Tag Archives: Benefits
It seems to be a common misconception that environmentalism and economic growth are opposed, but nothing could be further from the truth. The economic power of the green movement is most visibly on display in the clean energy industry, which is rapidly growing and innovating daily.
Clean energy impacts residential, commercial, and industrial properties, so how it is supported and implemented is key to how it impacts both the planet and the economy. Here’s a look at programs that support the development and expansion of clean energy, as well as how clean energy is being integrated with our infrastructure today.
How clean energy impacts businesses
Clean energy might not seem, on its surface, like a business issue for anyone outside of the renewables industry. However, on the contrary, it is a powerful cost-cutting measure that carries with it a huge branding opportunity. Not only can businesses save money by harnessing the power of sun, air, or sea, but they can also demonstrate to a consumer base eager for corporate social responsibility that they care about their environmental impact.
Those benefits are driving adoption by more companies. In 2017, companies acquired more than 4 gigawatts of clean energy, the most of any year on record. And already in 2018 companies have acquired nearly three quarters of last year’s total, putting them on pace to easily surpass 2017’s record-breaking acquisitions of clean energy.
Adoption rates also mean that the branding advantage presented by the opportunity to shift to clean energy will soon turn into an imperative. Changing now means companies are responsible kids on the block, but waiting until later means they run the risk of looking like a lackadaisical polluter. As clean energy becomes more ubiquitous, it will be expected, rather than applauded. Large adopters are clearing the way for smaller companies, and clean energy is moving toward something that feels more like mass adoption.
Regulatory support for clean energy
In 2015, the White House established new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) guidelines through the Federal Housing Administration that should help scale up adoption of clean energy. PACE enables low-cost, long-term financing for a variety of energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, storm protection, and seismic improvements. PACE financing is repaid as a special assessment or tax on the property’s regular tax bill and is processed the same way as other local public benefit assessments like sidewalks and sewers.
Depending on where you live, PACE financing can be used for improvements on commercial, residential, nonprofit, light industrial and agricultural properties. PACE is designed to lower utility bills for homeowners, create jobs and help local governments achieve important environmental goals (although it hasn’t been without its opponents).
Real world implementation of clean energy
Technological development and theory are great things, but they are nothing without real action. How we implement clean energy and the market conditions surrounding it are the most important aspects of transforming the way we obtain our energy.
A number of companies use earth-friendly practices and products to provide the homeowner with energy saving solutions, offering qualifiable PACE improvements and upgrades that can be made to a home or business. Many work with financing companies like Renew Financial, a clean-energy finance company led by CEO Cisco DeVries, the innovator of the PACE finance model, to provide solutions that aim to keep the immediate environment clean and reduce energy waste and costs.
Environmental resiliency is certainly an issue across the country. In Florida in particular, homeowners are concerned due to the risks of flooding, hurricanes, and extreme heat.
One company, Evergreen Homes, says it’s seeing an increase in requests for critical property upgrades such as roofing, wind-resistant windows and other energy-efficiency improvements. CEO Ido Stern says it provides customers with a number of options “to make much-needed weatherization and energy improvements that make their properties hurricane safe, and comparable with new construction, while at the same time saving them money and increasing their property values.”
Every dollar saved by the implementation of green solutions and clean, renewable energies is a dollar that can be used in the local economy, boosting growth and improving the business environment. In this way, economic growth and environmental progress go hand in hand. So, the next time someone says you have to degrade the environment to make money, remember that a large sector of the American economy is driven by finding business solutions to critical environmental problems.
TOKYO (Reuters) – The chief executive of Japan’s largest bank expects new business opportunities to appear as digital currencies allow collection of data on how people use their money.
While Japan’s big banks have distanced themselves from bitcoin and other existing digital currencies, they are trying to create their own to provide cheaper and easier means of payments and money transfers.
“We would be able to capture kinds of financial behavior that cannot be collected as data in cash transactions,” said Nobuyuki Hirano, CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), speaking as chairman of the Japanese Bankers Association at a news conference on Thursday.
“We can use the data to create new value.”
Hirano’s bank is developing its own “MUFG Coin” digital currency using the blockchain technology behind bitcoin.
The bank has been conducting experiments with MUFG Coin among its employees, including using the currency to split restaurant bills with each other over their smartphones.
Unlike bitcoin and other so-called cryptocurrencies, MUFG Coin is tied to Japanese yen, so users can exchange it for yen at the same rate as they bought the digital currency.
MUFG has said it plans to expand the experiment to involve all of its 30,000 domestic employees next year.
Japan’s third-largest lender Mizuho Financial Group is also developing its own digital currency, J Coin, targeting widespread use by 2020.
Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by David Goodman
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