More energy companies than ever are investing in new technologies and techniques to fight climate change and source energy responsibly. These sustainable energy companies are blazing new trails and leading by example.
Many energy companies have recognised the necessity of, and increased demand for, sustainable energy. By transitioning to greener technologies in solar, wind, biofuel, geothermal, and hydroelectric, the following four energy companies have successfully started leading society towards energy independence.
1. Element Solar
Element Solar installs residential, commercial and utility solar panels. Offering a personalised experience using AI technology, customers can decide where they send their power while reducing costs from their electric utility bills.
Although AI technology in solar panel systems is not operable at night, daytime sun absorption and solar batteries can provide enough energy to power a household until morning.
This type of solar technology has started to become far more commonplace in recent years. For example, the US has seen an impressive uptick in solar panel installations, with overUSD$25 billion in private industry investments in 2020 alone. The increased interest in solar power has reduced the costs of installing solar panels by 70% over the past 10 years.
In addition to offering a fully customised solar experience, Element Solar is paving the way for solutions-based renewable energy research and sustainable education with their parent corporation, Element Renewables Group (ERG).
ERG is broken down into three different subsidiaries with individual sustainability missions:
- Biomass Group: Located in Southeast Asia, the Biomass Group aims to restore forests, replace fossil fuels with certified biomass and support the local economy.
- Energy and Water Group: In Southeast Asia, the Energy and Water Group provides clean energy solutions and water systems to rural areas to support quality of life.
- Solar Group: Located in North America, the Solar Group (Element Solar) improves the carbon footprint in residential and commercial structures by providing advanced solar solutions.
What’s more, Element Solar donates 250 watts of clean energy for every solar panel system installed in developing countries. Other projects include mass tree planting of over 30,000 hectares and building a hybrid renewable energy system to provide power to 570 homes in the Philippines.
Based in Denmark, Ørsted has been named the world’s most sustainable energy company for three consecutive years. Ørsted’s investments in offshore wind farms and bioenergy and thermal heat power plants have made it the largest renewable energy development company with a target of going carbon neutral by 2025.
To reach its goal of carbon neutrality, Ørsted intends to implement the following strategies:
- End the use of coal at all power stations by 2023 and begin to move away from their oil and gas business operations.
- Use their offshore wind farms to convert power stations to certified biomass.
- Install an offshore wind capacity of 11-12 gigawatts by 2025, or enough wind power for 30 million households’ annual energy consumption.
After nearly three decades in the business, Ørsted has earned its top ranking as a renewable energy trailblazer while helping to transform the energy market and spark interest in large-scale green technologies.
Even though wind power is growing in popularity as a renewable energy source, lower-than-average wind speeds, cost inflation and supply chain issues have caused widespread problems for companies that produce wind turbine technologies.
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Headquartered in Bilbao, Spain, Iberdrola’s combined energy generation makes it one of the world’s largest electric utility companies and suppliers of wind power.
The company is involved in the manufacturing, distribution, trading and marketing of electricity and operates out of Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Brazil. Currently, Iberdrola delivers electricity and natural gas to over 2 million customers in New York and Maine.
In the Renewable Energy Companies and Human Rights report published by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) in 2021, Iberdrola scored above its energy competitors in identifying and preventing impacts on human rights.
More recently, Iberdrola expanded its solar energy portfolio by signing onto 17 solar projects — equivalent to 800 megawatts of capacity — in the United Kingdom. By 2025, the project aims to power 220,000 households, enabling Iberdrola to achieve its carbon neutrality goals in Europe by 2030.
4. NextEra Energy, Inc.
NextEra Energy is a US-based utility company and the largest wind and solar power supplier. Although still a producer of oil, natural gas and nuclear power plants, it has helped reduce US reliance on foreign oil by 98% since 2001.
NextEra Energy subsidiaries include Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), Gulf Power Company and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC.
In its 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, the company highlighted the following sustainability and renewable energy initiatives:
- Reduce its emissions by 67% by 2025, to the same levels as 2005.
- Generate an expected hundreds of millions of dollars and reduce millions of tons of CO2 emissions after shutting down all coal-fuelled power plants in Florida.
- Deliver low-cost wind and solar power to customers.
- Focus on renewable energy projects, such as producing 100 gigawatts per year through 2050.
- Decarbonise parts of the economy with green hydrogen while creating $1.7 trillion investment opportunities in green technology.
- Establish wildlife programs aimed at preserving and protecting biodiversity, including specialised avian and crocodile conservation programmes and the Everglades Mitigation Bank.
Building a Sustainable Future
As global drivers in creating more significant renewable energy, these four sustainable energy corporations have laid the blueprint for other companies to follow suit in 2022. Some of the strategies include:
- Integrate advanced technologies that allow for easier monitoring and management of energy flow and improve efficiency in billing processes.
- Invest in renewable energy like solar and wind to reduce consumer costs and boost market demands. In the next two years, increased wind and solar projects are expected to decrease costs by 27% and 74%, respectively.
- Promote a sustainable supply chain by sourcing green materials, cutting operational emissions within their own companies, developing a long-term sustainable production process and utilising energy-efficient equipment.
Renewable Energy Is Good for Business
Energy companies are working hard to stay ahead of emissions-reducing regulations, find sustainable solutions for energy resilience and improve the environment. With more sustainable energy projects on the horizon, reduced costs will lead to even more investment opportunities and a brighter tomorrow for the energy sector.