How Environmentally Friendly Businesses are Thriving In 2019

How Environmentally Friendly Businesses are Thriving In 2019


With climate change reacking more and more damage across the globe, many people are becoming more aware of the ecological and environmental impact. This has also had an impact on business, as more people are expecting them to have less of a negative impact on the environment.

Environmentally Friendly Businesses
Environmentally Friendly Businesses. source.

Because of that, business owners, as well as other staff, are doing their best to ensure that their business is as environmentally friendly as possible. While many might expect that this might have a negative impact on your business’ profit margins, it turns out that this isn’t actually the case.

How Going Green Can Help Your Business

Even those businesses that just decide to go paperless are seeing some positive results, although many are seeing more and more positive effects the greener they go, and it’s not just down to the fact that it’s better branding. Many businesses have seen a whole host of benefits after they’ve gone green, and they look certain to thrive in 2019 because of that.

It Increases Profits

Reducing your business’ carbon emissions, even by doing something as little as reducing or eliminating paper usage, has been shown to increase your profits year on year. To take just one example; in a case study of Protor and Gamble after they signed up for a science based reduction in their emissions, they reportedly saved up to $500 million in their first year.

Others who have signed up for the same kind of carbon emissions reduction have also reportedly saved money, although to varying degrees.

So far, it also looks like this saving is set to improve with each passing year, although there’s no evidence yet as to whether or not there’s a cap on how much money businesses can save by going green. Having said that, though, by saving money this way, it ends up increasing your businesses profit margins, so from even just a financial standpoint, being environmentally friendly is the way to go.

Legal & Tax Advantages

While this will vary greatly from state to state, as well as from country to country, there are a number of legal and tax incentives for businesses to go green. This is especially true across America, where a number of states offer a number of incentives for businesses to become environmentally friendly.

For example, Florida offers a sales tax exemption to companies who use a certain amount of green energy, such as from solar panels or other forms of renewable energy. America’s federal government also offers a tax incentive of up to 30% for companies that use either solar or wind energy for the majority of their power.

Not only does this mean that your businesses electricity bills will be lower, but you’ll be saving even more where taxes are concerned.

Attracting More (And Better) Employees

As we’ve already mentioned above, more and more people are becoming increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of what they do, and that includes their workplace. Because of that, many potential employees are more attracted to businesses that are more environmentally friendly.

Because of that, if your business has some form of positive environmental impact, you’ll be better able to attract and keep better candidates for positions in your company. With that in mind, you’ll have less employee turnover, and you’ll end up needing to replace employees a lot less often.

According to some studies, about two-thirds of people said that being environmentally friendly in the workplace was important to them, meaning that if you don’t have any procedures in place to help the environment, you could risk ending up alienating the majority of your workforce. Because of that, you may end up losing top talent to many of your competitors.

It Differentiates Your Business

Everybody want their business to stand out, and not in a negative way. Because of the fact that more and more businesses are going green, if you don’t catch up, you end up needing to play catch up with many of your competitors.

According to several studies, many small businesses that went green ended up getting a bigger market share than competitors that didn’t, and a lot of that was down to the fact that they went green. According to these reports, almost 80% of these small businesses said that going green had an extremely positive effect on their business.

These businesses also saw extreme growth once they became green, with a vast amount of that growth being solely down to their environmental initiatives. While many of these studies were conducted with larger companies and international brands, many small businesses also saw similar growth after they became more environmentally friendly.

It’s More Efficient

Going green has also been shown to make many businesses more efficient, with one of the key areas being in a major reduction of energy usage. Even simply turning off lights and other electronic devices when they’re not in use is not only environmentally friendly, but will end up having an extremely positive impact on your electricity consumption, not to mention your bills.

On top of that, solar and wind energy tends to be a lot cheaper than more traditional methods of generating electricity, so if you were to switch over, it means an even further reduction in your expenses every month. While you may need a certain amount of upfront investment in order to become more dependent on these kinds of renewable energy, over the course of a few months, you’ll end up making that money back, plus more.

With all of that in mind, what kind of business owner wouldn’t want to go green? Between lower taxes, higher profit margins, and a happier workforce, many businesses will have everything they need in order to make their businesses successful.

On top of that, your business may end up having a better reputation among potential customers, so you may end up attracting more customers solely due to how environmentally friendly your business is. Because of that, becoming environmentally friendly will end up making your business thrive in 2019.

Businesses and Homeowners Can Save Energy & Environment This Winter

Businesses and Homeowners Can Save Energy & Environment This Winter


Businesses and Homeowners Can Save Energy and the Environment This Winter
Source.

Wildly popular HBO and fantasy novel series Game of Thrones has given us all a slogan when the colder months roll in: “Brace yourself. Winter is coming.” Considering how high your heating bill may get during the winter, you may feel like you need to brace yourself for an onslaught. However, there are things you can do to save money.

