By Michael Zaura
What do beer, iPhones, and Wrangler jeans have in common?
They’re all made by companies who have pledged to have 100% of their electricity supplied by green energy by 2025.
And it’s not just companies adopting green energy policies – cities such as Chicago and San Francisco have also pledged to be powered entirely by renewable energy sources within the next 20 years. In fact, 70 cities across the US have adopted 100% renewable energy ordinances, nearly doubling the number from 2017.
So, what counts as “green” energy, and why are so many people talking about it?
What Is Green Energy?
Green or renewable energy is energy that is not collected from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil). Renewable energy sources are naturally replenished over time.
Sources of green energy include:
- Wind power
- Geothermal energy
- Solar power
- Hydroelectric energy
- Hydrogen and fuel cells
A recent study by the Department of Energy concluded that these resources have the potential to provide 80% of US electricity by 2050.
The introduction of solar incentives into the Illinois and Mid-Atlantic markets has sparked the recent interest in renewable energy sources. And with premiums being as low as 1%, going green is an attainable option for many types of business, not just manufacturers.
Who Benefits from Green Energy?
Using green energy benefits
- The environment. Using renewable resources reduces the amount of carbon dioxide emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
- The US economy. Most green energy investments are spent on materials and maintaining generation facilities within the same state or city from which they are sourced. This creates 5 times more job opportunities than fossil fuels and reducing the need t import other energy sources.
- Your company. Many consumers look at an organization’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices before purchasing from the company. They are more likely to do business with companies that support an issue they care about. Environmental efforts is a major CSR tenant, and a company reducing its carbon footprint is favored by consumers.
How Do I Buy Green Energy?
When you choose to buy energy from renewable sources, you buy your energy in the form of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs or SRECs for solar energy). A REC is proof that 1 megawatt-hour of electricity has been generated by a renewable resource.
Your green energy does not have to come from only one type of renewable resource. For example, one of my customers is a hand soap company whose primary manufacturing facility is in Illinois. The company makes environmentally-friendly products, so having environmentally-friendly energy was essential to their brand identity.
We presented them with four different energy product options:
- National wind energy
- Local wind energy (generated in Illinois)
- Solar power
- General (a mix of different renewable resources)
They elected to use a 100% national wind product for their electricity. While these are just some of the green product options available, the option you choose should align with your company’s values and energy initiatives.
You Can Make a Difference.
How important is renewable energy to you and your company?
Reducing our customers’ carbon footprints is a major goal of Nania Energy Advisors. Last year, we procured 25.5 million kWh in green energy, which is the equivalent of removing greenhouse gas emissions from over 4,000 cars.
I’m passionate about green energy solutions because I want my kids to be able to see the beauty of the environment as I experienced it growing up. Whether it was camping or hiking while I was in the Scouts or my various summers being a caddy or umpire, I’ve always loved being outside and seeing what the environment had to offer. There is nothing like enjoying the beauty of our surroundings, and I hope we can help others share those experiences now and with the generations that follow.
A green energy strategy is easily attainable for your business, and I want to help you discover yours. Contact me to learn how your organization can make a difference.
About The Author
Michael is a Strategic Energy Advisor in the Chicagoland Area. His work in energy specializes in manufacturing, recycling, law and renewable/green energy. Michael helps his clients craft energy strategies specific to their current and future situations. He is passionate about renewable/green energy and its growth – continuously learning through reading and sharing publications. He enjoys spending his spare time with his wife, daughter, and triplet boys.
Michael can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 630-225-4556.