trends soon. However, neither of these vehicles are yet to hit the mass market. Other electric truck or van options are few and far between. The likes of Google are focusing their efforts on creating self-drive vehicles rather than venturing into commercial electric automobiles that are wheelchair accessible as well.. 

Other Ways to Cut Carbon Emissions

Keep searching for the perfect electric van for your company. If Europe has them, then you can find one in America. In the meantime, however, consider other ways to cut your carbon footprint. For the running of any electronics, invest in solar power. This has really taken off in the USA and is one of the cheapest options available. You should also try to source products locally and remove plastic packaging from your goods.

EVs really can’t arrive soon enough, but commercial vans and trucks are yet to become mainstream. The USA needs to take a leaf out of Europe’s book and invest in electric vans. In the meantime, consider switching to solar power and taking other steps to reduce your company’s carbon emissions.

Here’s How to Decarbonize the Global Energy System

This pandemic has been a huge wake-up call for both the society and our industries. Everyone, from huge manufacturers to the common person, is finally beginning to choose environment-friendly options. We have slowly but eventually come to understand the importance of our individual roles in saving the planet. Leading companies and industries are figuring out ways on how to decarbonize their global energy systems in the most efficient ways possible. If we achieve 100% decarbonization in our global energy systems, which, as of now, seems like a complex task, the results can be momentous.

decarbonize global energy system

Let us begin by understanding what do we mean by decarbonization of global energy systems. In layman terms, it refers to a decrease of carbon emissions per unit of primary energy. In order to reach this benchmark, there has to be a shift in 3 major domains of the energy systems:

  • Structural Change
  • Technological change
  • Change in the Economic structure

To save maximum energy that is derived from fossil fuels, we see that there is deep electrification of all sectors of the economy, from air conditioners, cars, buses to food production, everything is being electrified. So, is this the way to achieve 100% carbonization? The answer to that is complex. Electrification can largely contribute to achieving net-zero emissions, but other ways, including decarbonization services would play a crucial role.

Let’s take a look at some prominent solutions on how to decarbonize the future:

1. Increased Digitization

To get a hold of environmental deterioration, the first step is to switch energy sources and change energy consumption patterns. The world is drastically transitioning to renewable energy sources from the use of fossil fuels.

In the industrial sector, decarbonizing energy systems can be a reality only if the decision-makers become mindful of their responsibilities and actions. It is imperative for them to adopt technically advanced decarbonization solutions based on extensively researched data. They can even collaborate or partner with other companies to leverage robust decarbonization services and solutions.

2. Low-Carbon Electricity

Low-carbon electricity is the way of the future. It requires reduced dependence on fossil fuels like coal and oil and increasing the use of renewable energy sources. These sources include solar, hydro, and wind. They capture energy from natural sources like the sun, water and wind from wind turbines. Since none of them emits carbon, they are the best way forward in the process of decarbonization and an answer to ‘how to decarbonize’.

The cost of alternative energy systems has dropped sharply in recent years

3. Introduction of Artificial Intelligence

Even though the concept of artificial intelligence is still in progress, it carries the potential to change the face of almost every sector of our society. It will gather and provide insights into more data, bringing the companies’ carbon footprints under purview.

AI’s capabilities can turn out to be extremely profitable for gigantic organizations since their size allows them access to massive data sets, automatically speeding the decarbonization process.

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4. Partnering With Digital Ecosystems

Decarbonization, as an idea, is dynamic in nature. Hence, the field goes through a minor evolution from time to time, coming up with new technologies, concepts, and methodologies. It is nearly impossible for a person to track and apply all these changes.

Diverse service providers are coming up with a plethora of decarbonization services and facilities. Finding an appropriate technology partner is the quickest method to meet decarbonization targets in the most competent way possible.

Bottom Line

The decarbonization of energy sector requires a lot of planning, data collection, research, and organization. To make the project successful, one has to seek expert advice from service providers that share your vision and understand your need for change. So, avail of exceptional decarbonization services to speed up your project for a better future.

Why We Need to Take Climate Change Seriously

Climate change involves and impacts every system within the planet, from ecosystems to fresh water distribution. It’s infinitely complex. But while many causes are still unknown, we do know that the earth’s temperature is rising and that human activity is contributing to the temperature spike noted since with the Industrial Revolution.