Additionally, saving money on your heating bill this winter can also help to save the environment. Using alternative building materials and energy sources are better for the earth than chewing through non-renewable resources. So not only are you saving your budget, you’re saving the world. 

The steps you can take are simple and approachable, usually only requiring a few phone calls or one installation. In order to reduce our carbon footprint and keep the earth inhabitable longer, we should all be aiming to do a little better for our world. Here are a few things you can do to save energy and the environment this winter: 

Use Alternative Bamboo in Your Home or Business

The environmental impact of using traditional building materials like timber or stone can be quite high. In recent years, recycled materials have become more and more readily available for building, helping to reduce that impact. Additionally, other resources have been tapped into. 

One example of this is bamboo. By growing bamboo, we reduce the rate of deforestation around the world while also contributing to better soil quality, because bamboo doesn’t destroy soil while it’s grown. Bamboo is also inherently biodegradable, so objects made from it won’t sit in landfills for long amounts of time.  

It might not seem like a huge deal to install bamboo flooring instead of other types of flooring, but taking one step toward a better environment overall is better than no steps. You can show off your beautiful home or office, and then tell your friends how much faster bamboo resources regenerate compared to trees. Then you can remind them that we don’t exactly also need bamboo groves to provide oxygen for the entire planet — but we sure do need trees.  

A good place to tap into the eco-friendly nature of bamboo for bHuilding is in installing flooring. In place of getting hardwood floors for your home or business, you can get bamboo flooring. It has a competitive hardness scale in comparison to other types of wood and lasts just as long in high-traffic areas.

Prepare for the Winter

Instead of immediately reaching to crank up the thermostat this winter, you should take a few steps to best insulate and prepare your house for cold weather. These can be as simple as reversing your ceiling fans or leaving the oven open after baking. They can also be a little more thorough. 

One investment worth making is small coverings to block drafts. You can get small floor pillows at most general or hardware stores in your hometown that you can put along window sills or door jams. Drafts are a main cause of skyrocketing energy costs, so putting something to block hot air leaking out of your house can be a huge asset to your budget. 

You can also be proactive before the winter months by installing double-pane glass in your windows. This can reduce your energy costs by up to 24 percent in cold months because it better seals heat into your home. You’ll be able to watch the snow outside without ever feeling a chill from the window!

It can also be helpful to talk with your family about ways to stay warm that don’t involve cranking the heat. Make plans to have a family fireplace night, where you can roast marshmallows and tell stories to one another. You can also remind your children to put on a sweater first before asking to turn the heat up — sometimes snuggling in a sweater is nicer anyway.

Invest in Alternative Energy Sources

Despite what you may have heard, alternative energy sources are reliable and affordable ways to get energy for your home while helping the planet. You can enjoy your home, staying cozy in the winter, while knowing that you’re contributing to the growth of an energy source with longevity — something that not every resource has. Fossil fuels are non-renewable, while wind-powered turbines will run so long as air patterns continue to move. 

The best way to get started using alternative energy sources in your home is to call your local power company. Some states have programs where if you sign up for renewable energy sources, you’ll get a discount on your bill. In other places, you get perks like a stable bill throughout the year. 

Regardless of the bonuses, investing in renewable energy is a step toward investing in the earth.You’ll also be investing in your savings by keeping your bill down during the cold winter months. By saving the world and your budget, you can take your family on an exciting vacation adventure once the sun comes back out — and that’s a win-win.

The Key Types of Renewable Energy for Commercial Use

The Key Types of Renewable Energy for Commercial Use


The Key Types of Renewable Energy for Commercial Use
The Key Types of Renewable Energy for Commercial Use

In 2017, 18% of the electricity used by the United States came from renewable sources. Up 3% from 2016, this figure is double the amount of renewable energy consumed just 10 years earlier. 

Despite indications from the Trump administration that funding for renewable energy could get reduced, market forces will ensure the renewable trend continues. In fact, by 2021, solar energy will cost less than coal. 

Read on to learn more about the different types of renewable energy and how they can make your business more sustainable.

Solar Power

Photovoltaic systems rely on solar cells to capture energy directly from the sun. These systems represent the most recognized forms of solar energy. But there are many other innovative ways to harness the power of the sun’s rays. 

Let’s take a look at some that are having significant positive impacts for businesses across the country. 

For example, buildings can be heated with a solar hot water system. This system circulates water through flat-plate solar collectors.

Industrial and commercial buildings can also use this solar power strategy to heat, cool, and ventilate on a larger scale. 

The sun’s rays can be collected and concentrated via mirror-covered dishes to boil water. A conventional steam generator uses the steam from the boiled water to create energy. 

Other business uses of solar power include installing a commercial solar power system. That way, your enterprise can participate in a solar power purchase agreement (PPA).

Wind Power

When turbines get turned by wind flow, they capture the energy produced and convert it into electricity. This concept comes from the much older and smaller-scale practice of using windmills to pump water on farms. 

