What does 2017 have in store for renewable energy?

March 10, 2017

The future of renewable energy in business may be brighter than expectedAfter a controversial election last fall, many are uncertain as to what 2017 holds for the energy industry. President Trump’s views on climate change, import duties and energy regulation have provoked speculation about the future of renewable energy efforts and energy efficiency in business.

Far from taking any extremes on current (or projected) concerns about energy policy, this article by Forbes shares a surprisingly hopeful view about the success of renewable energy efforts in 2017.

Instead of proposing that sustainability will take a hit, the author of the article shares three reasons why he believes that the opposite will happen.

1. The price of energy will likely increase in 2017, forcing companies to take energy efficiency in business seriously.

Although energy prices have declined in the past few years, it is projected that the opposite will happen in 2017. The article reports:

“…natural gas futures have hit a two-year high and oil prices have continued their march upward.”

Whether or not Trump succeeds in reviving the coal industry (as he has indicated he would like to do), natural gas still remains a more cost-effective solution. In addition to other financial benefits of natural gas versus coal, there are many costs associated with addressing coal’s environmental footprint, thus significantly reducing potential cost benefits.  

2. The demand for renewable energy will increase.

As traditional power costs escalate, green energy costs continue to decrease.

Whether or not subsidies and federal support for renewable energy in business decline, support and programs at the state and regional level will continue to provide financial backing for sustainable business practices.

3. Stakeholders will increase pressure for an emphasis on sustainability.

Contrary to what it may seem, federal and state energy policy have not been the main drivers in corporate sustainability efforts. The article shares:

“It is well-documented that millennials want to work for companies that share their ideals around social and environmental issues, and customers are increasingly showing a preference for companies that show a commitment to sustainability.”

Stakeholders are increasingly embracing the fact that not only are sustainable business practices good for the environment, but the financial benefit of switching to renewables is substantial.  

Regardless of the optimistic projections about renewable energy in 2017, it is important for businesses to take into account rising energy prices as they make budget projections for the next few years, and seek to establish energy efficiency in business.

Read the full article here.

Learn more about how renewable energy policy can impact businesses: Collaboration is Key to Our Solar Future


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