Clean energy is given an enormous amount of media attention these days, so much so that it’s hard to imagine that 80% of the world’s energy is still produced from the combustion of fossil fuels. And while that share is projected to drop to 56% by 2050, it’s still staggering considering we are told daily about renewable energy exploits.
As a journalist I can tell you that the reason is a clear one: The world is on a collision course with disaster if it does not dramatically reduce the amount of heat-trapping carbon in our atmosphere. Qualified journalists are experienced in the practice of evidence-based warnings, and so when they see the stats of fossil fuels compared with the imminent climate danger, they cannot help but focus on the problem and its potential solutions.
One of the more powerful solutions in the fight against damaging climate change is that of pure business metrics:
The very simple ability of renewable energy to impact a business’ bottom line.
With the price of energy skyrocketing, especially in recent months due to the tragic Ukrainian/Russian conflict, it is becoming increasingly costly to power business operations. Fortunately, corporations that take the bold step to draw their energy from renewable sources or even manufacture it on their own can be pleasantly surprised at how attractive the ROI actually is.
Onshore Wind Generation
Unfortunately, electricity produced by driving wind turbines started out costly, but with decades of tweaked engineering and economies of scale (in addition to the rising costs of non-renewable energy), energy sourced from wind farms has become markedly more affordable. While wind energy is capital intensive, it requires astonishingly little maintenance, and of course little to no fuel to drive them (the small maintenance costs are primarily devoted to annual paint work and monthly mechanical lubricant costs).
Once installed, the average wind farm in Europe produces electricity at a cost of 3c (US) per kWh over a twenty year period. With eye watering prices of electricity across Europe averaging about 25c per kWh, this kind of investment makes logical sense. And while $3 million per wind turbine seems hefty, its 6 million kilowatt hours produced annually over an average lifespan of 20 years (giving it a total output of 120 million kilowatt hours) is nothing short of miraculous.
It’s no wonder that the extremely declining costs of wind energy have now opened the door to companies shaving as much as 55% off their monthly energy bills!
Solar POWER GENERATION
The golden goose of clean energy is without doubt solar. We all know the astronomical amounts of energy raining down on us daily from the (almost) self-sustaining ball of gas known as our “Sun”. It is estimated that on average, taking into consideration cloud cover, 250 kilowatts of energy hits the earth per square kilometer every 24 hours. At 510 million square kilometers, that’s 127.5 billion kilowatts of energy every day. Per hour, that’s 5.3 billion kilowatts of potential electricity. With the entire global population using approx. 2.7 billion kilowatts every hour, we could be running the world’s complete economy on solar power alone!
Of course, the argument is much more nuanced than that, but the figures are indeed astounding. But how much does solar really cost these days?
With select solar products and adequate engineering companies, installation types, AC and DC cabling, trenching, concrete and foundational lays, and of course battery storage, solar can also be a fairly capital intensive investment. But the results speak for themselves.
The average cost of installing a solar operation that can produce 1 megawatt of electricity per hour (1000 kilowatts) now only comes in at US$900,000! Considering Europe receives on average 1900 hours of sunshine in a year, this equates to $473 per megawatt hour, which gives us 47c (US) per kWh.
Sounds expensive, but that is only the kWh cost per year. If even seen as a mere five year investment, the kWh cost comes in at 9.4c (US), already more than half the current price of electricity in Europe. Make that a ten year investment, and obviously 4.7c is even more attractive. Compare that with Onshore Wind’s 20 year ROI term and you’re looking at 2.35c/kWh!
Just using solar and onshore wind energy alone, it is clear to see that renewable energy is by far and away the most obvious choice of investment for companies to make if they’re looking at reducing monthly overheads. And with the tax incentives of capital outlay, and of course the additional tax benefits of clean energy offered by most governments, these kinds of business choices are just becoming increasingly obvious, the exponentially declining costs of these technologies notwithstanding.
At EcoWatt, we’re committed to the use of clean energy by corporates, and would love to offer any advice your company may need in their exploration of alternative energy sources. Of course our groundbreaking tokenisation of carbon credits is equally attractive to individuals and businesses alike, and we invite you to explore how it works and why it will help you.
We’re keenly aware that converting your business operation, especially swiftly, to alternative energy sources is an almost overwhelming task that can incur insurmountable expenses. EcoWatt’s offering allows your organisation to buy tokens to convert into carbon credits or mint NFTs and immediately begin offsetting your emissions, and start your journey to achieving carbon neutrality. While you plan your long-term sustainable solutions, we invite you to capitalise on our clean energy infrastructure and reap environmental and regulatory reprieve.
Here’s to a more sustainable, and profitable, future for all!