But how can wind power help your company become more sustainable? Avariety of commercial-grade wind power generating systems are readily available. The energy from these systems can help offset your enterprise’s electricity costs.

For example, you can use the electricity created by single-wind turbines to decrease your utility costs. Or, you can purchase electricity from a wind farm through a wholesale power market.

Either way, you’re helping the environment and your bottom line. Does it get any better than that? 

Geothermal Power

Besides solar and wind power, geothermal energy represents another renewable energy source. How? It utilizes energy from heated rock and hot water reservoirs located deep beneath the earth to create electricity. 

From small-scale geothermal heat pumps to large-scale power plants, there are many ways to leverage the constant heat source lurking below the surface of our planet. 

Geothermal power can help grow greenhouse plants, too. It gets used to warm water at fish farms. And it’s even used to heat manufacturing plants and buildings.

Finally, some members of the dairy industry rely on geothermal power during the process of pasteurizing milk. 

Hydroelectric Power

You’re probably familiar with hydroelectric power plants such as Hoover Dam. They rely on dams to trap water in reservoirs.

This water is then released from one reservoir to another. In the process, the water passes over trbines, creating electricity.

As the water flows over the turbines, it generates electricity. The term for this is “pumped-storage hydropower.” To control electricity generation based on consumer demand, water passes from lower and upper reservoirs.

Hydroelectric power plants vary in size from micro-hydroelectric power systems to massive projects like the previously mentioned Hoover Dam.

There are also plants known as “run-of-river hydropower” facilities. Here, dams aren’t required. Instead, energy is generated by funneling part of a river through a channel.

Small towns use moderately-sized hydroelectric power plants to harvest the energy of local waters. Micro-hydroelectric plants are great for powering agricultural operations such as farms and ranches. 

Bioenergy 

Bioenergy is a renewable energy source that comes from materials such as:

  • Forest debris
  • Scrap lumber
  • Some crops
  • Some types of waste residues
  • Manure

As you can see from the list above, biomass refers to any organic matter from once-living plants and animals. Although bioenergy creates about as much carbon dioxide as fossil fuels, there’s one huge difference.

In order to produce replacement matter once it’s burned, you’ve got to grow more plants. These plants end up removing about as much carbon dioxide from the air as bioenergy creates. So, the overall environmental impact remains minimal. 

Biomass materials are used to produce liquid fuels for transportation. These include biodiesel and ethanol. Biomass can also be used to create heat for other types of energy.

Besides burning biomass, you can let it decompose. During this natural decomposition process, methanol gas gets produced, which can also be captured and used as energy. 

Hydrogen Power

The most abundant element on the planet, hydrogen’s found in organic compounds. Some algae and bacteria also produce it under the right conditions. While high in energy, hydrogen creates almost no pollution. 

This makes it an excellent element to harness as renewable energy. You can use hydrogen fuel cells to convert the chemical energy into electricity. The byproducts of this process are heat and pure water. 

Hydrogen energy can power marine vessels. Large hydrogen fuels cells also provide a source of electricity for buildings and remote locations. 

But the price of hydrogen cells proves cost-prohibitive for many businesses. That said, watch for innovations and developments in this area of research to help bring costs down in the near future. 

Types of Renewable Energy

You’ve probably heard more about solar and wind energy than any of the other types of alternative energies on this list. But, they’re all poised to have continued positive impacts on the future of energy. 

Now that you have a better understanding of the types of renewable energy available, how will you work to make your company more sustainable? 

Not sure? We can help.

At Survival Renewable Energy, LLC, we specialize in helping people realize the importance of renewable energy sources and environmental conservation. Continue reading our blog to learn more about renewable energy and how it can power your future.

How to Be Environmentally Conscious in Your Home Search


With global warming on everyone’s mind, when shopping for your dream home, be on the lookout for more environmentally-friendly houses. We all contribute to the environmental impact, and if you can lessen your carbon footprint with your new abode, you are doing your part to reduce yours. 

How to Be Environmentally Conscious in Your Home Search
How to Be Environmentally Conscious in Your Home Search. source.

Buying a new home is such an exciting endeavor but also fraught with some stress and decisions. Often you start with a big list of wants but then end up having to compromise something. When searching for your next home, be aware that there are dozens of opportunities within the house for an environmentally-friendly option. It’s all about prioritization. 

Figuring out if a home is eco-friendly may seem confusing or complicated, but it’s not. These tips on finding an eco-friendly house in your area should help you in your home search.

Make Sure Your House Has an Eco-Friendly Fireplace

A fireplace is the heart of the home, adding warmth and comfort to your living space. However, traditional fireplaces are not very eco-friendly and are quickly being replaced by greener alternatives. Wood-burning fireplaces can put toxic chemicals in the air while also devastating our forests. 

When touring a new home, ask questions about the fireplace. Some modern options that are much better for our environment are ethanol, electric, eco-friendly wood burning, pellet, and gas fireplaces. Each has its own advantages depending on the fuel sources you select. Before you select the perfect home, consider the fireplace type.

