Companies are realizing that renewable energy is good for business

Companies are realizing that renewable energy is good for business

The conservative city of Georgetown, Texas, runs on renewable energy. After all, wind and solar power are more predictable and easier to budget than oil and gas. Clean power pushes may be associated with more left-leaning cities, but Republican mayor Dale Ross called the switch to renewables a no-brainer.

On November 14, Joe Brown, editor in chief of Popular Science, and Ali Velshi, anchor at MSNBC, teamed up to discuss why going green is often more than the best ecological decision. It’s often the best business decision, too.

The pair discussed natural disasters, which cost taxpayers billions of dollars. In 2017, at least 15 weather events cost the government more than a billion dollars each. “The most expensive events we have in the U.S. are floods,” says Velshi. The money spent preparing for and preventing these events—by raising houses and bolting bookshelves—pays itself back double, triple, and even quadruple times over. And as scientists continue to find evidence that climate change makes these storms worse, it’s increasingly clear that the mitigation of global warming should be at the top of our list of preventative measures.

But companies and private citizens often fail to prepare properly because the money spent on prevention is private, whereas costs after the fact are often allotted through government organizations like FEMA. Many fail to connect the cost of switching to renewable energy with the eventual savings of avoiding natural disasters. “I think anyone who knows anything about science understands this is a problem,” says Velshi. “But if you don’t live near the coast, it may not register.”

On an even larger scale, the costs of switching to renewable energy are larger up front, though they save money in the future. For example, Denmark struggled to store its wind power in a way that allowed them to save it for times of high electricity demand. Then they encouraged residents to buy electric cars. Now these vehicles act like moving batteries, and people can sell the energy back to the grid when the cars are parked. “They are giving people monetary incentives,” says Brown.

Source: Popular Science

Date: December 2017

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