In the past, certain technologies like wind and solar posed problems for industry leaders due to intermittent outages. However improvements in equipment and storage have made wind and solar power equivalent to the traditional grid in terms of performance and reliability. Here are the reasons to convert your organization to renewable energy and reap the financial rewards.
Renewable Energy Saves Money
Renewable energy saves business leaders money in the form of tax credits and deductions. Deductions come into play after your gross income is determined and can get you into a lower bracket but not reduce your taxable income beyond zero.
Your business potentially can qualify for the following three credits:
- The business energy investment tax credit. Qualifying businesses receive a 30 percent credit for solar, small wind and fuel cells. They receive a 10 percent credit for combined heat and power, geothermal and micro-turbines. In order to qualify, the business must own the equipment and place it into use in the year the credit is claimed.
- The solar investment tax credit. In order to qualify for this credit, businesses must install, develop or finance solar technology. This means companies who invest in solar without installing their own equipment still can benefit.
- Tax deductions for green buildings. The Section 179D deduction applies to businesses who make certain improvements such as installing new HVAC and electric systems which reduce power use, improve the wrap (floors, walls, roofs, etc) to save energy or install hot water systems. If these improvements reduce company energy use by 50 percent, a deduction of $1.80 per square foot is available.
Another way industry reaps financial rewards by switching to renewable energy is by saving on power bills. The amount of savings actualized depends on the amount of energy produced through solar or wind sources; companies which invest in sufficient grids may not pay any monthly power bill at all.
Historically, businesses making the switch to renewable energy needed to concern themselves with remaining attached to the grid. After all, the advent of giants such as Amazon with their 2-day shipping gave companies added incentive to keep the power on and machines running to meet increasing customer demands. However, recent advances in technology now make the switch easier.
One such innovation is perovskites. While still in the laboratory and not yet available for commercial use, once they hit the market, business owners can paint or spray perovskites on existing silicon panels. Typical cells operate at only 20 percent efficiency; perovskites increase this level by more than 2 percent.
Advances in solar storage promise to bridge the gap between green energy and 24/7 reliability. While most research centers around lithium-ion batteries, experiments with non-lithium alternatives show promise. Flow cells, for example, prove more economical than lithium-ion cells, and experts expect the cells to lead the firming of wind power through 2020.
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