No fireplace will be utterly devoid of impacting the environment, but you can select one that limits dangerous exposure of chemicals and depleting our natural resources. Electric fireplaces are considered the most eco-friendly and affect the environment the least. They have dozens of models and designs to fit any style.

After Purchase, Make Your Home Greener

If the house you purchase does not include all the eco-friendly features you wanted, you can implement them after your own it. Depending on complexity and cost, you can do a few things now and some of the more extensive ones over time. The first thing you might want to do is hire an agency to do an energy audit and identify the areas that need work.

One quick and easy eco-friendly idea is installing a programmable thermostat like a Nest. You can set the temperature on timers, so the heat only comes on when you want it to and other times stays off conserving energy. Replacing your light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs also saves money and energy. 

If you really want to make an impact, install solar panels on your roof to power your whole house; this is a great eco-friendly idea. Putting in underfloor heating also helps save on using the furnace and swapping out the shower head for a more eco-friendly model saves water. Updating your insolation with recycled materials help to keep your home warm in the winter and cooler in the summer.

The Eco-Friendly Final Touches

When time and money affords, you can install wooden, double-pane windows to protect your investment and keep the elements outside where they belong. When painting the exterior or interior of your new home, use water-based, low-VOC paints with natural pigment.

Every little bit helps, including buying supplies and food locally rather than having things shipped. You can even seek out natural, recycled furniture and fixtures for your home and decorate it knowing you are also supporting our planet and future generations. Load up your home with smart technology that helps turn off the lights, turn the heat down and regulate energy efficiency in appliances and other mechanical devices in your house.

No matter where you live, there will always be environmentally-friendly options for your new home. Even if you have to find special contractors who only deal in natural, recycled products and supplies, you can have the eco-friendly home you have always wanted.

In your home search, you should consider choosing environment friendly options

Mass Effect: What Is Biomass Energy and How Can It Be Used?


Many conventional energy sources, like fossil fuels, come with seriously harmful environmental impacts. Scientists predict that without major adjustments to save the environment, the Earth will cross an irreversible threshold by the year 2036. Biomass energy can form part of the solution.

What is biomass energy? This renewable energy source has been around for thousands of years, but many modern people still haven’t heard of it.

If you’re interested in saving the environment with different energy sources, this guide is for you. Read on to learn how biomass energy can help turn climate change around and preserve the environment for the future. 

What is Biomass Energy?

Mass Effect: What Is Biomass Energy and How Can It Be Used?

Biomass energy simply means pulling energy from living things. When prehistoric humans first harnessed the power of fire, we started using biomass energy. One of the best ways to extract energy from once-living plant matter is to burn it.

In short, biomass means using organic matter for energy. This can include wood and other plant matter, but it can also include other surprising energy sources, like animal dung. The sources of biomass energy are known as “feedstocks.” 

Biofuels made from plants, like corn, form another type of biomass energy. These plants are converted into fuels before getting turned into energy, but the concept remains the same. 

Most biomass energy is renewable because plants can be grown and harvested again and again. That’s why biomass is such an environmentally friendly option.

Uses of Biomass Energy

What do people use biomass energy for? Let’s take a look at a few different types of biomass fuel to better understand their applications.

1. Industrial and Agricultural Waste

In some industries, the waste produced can get used as biomass fuel in different applications.

For example, some industries produce waste products like wood or uneaten food. The waste wood from a logging company can be burned as fuel for other applications. Waste food can be used as compost that will fuel new food growth.

In fact, compost can even create electricity. Composting in an anaerobic (without oxygen) condition creates gas that, when captured, can be used for electric power.

Old vegetable oil can be turned into bio-fuel to power vehicles. Farm waste, like straw and dung, can be burned and turned into power or heat. It can also be composted and reused as fertilizer.

It is important that people are careful with how they treat waste. Some waste creates emissions when burned that cause more harm than good. But many times, industrial and farm waste makes for great biomass energy sources.

2. Crops

Sometimes, the biomass feedstocks don’t come from waste. Many crops are grown specifically because they can be made into useful fuel sources.

A wide variety of crops can be used to make biofuel. Fermented sugar cane and sugar beet can make bioethanol. Fast-growing trees like poplar get converted into wood chips, which can generate power and heat as fuel sources. 

Corn is one of the biggest crops used in biofuels. However, other plants, like wheat and grasses, also play a role in biofuel production. 

3. Wood

Aside from fast-growing crop trees, other wood sources have their own place in biomass energy production.

In fact, wood might be one of the oldest and best-known biofuel sources. Every time you build a fire, you’re generating heat using biomass energy.

However, wood also has used outside of domestic settings. For example, combustion plants can make electricity using wood as the source. 

There are many other sources of biomass feedstocks, aside from these basic categories. One of the biggest challenges is figuring out how to make biomass useful at large scale. As new sources and methods get tested out, people can make biomass energy more sustainable than ever.