While common climate change culprits include increased use of fossil fuels and rising levels of CO2, other causes are lesser known. For example, methane gas from biodegradable waste is a major greenhouse gas. Scientists now say biodegradable waste in dumpsites is contributing more methane to the atmosphere than they thought. Identifying contributors like this helps us make smart choices when it comes to things like waste management.

With that in mind, here are some other causes and implications of climate change that make it something we should take seriously.

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Overpopulation is a Bigger Cause Than You Think

It’s been found that human overpopulation and climate change are scientifically linked. As the influential political economist Robert Malthus noted, “The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man.” In other words, it’s much easier to make new humans than it is to support them. The increase in population brings more demand for natural resources, more land dedicated to farming, more deforestation, and elevated carbon emissions. Population growth and climate change are a perfect feedback loop.

But the implications of maintaining this system are disastrous for the planet and human civilizations. The demand for natural resources to support 7.5 billion people already exceeds what the planet can provide. Experts estimate that humans currently use the equivalent of 1.7 earths worth of resources. That means it takes 18 months for the planet to regenerate 12 months worth of resources. This situation is untenable.

And the challenges to population control are staggering. Most industrialized nations like the U.S. balk at the idea of implementing population controls. But allowing numbers to grow will only meet an inevitable confrontation with fewer resources. Without addressing overpopulation, climate change will continue. And with it, we will see an increase in migration, war, displacement, crime, poverty, disease, and shorter life expectancy.

Climate Warming is Changing Our Oceans

Oceans are big regulators of the planet’s temperature. They absorb and trap heat from the atmosphere — acting like a giant sponge that protects the planet from overheating. The oceans’ layers heat at different rates, with the top layer being the warmest. But over the last 50 years, climate change has increased the temperature of our oceans by 0.3°F. And the ocean’s top layer is now warming at a rate of .2°F per decade.

But what happens when our oceans get too warm? Well, quite a bit. For one, warming oceans increase the rate of melting glaciers and ice sheets. The runoff contributes to rising sea levels, which is already making the consistent flooding of coastal cities and towns a new normal for residents. Less habitable coastal land will bring massive property losses and increased migration by displaced people.

Warming oceans also threaten critical ecosystems like coral reefs, which provide habitats for millions of the world’s aquatic life. The Great Barrier Reef of Australia is already seeing massive “bleaching” effects from warming oceans. And experts predict coral reefs may become all but extinct by 2050 if current trends continue.

Another climate change threat to our planet’s oceans is from increased “acidification” — the rise in acidity from dissolved carbon dioxide. Like heat, oceans also absorb CO2 from our atmosphere and produce half of the oxygen we breathe. Since the Industrial Revolution, increased CO2 emissions have raised the levels of ocean acidification by 30%. Higher acid levels affect calcified shellfish like clams, oysters, and corals by eating away at their protective layers. Any threat to these aquatic species could destroy the entire ecosystem — a system that supplies 15% of the protein intake for 4.3 billion people.

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Climate Change is Affecting Your Health

Climate change brings an increase in the severity and frequency of climate events. More flooding, stronger hurricanes, longer heat waves, and rising pollution are a few consequences of global warming. These heightened weather phenomena also raise the risks to public health in the following ways:

Less freshwater supplies

A warmer climate means melting glaciers. The roughly 150,000 glaciers around the world store about three-quarters of our freshwater supply. As more glaciers near the earth’s poles retreat, their abundance of fresh water runs into the oceans, becoming undrinkable salt water.

Less freshwater will lead to contaminated water supplies and waterborne diseases like cholera and dysentery (already responsible for 3.4 million deaths each year). Rising sea levels will cause sewage backups and water contamination for coastal cities, exacerbating the situation.

A rise in disease-carrying insects

While warming climates will devastate some species like polar bears, it will be a boon for others like mosquitoes, ticks, and crop pests. Stagnant water and growing populations of insects will spread more mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria and the Zika virus. And more insects means hardier diseases that mutate to become resistant to treatment.

