Updated: Apr 10
Image Credit: Pexels Businesses must always keep up with trends. This helps them become perceived as leaders in their industry, allows them to stay competitive, and provides them with new opportunities to improve themselves. Our post entitled ‘Reinvent Business - Sustainably’ outlines that one thing that businesses must adapt to is sustainability—specifically, the US’ goal to become powered by renewable energy by 2050. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the commercial sector is responsible for 35% of the country's total energy consumption—just a little more than the industrial sector (27%) and less than the residential sector (37%). As such, businesses play a significant role in ensuring that the country meets this renewable energy goal. Moreover, many consumers are choosing to support businesses that prioritize sustainability, one of which is using renewable energy. Consequently, businesses must keep up with renewable energy this year.
Using predictive analytics for solar panel maintenance There’s a saying, "Prevention is better than cure”, meaning it’s better to prevent something from happening than deal with its consequences. In terms of renewable energy technologies—like solar panels—preventing damage is better than repairing it. This is especially true since they cost an average of $16,000, which will impact a business’ budget. To prevent this, Maryville University notes that one technology changing businesses is predictive analytics. Usually, businesses utilize this for other purposes, such as targeted advertising. This technology collects information about consumers, then shows them ads according to their interests to boost sales. For solar panel maintenance, predictive analytics forecasts its faults. As a result, businesses know when to schedule a maintenance check or replace a part to prevent major damage. Ultimately, it saves money and ensures they can continue using solar energy for their operations. SmartHelio is a solar energy company encouraging its clients to use predictive analytics to protect their solar panels from damage. Switching to electric vehicles to lower emissions The Inflation Reduction Act, published in August 2022, pushes businesses to use clean energy as one of their primary goals. To comply, many companies are switching to electric vehicles (EVs) to lower their emissions and take advantage of renewable energy. Business Insider reveals that EVs are greener than gas-powered cars as they reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 52%. This is due to its use of electricity—which can be sourced from renewable sources like solar energy—instead of fossil fuels. While manufacturing EVs isn’t completely green due to processes like mining for its materials, it’s still better to use. The University of Michigan’s study on electric cars reveals that an EV only takes 1.4 years to make up for its manufacturing footprint. Thus, in the long run, using EVs is more sustainable—especially for companies that repeatedly transport goods. Multinational consumer goods company Unilever has begun using EVs to deliver its products in hopes of cutting 25% of its emissions by 2025.
Investing in renewable energy storage
Renewable energy comes from uncontrollable sources. For instance, if there is no sunlight, solar panels won’t have anything to collect and transform into usable energy. This is why investing in renewable energy storage will be common among businesses in 2023. Improved battery technology makes this possible, enabling facilities to store excess renewable energy until it’s needed. Therefore, businesses can be assured that they have power even during unstable natural conditions. This makes renewable energy more reliable, allowing more companies to gain confidence and use it long-term. The energy storage company 'Nostromo Energy' holds renewable energy in ice capsules situated on commercial establishments’ roofs or between walls. A chiller charges these ice capsules with surplus energy that can be used later. Currently, the Hilton Beverly Hills uses this technology for its facilities. Utilizing IoT for efficient wind energy collection
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology that enables the addition of a device to an Thank youobject. TechTarget says that one of the IoT’s applications in businesses is environmental monitoring. When connected to an object like a wind turbine, the IoT monitors its condition and measures its environmental parameters. Knowing this information, businesses can have more efficient renewable energy collection. For example, if the IoT senses the weather conditions are too dangerous to run wind turbines, the people in charge can turn them off to avoid accidents. If the IoT detects strong incoming winds, it can adjust its shaft speed to increase blade rotations to collect as much energy as possible. Siemens Wind Power is one company experimenting with the IoT for better wind turbine control and energy collection. Companies like these seek to have more businesses transition to this renewable energy by showing how efficient it can be. To remain competitive, attract environmentally conscious consumers, and become industry leaders, businesses must stay updated on renewable energy trends. This year, keep in mind the trends mentioned above to improve your business’s renewable energy decisions.
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*** Jackie Brickston is a freelance writer who enjoys topics surrounding sustainability, social media, and employment. In her spare time, she practices yoga and attends interpretative dance classes.
Written for: www.greenisms.com