By Ezra Drissman
In a slow economy during a time when people are looking to save money, renewable energy can provide a dual solution. The two biggest expenses for most businesses are labor and utilities. What if a company could use clean energy technology to save on its second biggest cost?
The logic in going semi-off grid is a simple money equation. A medium- to large-size company spends tens of thousands of dollars every month keeping their place of business lit and running. If that company is able to save a substantial amount on electricity, then it will mean more money for labor or research and development.
Many large corporations realized this years ago. Walmart has spent millions to save on electricity, and earned a dose of good publicity at the same time. Google spends millions on renewable energy as a long-term strategy to offset their huge energy costs. These capital investments have led to leaner balance sheets and more profits for these leading companies.
Installing solar panels or any renewable energy source takes an upfront investment. The company will have to hire research teams, engineers and all sorts of other staff, just to determine the right energy source for their company. In my area, a local Detroit company is making that aspect easy and cutting the cost to install large projects.
By taking advantage of cloud computing and other web tools, GreenLancer Energy has lowered the expense for designing solar projects. The result is savings for the client and creation of local jobs.
By GreenLancer Energy’s estimation, for a one-megawatt solar project, about 15 people will be used in the design phase. The installation phase could mean the hiring of hundreds of people.
The relationship between renewable energy and business is crucial. Not only will clean tech save money in a relatively short time, but it will also create high-tech jobs.
Ezra Drissman is the Manager for EcoGreen Ventures, Inc. Started in 2007, the company now runs three informational green sites: GreenCareersGuide.com, Eco20-20.com and GreatGreenIdea.com. Ezra attained his bachelor’s in Public Affairs from Wayne State University. He has been interviewed as a solar jobs expert on Voice of Russia and other media outlets.
Brian Clark Howard is a writer and editor with NationalGeographic.com. He was formerly an editor at The Daily Green and E/The Environmental Magazine and has contributed to many publications, including TheAtlantic.com, FastCompany.com, MailOnline.com, PopularMechanics.com, Yahoo!, MSN and elsewhere. His latest book, with Kevin Shea, is Build Your Own Small Wind Power System.