More drowning deaths

Larger and more frequent flooding events will lead to higher losses of life via drowning. Floods are the leading cause of death among all weather-related disasters that happen in the U.S. Drowning while driving is a big problem, specifically for flash floods. People desperate to make it home or to safety too often take the chance to cross flooded areas in their cars. But it only takes 18 inches of water to lift a vehicle, roll it over, and trap the victims inside. Flash floods will be a hallmark of climate change, as sudden and violent downpours will inundate populated areas near river valleys and coastlines.

There are many things you can do to help combat and adapt to climate change. Take part in recycling campaigns, use public transportation, turn off your electronics when you’re not using them, and eat less meat. But one of the most effective things you can do is share what you know. Find reputable information and spread the word to your family, friends, and anyone who will listen.

Italy Promises To Eliminate Barriers To Renewable Energy Adoption

By 2030, Rome is expected to install an estimated 70 gigawatts of green energy capacity. But due to lengthy permitting duration, Italy is installing 0.8 gigawatts only every year, according to a report by Reuters. On May 5th, Roberto Cingolani said Italy is set to implement tight measures to streamline the authorization procedure of clean energy projects.

Italy’s previous energy plan unveiled in 2019 revealed it would generate 65 gigawatts of clean energy capacity within ten years. However, the complex permitting process is slowing down the rollout of renewable energy schemes. It also jeopardizes efforts to obtain the EU’s recovery funds and meet climate goals. Moreover, Brussels has reinforced its targets on carbon emissions since then, forcing many states to reevaluate their climate objectives. Below are ways countries, including Italy, can boost the use of more renewable energy.

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1. Get rid of fossil fuel subsidies

Subsidy reforms on fossil fuels plus carbon pricing can generate about 2.8 trillion dollars every year in government revenue by 2030. The report by the New Climate Economy also reveals that implementing carbon pricing systems can be effective in supporting just energy transition.

Governments can use the revenue generated from carbon pricing to provide citizens, especially the poor and groups affected by structural changes, with rebates or tax cuts. This step will also help showcase the value of renewables and energy efficiency, thus discouraging investors from investing in fossil fuels.

2. Improve access to greener energy

Typically, government authorities make assumptions of how much households living with low-incomes can afford for clean energy. As a result, they end up settling for subsidized fossil fuel-powered centralized grid systems. Instead, governments should provide clean and better energy to all, as Freedom Solar states, empower everyone to access clean, affordable, and reliable energy.

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Solar panels are becoming more accessible, for homeowners and businesses

One way to achieve this goal is by investing more in building markets that provide the poor and small businesses opportunities to utilize renewables more often.

3. Encourage investing in energy efficiency

While innovative financing to enhance energy efficiency in buildings boosts economic growth, countries need to rethink and expand their policies. Doing so will help investment in renewables to flow. Some ways of enhancing energy efficiency investments include establishing standards for appliance and building efficiency, innovative funding options, and improved public procurement.

In recent years, countries worldwide are paying more attention to clean energy. However, fossil fuels still account for about 80% of energy consumption globally and 75% of carbon emissions. That’s because of obstacles, such as complex deployment environments for renewable energy schemes and soft costs. Fortunately, governments can boost the adoption of clean energy by eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, encourage energy efficiency investment, and improve access to green energy.

Importance of Waste-to-Energy in Solid Waste Management

Waste-to-energy has been evolving over the years and there are many new developments in this technology, moving in mainly one direction – to be able to applied to smaller size waste streams. Not only is it a strategy that has real importance for the current public policy, it is a strategy that will definitely present itself to additional areas.

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More than 50% of waste that is burnt in waste-to-energy facilities is already part of the short carbon cycle. In which case, it has an organic derivative and it doesn’t add to climate change, to begin with. The long form carbon that is burned, things like plastics that have come out of the ground in the form of oil do add to climate change. But, they have already been used once. They have already been extracted once and what we are doing is taking the energy out of them after that physical use, capturing some of that (energy), thereby offsetting more carbon from natural gas or oil or coal. So, the net effect is a reduction in carbon emissions.

Waste-to-energy and recycling are complementary depending on the results of analyses of the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, which are absolutely valid. One can decide in specific situations whether WTE or whether some type of recycling technology would be more appropriate. It is not an either/or option.

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Waste-to-Energy is now widely accepted as a part of sustainable waste management strategy.

