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How Businesses In The Manufacturing Sector Are Using Renewable Energy

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The manufacturing sector has historically been one that isn’t as green as it could be. From contributing to water pollution and contaminating water sources with waste gases, chemicals, metals or materials – manufacturing has a reputation for damaging our planet.

Although that’s not to suggest that there are a whole host of companies out there illegally dumping substances, there are other ways manufacturing businesses have been contributing to global warming. In fact, everything from air pollution, to using fossil fuels and excessive water consumption has left the manufacturing sector with a bad reputation for harming mother nature.

Yet with limited time on the clock left to stop climate change in its tracks, many companies have been rethinking how they do business. For manufacturing companies, one way that the sector is trying to turn back the clock is by using renewable energy sources.

Wondering why? Read on to find out.

Why is using environmentally friendly energy important?

For businesses especially, using renewable energy is the most important action you can take to reduce your impact on the environment. Typically, factories require a lot of electricity, water and gas to power up, and electricity is one of the biggest sources of greenhouses gasses worldwide.

This is because burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide, which is highly damaging to the planet.

Not only does environmentally friendly energy save the planet, but it’s also beneficial for businesses. Renewable energy sources can reduce costs over time as not only is the energy usually cheaper but risks of oil spills and the associated costs are also reduced. There are also government initiatives to help promote green energy sources too.

What are the types of environmentally friendly energy?

Firstly, it’s important to distinguish between clean, renewable and green energy. Clean energy is energy that does not pollute the air. Green energy on the other hand comes from natural sources, such as the sun, or wind. Renewable energy comes from recyclable sources, such as biofuel.

Yet there may be more sources of environmentally friendly energy than you think. For example:

1. Solar energy

If the sun doesn’t rise, the world as we know it wouldn’t exist. So relying on solar energy is a safe bet.
Solar energy uses the energy from the sun to make electricity. Especially beneficial in hot climates, the amount of solar energy that reaches the earth is more than enough to power the planet.

2. Wind energy

Another popular source of environmentally friendly energy is wind power. Perfect for blustery British weather, wind farms are a popular source of renewable energy in the UK and now make up a good proportion of the national grid.

3. Hydro energy

Hydro power is often used for commercial businesses as it’s more viable than wind and solar when it comes to powering commercial premises like factories.

Hydro power is created by building a dam and a reservoir. This is then used to control the flow of water which drives a turbine. This generates electricity.

Rather than tidal or river energy, this energy is a lot more consistent, making it a far more reliable source of energy for businesses.

4. Biomass energy

Biomass entails burning organic materials to produce energy that is far cleaner than burning fossil fuels. By turning agricultural, industrial and domestic waste into energy, businesses especially can have power at a much more attractive price.

For example, if farms are creating vast amounts of animal waste, what better way to create energy than to harness this waste and use it as biofuel? In fact, it’s not just the agricultural sector that are making the move to biomass energy, many manufacturing businesses are making the switch too.

5. Tidal energy

Tidal energy uses the ebbing and flowing of the tides to provide energy. The currents in the ocean cause turbines and paddles to rotate beneath the water, which creates electricity.

Although a great way to harness something so natural, tidal energy is still in its infancy. So it could be a while before you can power a commercial business entirely on tidal energy.

What are the benefits of environmentally friendly energy?

If you’re wondering what benefits environmentally friendly energy will have for your business, you’re not alone.

Going green is seen as a cost to businesses. Yet did you know the opposite is true? In fact, renewable energy could have a positive impact on profits and productivity thanks to its health benefits.

As well as emitting fewer greenhouse gasses and reducing the hole in our ozone layer, using green energy sources also helps to improve air quality around the world for your employees. With low air quality blamed for many cases of respiratory conditions (such as asthma), cardiovascular disease (CVD), and lung cancer – by improving the quality of the air your employees breathe, you can reduce the amount of workers suffering whilst they work. The result? Increased productivity.

What are the business benefits of environmentally friendly energy?

As well as happier, healthier workers, going green also helps business plan their financials more easily. Unlike the undulating costs of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and petrol, green energy sources tend to have better availability and therefore a more stable market value.

This means you can more easily predict and plan for profits and losses.

If that wasn’t enough, renewable energy sources (such as biomass in particular) don’t have to be transported long distances, meaning the costs associated with transportation are also reduced.

What’s more is that you can also boost your brand and tempt in more customers with a green image. With more and more consumers wanting more out of manufacturers and the products they buy, going green can have a far bigger impact on profits than you may think.

What is energy scrubbing?

Energy scrubbing is a process whereby harmful chemicals are removed from exhaust fumes before it enters the environment.

As a result, a good industrial gas cleaning and thermal system to scrub energy can remove up to 99% of unwanted and harmful chemicals and can also be used to cool down gas flows.

For businesses that can’t make a switch to environmentally friendly energy, it’s a great option as it reduces the negative impact of the harmful chemicals.

What is carbon offsetting?

As well as energy scrubbing, another way to reduce the environmental impact of your business is to consider carbon offsetting.

Carbon offsetting is a process whereby an activity takes place to balance out the carbon production. This therefore helps to reduce the overall output from a factory.

Although it may mean your products may have to be sold at higher prices, or lesser profit margins, carbon offsetting helps to slow down global warming, preserve habitats and may even go a long way to attracting new environmentally conscious consumers.

In conclusion

Although the manufacturing sector historically has an uncleanly reputation when it comes to going green, in fact there has been a huge shift towards a sustainable future in the manufacturing sector.

Whether it’s carbon offsetting, using renewable energy, energy scrubbing or otherwise, businesses are no longer happy to sit idly and let the planet suffer. Not only that but using renewable energy can actually be cheaper and go a long way in attracting new customers.

If you haven’t yet made the switch, what’s stopping you?

Article written by:

I am a writer and reporter for the clean energy sector, I cover climate change issues, new clean technologies, sustainability and green cars. Danny Ovy

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