Biomass Energy Production: Where Does Biomass Come From?

Now that you can see the sources of biomass energy, let’s take a closer look at how these feedstocks get turned into useful energy sources.

Many different processes get used in biomass energy production. These are some of the most common, using the materials listed above.

1. Gasification

In this process, the feedstock gets exposed to extremely high heat and minimal oxygen.

The heat breaks down the molecules of the feedstock into a liquid called slag, which can be used in construction applications. Other molecules become syngas, made up of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. This syngas gets cleaned and harvested, and then can be burned for electricity or heat.

2. Firing

Firing might be the easiest form of biomass energy production. It simply refers to directly burning the feedstock, so it will produce steam. That steam, in turn, can be made into electricity with the help of a turbine.

Sometimes, biomass gets “co-fired” alongside a fossil fuel. While this process still uses fossil fuels, it means you need fewer fossil fuels for the same application. 

3. Anaerobic Decomposition

This term refers to harnessing energy from the composting process.

In anaerobic decomposition, microorganisms that don’t need oxygen feed on the biomass feedstock, breaking it down. The methane gas produced by this process may not smell pretty, but it forms a valuable energy source.

4. Pyrolysis

Another method of making biomass energy with heat is called pyrolysis. This method involves lower temperatures than gasification and no oxygen at all. 

The biomass energy source goes through chemical changes and turns into syngas, an oil called pyrolysis oil, and biochar, the solids left behind. All three of these can then get turned into energy.

For example, the biochar works the same way charcoal does, while the oil may someday be a good substitute for petroleum.

How Biomass Renewable Energy Will Change the World

The answer to “What is biomass energy?” is long, as you can see. Many different sources and processes can be used to create this renewable energy source. But the most important thing about it is that these natural sources won’t run out.

Someday, biomass energy will change the world by fueling our lives in less-harmful ways. It’s already applied in countless industries. As the problems with fossil fuels grow, biomass energy will only become more popular.

Wondering what’s slowing biofuel development down? We have the answers. 

California Wildfires Are a Devastating Result of a Major Crisis


California Wildfires Are a Devastating Result of a Major Crisis
California Wildfires.

The Camp Fire ravaged the town of Paradise in Butte County, CA, like an apocalyptic nightmare. This devastating blaze claimed the lives of at least 85 people and decimated 14,000 homes.

As investigators pour through the rubble, questions outnumber answers by far. What caused this deadly inferno? More importantly, how can we prevent horrific tragedies like the Camp Fire from occurring?

What Sparked the Blazes?

While investigators lack a clear cause for the Camp Fire as of yet, one likely suspect has emerged: Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). In the autumn of 2017, downed PG&E power lines sparked 17 wildfires across northern California.

Investigators have not eliminated other possibilities, such as a carelessly tossed cigarette or a stray ember from a barbecue. Months may pass before Cal Fire, the squad responsible for investigating the cause of the fire, obtains a definitive answer.

Regardless of the initial cause, strong winds coupled with low humidity levels left the residents of Paradise with little time to flee. But even once investigators determine the initial spark, ignoring the precipitating factors behind the Camp Fire and other wildfires will inevitably lead to future devastation.

The Climate Change Connection

The link between climate change and the recent increase in natural disasters is so clear that it could practically be seen from outer space. For the past four years, California has experienced record heat, and from 2012–2016, the state suffered a crippling drought. When the rain finally began falling again in 2017, forest undergrowth exploded, providing ample fodder for hungry flames.

New technologies can do much to minimize fire risk, but these tools won’t stop wildfires and other disasters until we start using greener energy alternatives. But while green energy catches up, measures such as using satellite imagery to ensure treetops don’t contact power lines can eliminate some risk.

Minimizing Future Fire Risk

While nothing could have stopped the Camp Fire once it began, homeowners and residents in high-risk fire zones can take proactive measures to decrease their risk of fire. Preventing fires has, sadly, become a way of life for the time being for many residents of Northern California.

All residents should create a fire safety plan. All multi-family residential dwellings such as apartment buildings must draft a plan for evacuation in the case of a blaze and ensure that exit routes are clear of debris and adequately marked.

In addition, residents must take common-sense measures to reduce their risk of fire. Everyone, regardless of whether or not they live in a fire zone, should equip themselves with several fire extinguishers for different areas of their home.

Residents should also exercise care in supervising kids and pets around open flames like lit candles. They should take care not to overload clothes dryers, which can risk a lint fire. Property managers must ensure that all units have functioning fire detectors and remind residents to test them monthly.

Can Clean Energy Prevent Future Fires? 

As much as preventative measures help, they can’t eliminate the utterly destructive power of large wildfires. Politicians must take action to address climate change to prevent future disasters.

California leads the way in green energy initiatives. The state passed an initiative requiring 50 percent of all electricity to come from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar by 2030. Other states with high wildfire risk, such as Arizona, would do well to follow California’s lead.