In Austria, it was possible to have an absolute ban on landfilling wastes exceeding 5% organic carbon. This is written in law since 1996. There were some exceptions for some period of time, but landfills of organic wastes are just banned, not just in Austria but also in other cultures similar to Austria – like Switzerland, Sweden and Germany.

Note: This excerpt is being published with the permission of our collaborative partner Be Waste Wise. The original excerpt and its video recording can be found at this link

4 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Green Energy Right Now

According to a study by Ourworldindata, around 11% of global energy comes from renewable technologies, around one-quarter of our electricity comes from renewable energy, and that’s great news for the planet. From hydroelectricity, wind and solar energy, biofuels and geothermal, there are now many alternatives for public and private use. But why should you invest in green energy? What are the benefits of eco-friendly energy sources and why should you care?

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1. It’s actually cheaper!

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, renewable energy is increasingly the cheapest source of new electricity, in fact the cost of photovoltaic energy has fallen by 82% in the last decade! But why is that? Well, the operating costs are much lower for renewable energy plants than fossil fuel and nuclear power plants. As long as there is sunshine there are possibilities of creating solar energy!

If you’re looking for an energy plan for your home, you’ll soon find out that energy suppliers offering renewable electricity are cheaper and more accommodating. They also tend to have environmentally friendly policies with projects such as planting trees every time you sign up for a new contract for example.

2. It’s better for our health

One of the most underrated benefits of renewable energy is the impact on our health. Increases in fossil fuels, road transport or open burning of waste in cities has contributed to air pollution around the globe. The particles found in this polluted air can have a devastating effect on our health. In fact, according to many studies, air pollution increases the risk of lung infections, lung cancer, premature death and asthma.

3. It’s good for the climate

Some of the existing issues the world is facing nowadays are waste and carbon-related, such as the greenhouse gas effect, climate change, and global warming that could also be caused by coal-produced energy.

Too much carbon and other gases are continuously produced on the earth’s surface due to improper waste disposal and coal energy consumption. In return, gas molecules continuously increase in volume, causing global warming.

Because of the greenhouse gas effect and global warming, climate change occurs. This leads to an interruption in the natural climate cycle of the earth due to the high volume of gases produced by carbon emissions and improper waste disposal.

One of the main benefits of renewable energy is the fact that it produces no or very low greenhouse gases. Therefore, it produces much less pollution, resulting in cleaner air and water. Renewable energy is derived from nature so by definition the resources have the benefit of being abundant and pretty much available anywhere.

4. It’s the future

In the future, we are more than likely going to only use climate-friendly energy sources such as the sun or wind to heat and power our homes and businesses. Electric cars will become the norm and more jobs will be created around environmentally friendly energy all over the globe. We’re also expected to see fossil fuel cars disappear in the long run with more and more investment in the green sector.

Going Green For Good

If you’re a business-minded person, investing in energy penny stocks is a good idea. It’s one way to support green energy businesses while earning money. You can invest in companies that look for new renewable energy solutions, such as converting wastes into energy.

Aside from green energy, you can go green or environment-friendly through proper waste disposal. Whenever organic waste decomposes, gases like methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide are produced. Thus, when the sun’s radiation enters the atmosphere, these gases tend to redirect heat in different directions, warming the lower atmosphere.

If everyone uses green energy and carries out proper waste management at home, people could help save the environment. Hence, going green should be a great consideration in mind.

Why Should Your Company Commit to Renewable Power?

Roughly one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from burning fossil fuels to create electricity, according to Climate Collaborative. Using non-renewable gas, oil and coal adds to a rapidly growing carbon footprint, increases global warming and spells disaster for our fragile planet’s future. Companies and large corporations have the ability to make a positive environmental change by committing to transition to renewable energy in the coming months and years. Not only will this benefit our planet, but it also promises success for companies who choose to commit to it.

Reduce energy costs by producing your own energy

Utility bills are a huge expense for businesses, many of which are at the mercy of utility companies that could raise their rates at any moment. Renewable energy is an attractive alternative to electricity and the bills that come with it. Wind installations are one option, but solar panels are even better as they are more predictable, efficient and affordable.

In fact, the cost of renewable energy is dropping at an incredibly rapid rate. The total cost of developing wind power has dropped 55% in the last five years while solar energy has dropped a shocking 74%. These low prices stem from massive global investment and rapid technological advancement. And major corporations that are already using clean energy are only looking to buy more in the coming months.

