Today, the quest for green certification is at the forefront of national media and political debates. With suppliers and consumers alike becoming more environmentally focused, the current energy market is expanding to reduce reliance on fossil fuel technologies. Government schemes and incentives encourage industry leaders to follow green certification initiatives in order to reduce the national carbon footprint. As technology advances rapidly, there are a number of options which come to the forefront of the discussion.
Harnessing the energy emitted by the sun is not a novel concept. However, it has taken a significant amount of time and research in order to refine this energy source and increase its efficiency. Currently, there is a significant push in harnessing solar energy as the Government intends to reduce the investment tax from 30% to 10% in 2017. As such, solar energy is nearing grid parity in various parts of the South-West, where the natural climate and sunlight exposure lends itself easily to the installation of roof panels. Across various parts of Nevada, California and Arizona, solar energy is currently priced at $65/kWh, which is a significant decrease in price from levels throughout the 90s.
Investors’ interest in biofuels has fluctuated rapidly over the years, due to an inconsistency in the research and development of such fuels. However, there has been vast improvement in the quality of ethanol biofuels due to significant involvement from the USDA and various universities. Interest in crops such as Jatropha (In 2007 Goldman Sachs cited Jatropha curcas as one of the best candidates for future biodiesel production) continues to rise, indicating a significant global investment in biofuels.
Energy Efficiency at Home and at Work
As public knowledge of climate change grows rapidly, many suppliers are finding ways to increase
Within the workplace, the Better Buildings, Better Plants program aims to challenge industry to achieve green certification with ambitious targets. Over 120 partners and 1,750 plants are involved in the program, each committing to reduce energy use by 25% by 2023. energy efficiency in homes and workplaces. The ‘Smart Meter’ allows consumers to easily manage their energy use in order to keep a tab on their expenditure. However, despite the installation of over 30 million Smart Meters nationwide, the concept has not been as successful as intended. Rather, the inclusion of broadband meters, allowing connected home service and lower costs, has vastly outperformed these meters as customers are responding to the possibility of a communal home service.