Change needs to come from the federal level as well. Despite President Trump’s claim that climate change is a hoax, the vast majority of scientists agree that failing to address global warming will only lead to future fires along with other natural disasters and more lives lost. Already, the health of many has suffered due to smoke from wildfires, with minorities and poorer citizens at greatest risk of negative health outcomes.

If politicians fail to act to address climate change, the destruction wreaked by wildfires will continue to spread. The time for a federal green energy initiative has come, and delay will be deadly. Continuing to ignore climate change will result in further loss of life, property and economic opportunity.

Taking immediate action to combat global warming is the only way to save lives and prevent future wildfires.

The Pros and Cons of Wind Energy (Why the Pros Far Outweigh the Cons)


The US runs on energy from non-renewable sources, with coal, natural gas, and oil providing the majority of the nation’s energy. Researchers hypothesize these resources will diminish completely within 50 to 200 years.

The Pros and Cons of Wind Energy. source.

However, there is access to a renewable source that is both plentiful and free: wind. 

Wind power is an ideal and convenient go-to for energy, but there are pros and cons of wind energy homeowners. Many feel the cons outweigh the benefits.

But do you want the truth? Wind power has more benefits than you think. We’ll show you why.

The Pros and Cons of Wind Energy

Wind energy has long been seen as a source of power. In fact, the first windmill used for electricity production was created in 1887 in Glasgow.

Since then, wind-generated power has captured the attention of researchers, environmentalists, and businesses as a potential resource.

But everything has its benefits and disadvantages. So let’s start with the cons.

Disadvantages

There are several clear disadvantages to wind energy.

1. Back-Up Energy

For individuals or businesses who live in areas with sporadic winds, a form of backup energy may be necessary. 

Wind relies on temperature and air pressure for creation. Because the wind isn’t always present to create and/or store enough electricity for use, some individuals will have to rely on electricity from non-renewable sources for power. 

For some, this is an extra expense and an unwanted strain on the environment.

Experts are working hard to overcome this difficulty by focusing their efforts on increasing the efficiency of wind farms. However, it’s expected this trial may not be completely overcome for some time. 

2. Initial Expense

Many potential windmill users also shrink away due to the initial cost.

Prices vary from $10,000 to $100,000, but the average cost of a wind turbine to power a residential home was $30,000 in 2014. Although that price is quickly decreasing, it’s a hefty sum to provide upfront.   

But don’t worry; as you’ll see soon, the upfront cost is more than worth it.

3. City Restrictions

Zoning restrictions can also be troublesome for home or business owners hoping to invest in wind energy. Many city ordinances do not allow wind turbines in certain areas. 

In fact, some locations only allow these structures in agricultural districts. For cities that do permit them within city limits, there are often strict guidelines that must be followed. 

4. Space and Aesthetics

Some people love how wind turbines look. Others hate it. 

Although many things can be done to improve aesthetics, those considering wind turbines must understand the volume of space these structures require. The amount of land needed depends on how much electricity is required for your household or business. 

Some individuals will need very little land for a turbine. Others may need well over an acre. 

Further, residential turbines must be 500 feet away from and/or 30 feet above any obstructions, meaning some planning and foresight is required for installation. 

Advantages

Yet even with these few disadvantages, wind power remains one of the best resources for our needs. 

1. Clean Power

The power received from wind turbines is clean. It doesn’t pollute the environment. 

Fossil fuels, on the other hand, rely on combustion to be usable. As a result, they pollute the air, contributing to a steadily-decreasing air quality, global warming, and other hazards. 

2. Renewable

Wind energy is also renewable. It won’t disappear anytime soon and it doesn’t require we deplete what few remaining sources we have. 

In contrast, fossil fuels are disappearing at an alarming rate. 

By installing a turbine, individuals get ahead of the game. When fossil fuels become scarce, they will have a dependable energy source to fall back on.

Likewise, if emergencies occur, a source of power remains available.  

3. Money-Saving

While it’s an excellent choice to support and protect the environment, it’s difficult to do with strict budgets. Yet wind power is becoming increasingly cheaper. 

In fact, if individuals take advantage of long-term contracts with companies utilizing wind energy, they pay half (or less) the cost of working with electricity from a natural gas power plant. 

Let’s put that into perspective: on average, US consumers pay 12 cents per kilowatt-hour for electric. Recent advancements in wind energy coupled with long-term contracts reduce that amount to 2 cents per kilowatt-hour. 

Furthermore, the US government offers a tax credit for homeowners and business owners utilizing small wind electric systems. This has a significant impact on reducing upfront costs. 

4. Credits

What happens if your turbine produces more electricity than you use? The answer is one of the best parts of wind energy. 

You get credits for it. 

Most states allow homeowners producing excess electricity to have credits added to their electricity bills. That means if you are paid for it.