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Boosting public relations

An increasing number of companies are committing to renewable power to boost public image. Smart businesses know that, in today’s world, renewable power is a source of competitive advantage. Social pressure to reduce emissions continues to rise as consumers look for ways to be involved in saving the planet. This green movement has driven a demand for green products. And companies that can sustainably create these products are winners in the public eye.

Renewable power is also reliable and predictable

Unlike coal or oil, we’ll never run out of wind or sun. This makes the cost and savings of wind and solar power quite stable. Solar panels installed on top of business structures will produce a consistent amount of energy year after year as long as they are properly maintained. This strong reliability makes budgeting easier and ensures a less volatile bottom line.

Reducing carbon emissions

Every one killowatt-hour of energy produced keeps 300 pounds of carbon out of the atmosphere. So, replacing non-renewable energy with renewable resources naturally decreases global warming emissions. And that’s good news for everyone on earth because if we’re left with more carbon than oxygen, it’s going to be a little difficult to breathe.

How Can You Commit to Renewable Power?

The first step in committing to renewable power is shifting your perspective. Take time to personally research these benefits of renewable power. Once you decide sustainable energy is worth implementing, on both an individual and global scale, you can begin to look for ways to create your own strategy.

The best way to brainstorm and execute strategy is to develop a team with specific goals in mind. This team should include members from different departments such as legal, financial, environmental, sustainability and operations. Once there is a team in place, you can begin to integrate energy into the company’s vision and operations.

The team should begin by assessing current energy impacts and how they might change them. Analyzing impact and comparing your own to competitors’ will reveal performance opportunities and gaps. The team can then develop a plan of action. Aggressive targets should reflect the degree and pace of emission reductions necessary to mitigate climate change.

Once goals are outlined, the team must create incentives for employees and consumers alike to make energy an actionable priority. From there, they can measure and manage energy usage as the company transitions from non-renewable to renewable energy sources.

Why Businesses Need to Reduce Their Carbon Output?

According to a recent Nielsen study, 81 percent of consumers feel strongly that businesses should be taking measures to reduce their impact on the environment. This passion is shared across generations, and it’s safe to say that businesses that have little regard for their corporate social responsibility are significantly less desirable to consumers.

Despite this, a 2018 survey by Carbon Credentials found that only 10 percent of UK businesses had strategies in place to cut carbon emissions. Of those that did, none had a set science-based target in their carbon reduction plan. We know that climate change will devastate the economy and drastically increase the cost of doing business. That’s not even mentioning how it will impact resource scarcity and the global population as a whole.

At the same time, businesses that take the initiative to reduce their carbon footprint can look forward to many more immediate benefits. Here’s why your business needs to reduce its carbon output and what you can do to highlight climate action in the sustainability reports.

Cost Savings

Naturally, your expenses go down with your resource usage. From using more efficient equipment to streamlining your transportation operations to recycling office supplies, there are countless measures every business can take to make this happen. Within the first month, you’ll have more money to allocate towards growth – instead of utility bills.

Regulatory and Tax Compliance

Year-on-year, laws are passed to penalise businesses that don’t make an effort to reduce their impact on the environment and reward those that do. In the UK, this includes the Climate Change Levy, the EU Emissions Trading System and capital allowances on energy-efficient equipment, among other schemes.

Public Image

A 2015 Nielsen study of 30,000 consumers found that 66 percent of them would pay more for sustainably manufactured products. Among millennials, that portion increases to 77 percent. Gen Z is known to be even more conscious in this regard. The more your business cares, the more your customers will care about your business.

Employee Morale

In a similar light, going green fosters positive feelings from your employees as well. This has many benefits. For one, your staff will be more productive and motivated to achieve if they know they’re working for a good cause. Additionally, turnover will be reduced as employees will be less compelled to leave a work community that cares.

The Bigger Picture

This should go without saying, but reducing your company’s environmental impact has lasting benefits for your community and the economy as a whole. The likelihood of your long-term success and prosperity is far greater if the environment is in better shape.

