Strong green energy spend for businesses last year

According to one source, green energy seems to be a growing preference for businesses, at least compared to previous reports. With so many different pieces to a single supply chain, a strong market for these innovations could be good news for the environment and the sustainability sector.

Reuters cited multiple reports and datasets to show the recent favorability for green energy solutions. One of these was information about the solar contracts per year in megawatts. Measured this way, the amount of energy for each contract surged to 1,056 megawatts in 2016 after just 202 one year earlier. Other data, sourced from the American Wind Energy Association and GTM Research, showed solar as 10 percent of all corporate contracts, compared to the 39 percent accountable to wind.

With this information as a jumping-off point, we can look at some of the specific supply chain connections for different forms of renewable energy.

As with other forms of green energy, the supply sector is just a component of what could make solar viable. An Archinect article touches on this point, saying that the supply chain for energy efficiency can refine itself if the actual use of efficient products gets more prominent. Other possible factors the source mentioned included increased use of electric cars and more widespread energy types in general.

What about solar-powered supply chains themselves? Supply & Demand Chain Executive mentioned the current and planned facilities that the OPEX Corporation uses, including one forthcoming location that will offset its energy spend with solar to be "net zero." The company's vice president of corporate and legal matters, James Liebler, explained the company's position on sustainability.

"The supply sector is just a component of what could make solar viable."

"We subscribe to the idea that we've been given certain resources to take care of, to shepherd and be accountable for," he said. "That includes the environment around us and knowing we should not waste those resources. This all goes back to Al Stevens' vision for what a company should be."

This last comment referred to the company's owner and chairman of its board, and also how deep business values can drive major environmental decisions.

The Department of Energy said that logistics was one of the possible hurdles to more widespread use of wind energy, but also that the amount of revenue from wind technology exports has grown over the years. The source remarked manufacturing has to keep up with the latest turbines, since these can be complicated and demanding. 

Despite this, the advantages of modernizing and meeting the new technological challenges can come in multiple forms. The DoE, for instance, said that it granted millions in funds to help improve logistics for wind.

Solar and wind power may both be popular, but there are still barriers to implementing them more fully. This could be all the more reason for businesses to save money with benchmarking and other tactics so they can invest capital where it's needed for future development.

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