This offer, referred to as net metering, usually extends to commercial and industrial owners as well.

5. Maintenance

Wind turbines require little maintenance, and their parts last for long periods. In fact, the average lifespan of a small, domestic turbine is 20 years. 

The US Department of Energy points out that annual maintenance includes:

  • Tightening bolts and connections
  • Checking for corrosion 
  • Replacing worn tape on the blades

The blades themselves last for a decade or more.  

6. Job and Economic Growth

In addition to helping the environment and minimizing your electric bill, investing in wind turbines also helps the economy. 

Over 100,000 jobs were created in 2016 alone because of this industry. And it’s growing at increased rates. 

Recent innovations are driving the costs related to wind down, meaning more companies, universities, and individuals are signing contracts for this type of energy. 

It’s a growing sector that is only going to get larger. 

7. Innovations in Efficiency

If you’re worried wind won’t produce the energy you need at the rate you need it, don’t be. Recent advancements are making turbines more efficient than ever, and residents and business owners alike can take advantage of the new technology. 

In a few words, wind power is becoming more efficient and less expensive. 

Get Blown Away

Although there are clear pros and cons of wind energy, the advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages. This clean source of energy is creating jobs, reducing bills and getting more efficient by the year. 

But that’s not all that’s interesting about wind energy. 

Are you ready to get blown away? Then read about some mind-blowing wind energy facts and be prepared to sail away on the breeze. 

Climate Change Facts: The Dirty Truth & The Consequences



Climate change analyzes the long term repercussions of weather patterns and occasioning changes in the land surfaces, oceans and ice sheaths. The weather pattern encompasses all the elements impacting the state of the atmosphere such as wind, rainfall, temperature and humidity. The weather changes can be forecast up to one week in advance while the statistical properties of climate change typically take decades to evaluate. Majority of climate scientists believe humans are responsible for the ongoing climate crisis. Human activities can lead to direct increases in nitrous oxide, CO2, methane and manufactured greenhouses such as halocarbons. Climate Change Facts: The Dirty Truth. source.Carbon pollution arising from fossil fuels burnout is one of the main culprits for planet warming. There are also several natural processes that contribute to climate change such as internal variability in the climate system and changes in the sun’s radiation. A climatology excerpt published on the Wired magazine reveals that greenhouse gas emissions attributed to humans emanate from a variety of engineered sources, including factories, vehicles and planes. In terms of statistics, the concentration of CO2 on the planets lowest atmosphere layer stands at 407 parts per million. This figure is much higher compared to the 380 ppm recorded just 10 years ago. The consequences of global warming can be detrimental to the survival of humans and other life forms on the planet. Scientists believe up to 75% of all humanity could be exposed to deadly heat waves by the year 2100 if concerted efforts are not made to reduce CO2 emissions. The rise in sea surface temperatures is a huge concern to environmentalists. The warming can cause serious problems to the coral existence. Corals release photosynthetic algae that aids in extracting energy from the sun. The sea surface temperature rose 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit between 1901 and 2015. Scientists began tracking climate change back to the Industrial Revolution. It is worth noting that the US and other Industrial nations started using coal-fired factories to produce steel and textiles in the late 1700s. The fumes from coal are rich in carbon. To analyze the net effects of climate change, we must understand how global warming occurs. The phenomenon starts when the concentration of the gases in the atmosphere creates an insulating blanket that makes it difficult for the heat from the sun to escape. The resulting pressure causes the warming of the air and global warming. It is important to note that the energy from the sun plays a pivotal role in determining the earth’s climate. One of the factors is the intensity of light. When the solar energy hits the surface of the earth, it reverberates to space as heat or infrared radiation. Greenhouse effects arise when infrared radiation is impeded by gases present in the atmosphere. The greenhouse gases, mostly constitutes methane, water vapor, and carbon dioxide. The signs of global warming are clearly evident across the US in states such as California, New York, and Texas. California has recorded a spate of wildfires that have caused untold suffering, from loss of life and property damage to serious environmental degradation. According to researchers, the state receives little rain that helps rehydrate the vegetation.However, the precipitation is not nearly sufficient to ward off the effects of warming. The situation is made difficult by the dryness that coincides with the seasonal winds from the eastern shores. Besides wildfires, scientists are also worried about the rising cases of flooding and anomalous hurricanes. Concerns regarding global warming have forced governments across the world to seek lasting solutions to climate change. Case in point, the much touted Paris agreement set out the goal for maximum global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius. However, there are fears the temperatures go as high as 4.9 degrees Celsius by 2100. The Paris accord came into force a few days before the election of Donald Trump as the President of the US. During the campaign period, the president promised to pull the country out of the Paris accord. He made good his intentions in June 2017, but the country technically remains a party to the agreement. The earliest opportunity the US can formally withdraw from the accord is in the year 2020. The Trump administration and the recently elected government in Brazil are widely seen as hostile to the Paris Climate bid. The other industrialized nations across the world are not faring any better when it comes to conforming to the climate action. According to the Guardian newspaper, 15 countries in the G20 reported a rise in emissions in 2017, a development that is out of step with the Paris Climate Agreement. The study established that as much as 82% of the energy used by the G20 nations is derived from coal, gas, and oil. The development comes at a time when G20 nations committed to spend about $150 billion on subsidies aimed at increasing the use of renewable sources of energy. The energy sources being targeted by the ambitious program include wind, geothermal and solar. According to the report, the worst offenders to the Paris accord were Russia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.China remains the biggest emitter in spite of its efforts to reduce dependency on coal. India was the only country on course to achieving the Paris Climate Agreement of 2 degrees Celsius. Climate experts believe internal political pressures and growth in fossil fuel subsidies will remain key impediments to the realization of the climate action goals. The situation may prove unattainable if governments are forced to reduce emissions in agriculture and the transportation sectors. Most of the solutions being advanced by experts to fight climate change encourage a shift from fossil fuels to renewable forms of energy. The latest entrant is energy from hot hydrogen fusion. A UN Climate talk dubbed the COP24 conference is slated for Poland at the end of the year 2018. The UN hopes to use the conference to push governments to deliver on the promise to minimize carbon emissions. According to Wired Magazine (2), the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC) 5th assessment report released in 2014 set out over 100 scenarios for keeping the global average temperature at below 2 degrees Celsius. The strategies largely depend on yet to be released, carbon dioxide sucking technologies. However, several carbon sucking geo-engineering models are being tested to gauge their effectiveness and commercial viability. 