What You Can Do

The list of measures your business can take to become more environmentally conscious is quite frankly endless. Get started by taking a look at this post on Utility Bidder, an energy supplier comparison website, about some simple ways that businesses can reduce their carbon output. The internet serves as a wealth of information on this topic.

Implementing greener practises is extremely beneficial to your business and more often than not, it is a dead-simple process. Getting started today will help you reap the benefits and reach your business goals sooner.

Share of Renewables in the UK Energy Mix

The Earth is facing a climate crisis, as the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity and power our cars overloads the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, causing a dangerous atmospheric imbalance that’s raising global temperatures.

A report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released earlier this month cautioned that the planet has just 12 years to dramatically curb greenhouse gas emissions, by overhauling our energy systems and economies and likely, our societies and political systems. Even a half degree rise beyond that would cause catastrophic sea level rises, droughts, heat, hunger, and poverty, spelling disaster for our species.

UK’s Commitment to Climate Change Mitigation

The UK government has committed to reducing carbon emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050, a process that will involve overhauling our energy supply, which is responsible for 25% of greenhouse emissions in the country, just behind transport (26% of all emissions). But it may be too little too late. The government has already said it is reviewing these targets in light of the IPCC report and in the spring began consulting on a net-zero carbon emissions target for 2050.

But despite these dire prognoses and the enormity of the task facing us as a species, there’s reason to be optimistic. The UK has already managed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 43% on 1990 levels, with much of the reduction coming from a 57% decline in emissions from energy generation. This is in part thanks to several providers offering you the chance to have a 100% renewable domestic energy supply.

Reduction in Coal Usage

The use of coal has plunged nearly overnight in the UK. In 2012, 42% of the UK’s electricity demand was met by coal. Just six years later, in the second quarter of 2018, that figure had fallen to just 1.6%. Emissions from coal-fired power stations fell from 129 million tonnes of CO2 to just 19 million tonnes over the same period.

A coal-free Britain is already on the horizon. In April 2017, the UK logged its first coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution; this past April we extended the run to 76 consecutive hours. In fact, in the second quarter of 2018, all the UK’s coal power stations were offline for a total of 812 hours, or 37% of the time. That’s more coal free hours than were recorded in 2016 and 2017 combined and in just three months.

When the UK does rely on coal power, it’s primarily to balance supplies and to meet demand overnight and during cold snaps, such as during the Beast from the East storm in March. The UK is so certain that coal is a technology of the past, that the government has plans to mothball all seven remaining coal-fired power stations by 2025.

Share of Renewables in Energy Supply

The decline in coal has been matched by an explosion in renewable energy, particularly in wind power. In the second quarter of 2018, renewables generated 31.7% of the UK’s electricity, up from under 9% in 2011. Of those, wind power produced 13.3% of all electricity (7.1% from onshore turbines farms and 6.2% from offshore wind farms), biomass energy contributed another 11% of the UK’s electricity, solar generated 6% and hydro power made up the rest of renewables’ pie share.

The UK’s total installed renewables capacity has exploded, hitting 42.2GW in the second quarter of 2018, up from under 10GW in 2010. That includes 13.7GW of onshore wind capacity and 7.8GW of offshore wind capacity—a figure which will get a boost with the opening in September of the world’s largest wind farm, the Walney Extension, off the coast of Cumbria, itself with a capacity of nearly 0.7GW. Solar panels contributed another 13GW of renewable capacity, and installed plant biomass infrastructure reaching 3.3GW.

However, while renewables are transforming electricity generation in the UK, our energy system consists of more than simply electricity. We also have to account for natural gas and the use of fuel in transport, and renewables have made fewer in roads in those sectors.

The UK is meeting just 9.3% of its total energy needs from renewable sources, short of the 15% it has earmarked for 2020 and far behind its peers in the EU, where Sweden is already running on 53.8% renewable energy.

Conclusion

Emissions are dropping overall in the UK, largely due to an ongoing revolution in electricity generation and a decisive move away from coal. But these reductions have concealed stagnant and even increasing levels of greenhouse gas emissions from other sectors, including transport and agriculture.

Our transition to a sustainable economy has begun but will require more than wind farms and the shuttering of coal-fired power stations. It must encompass electric vehicles, transformed industries, and ultimately changing attitudes toward energy and the environment and our responsibility toward it.