Environmental sustainability may be a growing metric of corporate success as companies seek opportunities to expand while reducing adverse impacts on humans and therefore the environment. Energy consumption may be a critical component of this effort, and renewable energy plays a crucial role within the overall strategy. While corporate sustainability goals and carbon reduction objectives have helped motivate such decisions, the very fact that a corporation can now lock during a low, long-term fixed price for renewable energy has driven a dramatic increase within the number and rate of economic and industrial (C&I)renewable purchases, contributing to the continued growth of the industry. Wind and solar power have made incredible strides, and battery storage technology is playing an increasingly important role. The subsequent objective for sustainability-minded is promoting the deep decarbonization of our economy in an attempt to forestall the foremost disastrous and expensive impacts of global climate change, to work out where we go from here, let’s take a flash to reflect on where we are.
Thanks in large part to effective policies like tax credits and renewable portfolio standards, renewable have grown from a little , almost negligible a part of our energy mix to a crucial component of any diversified energy portfolio. A constant investment ambiance has allowed renewables to grow, achieve economies of scale, and establishes domestic manufacturing and O&M services: wind turbines and solar panels have increased productivity. Better computer programming and networked sensors have provided better micrositing and more efficient plant maintenance. Efficiencies within the domestic supply chain have reduced transport and currency exchange risk. These causes have connected to bring down costs abruptly. Renewable is now competitive in most markets even without subsidies.
"We need a paradigm shift in brooding about how utilities and grid operators function within the 21st century"
Modern energy markets have aided the combination of more renewables into the electrical grid for utility access and have allowed C&I customers to directly procure renewable electricity. Technology advancements also are allowing renewables to play an ever-larger role in securing and maintaining a reliable grid. Using sophisticated controls and power electronics, modern wind and solar plants can provide an equivalent grid reliability services as their thermal counterparts, and in many cases even better and at lower cost, enhancing grid resilience and reliability. Combined with advanced grid technology, these enhancements are allowing grid operators to manage multiple variable technologies simultaneously and render reliance on “baseload” generation a thing of the past.
Additional transmission expansion and upgrades are needed, and where they need to be implemented have proven valuable in terms of improved electric reliability, reduced electricity prices, more competitive electricity markets, and better efficiency of electricity transmission.
To wit: within the Southwest Power Pool, transmission expansion and upgrades have produced savings 3.5 times their cost, while Texas electricity prices went down by 19 percent from 2008 to 2014 with new communication that brought more gas and wind online. When transmission is made correctly, it saves money.
I would be remiss to omit mention of the advantages renewable technologies have delivered to the broader economy. The renewables sector has attracted many billions privately investment, and turbine technician and solar installer are the 2 fastest-growing jobs within the country. Between operational and manufacturing facilities, renewable energy provides jobs altogether 50 states. Concurrently, landowners who own projects enjoy compatible land use, maintaining their livelihoods in agricultural production while getting steady land lease and royalty income. Surrounding communities enjoy local taxes and company contributions to community initiatives. Moreover, C&I customers progressively locate facilities where renewable resources are ample, driving extra economic development. Importantly, this investment supports a big number of communities with low-income population or high child poverty rates. Transmission expansion provides a further opportunity to take care of rural American vitality, even while lowering electricity costs for all ratepayers.
Businesses can look to the vast benefits already realized by growing renewable energy penetration and make significant investments to continue the trajectory. However, deep decarbonization would require not just a continuation of current renewable energy efforts, but also a concerted effort to affect the whole economy.
We need a mixture of investment in both long-range transmission infrastructure to access the foremost robust resources and therefore the application of advanced grid technologies to assist the present system work more efficiently. We'd like a paradigm shift in brooding about how utilities and grid operators function within the 21st century. and that we need advocacy for policies that promote a stable investment environment for continued innovation in clean technology, with a corresponding ramp-down in incentives still subsidizing fuel resources from the 19th century.
Energy is the foundation upon which all other segments of the economy are built. Once we take the maximum amount of carbon out of electricity generation as is economically feasible, we will more smoothly move to the electrification (thus decarbonization) of transportation, manufacturing, and buildings. The results are going to be a virtuous cycle of investment, technology innovation, and economic development resulting in sustainable businesses and a sustainable future.