Natural Gas to Dominate Energy Market in United States?

It looks like all of the sudden natural gas has become one of the hottest energy topics in United States and all of the sudden almost all major energy analysts believe that natural gas will become game changer that could even slow down the future development of renewable energy technologies.

We are talking here about currently one of the cheapest energy options, and its low prices will very likely remain low in years to come, mostly because of the significant technological improvement, with the most noticeable being of course the shale gas extraction.

In light of all this, even US president Obama recently talked about this energy source as one of the obvious energy solutions for United States. Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel, accounting for significantly less carbon emissions compared to coal, some environmentalists would say the least evil of the fossil fuel triumvirate. This is why many energy experts talk about it as clean energy source though this is not the case because despite emitting significantly less greenhouse gases compared to coal, it can still end up as the major contributor to climate change and global warming.

Natural gas is primarily used for heating, and then for electricity generation. Lately there has been also talk about the natural gas powered vehicles, and we’ll soon see whether this market will become success in years to come. In any case, it looks like this segment of energy market is living its Renaissance in United States, and by the current looks of it, this positive trend will not end any time soon.

Hopefully, this situation will not slow down the development of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal.



Source by Ned Hall

Electric Vehicle Recharging Stations Investment Opportunities

Venture Capital companies and Investor Owned Utilities (IOU) invest in electric-vehicle charging infrastructure. Some stations include covered solar panel charging stations. Cities across America are implementing electric vehicle (EV) charging station in downtown areas and suburbs fostering support for electric cars.

This green energy momentum is very visible. Will this market ever complete with gas stations? Lawmakers in Washington passed a bill to allow electric power utilities and IOU’s to invest in the electric-vehicle charging sector. These investments receive the usual rate of return approved by the PUC.

Regulators in many states not prohibited investor-owned utilities from selling electricity at retail charging stations. Can anyone envision pulling into a Shell or BP Station to find electric vehicle charging stations situated near the air compressors? When will the changes in the automobile industry be reflected in the gas station industry? Electric cars travel 75 to 179 miles on a charge. This problem currently prohibits cross-country travel in electric vehicles.

There are over 23,000 charging stations in the U.S. This infrastructure cost investment exceeds $130 million. These infrastructure costs decrease as technology improves and public support increases. Large areas across Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California are great states for this new investment.

Utilities operate large transmission and electrical grids and invest in major infrastructure projects. They are ideal investors and backers for building out charging station networks. Investors could include the automobile companies with large electric vehicle divisions.

This type of investment is permissible in the deregulated subsidiaries of Electric Investor Owned Utilities like ConEd Solutions, NRG, and DTE Energy Investments. The returns can be higher and often better or more efficient technology can be found in this area of venture capital. The return on investment in small and medium sized towns could be 8% to 12%. Many cities will want to own and control these investments. Data generated from these stations will help city managers place more as demand increases.

The green energy markets are expanding in commercial and industrial business. Imagine major corporations installing many EV recharging stations as part of their annual employee goodwill expenditures. This will happen soon.

Will pension fund money enter into this sector? Hedge funds and other energy investment investors will enter this arena as the electric vehicles market matures. Ford, Toyota, and Tesla are selling many electric vehicles. This makes sense in a country filled with environmentalists and a nation determined to do the right thing in moving our auto industry forward.

©2016



Source by Dr. Rebecca Stone