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How Tetra Pak Has Embraced Renewable Energy

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RE100 on the Rise

Did you know Europe and North Africa could run on 100% renewable energy by 2050? As foreign nations continue to invest in renewable energy, the U.S. should also make it a top priority. Today, there are over 130 corporations that have made the commitment to go 100% renewable through the RE100 initiative. Tetra Pak has jumped on board with the RE100 initiative to reach 100 percent renewable energy. As a multinational packing giant, Tetra Pak has a massive impact on the environment.

Tetra Pak explained that their renewable energy has grown from 20 percent in 2016 to 50 percent today. Tetra Pak, which specializes in providing high-quality processing and packaging solutions for food, has factories in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and South Africa that all use 100% renewable energy. They have committed to going 100% renewable by 2030 and have progressed towards this goal by installing solar power infrastructure at their facilities and purchasing International Renewable Energy Certificates. This approach is in line with their mission to maintain a commitment to being socially responsible.

Tetra Pak’s vice president for sustainability, Mario Abreu, stated, “Through the purchase of renewable energy certificates, we are investing in the development of infrastructure to increase the availability of renewable electricity. Meanwhile, we are also exploring opportunities to scale up our own on-site solar power installations.”

What is an International Renewable Energy Certificate (I-REC)?

An International Renewable Energy Certificate keeps track of the energy that companies consume outside of North America and Europe to ensure that it comes from renewable energy sources. This is a global standard that is being introduced around the world, and in countries where nothing like this previously existed. This is a way for companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and improve their sustainability ratings across the board.

Embracing Renewable Energy

Several global companies are investing time and money into reducing their carbon footprint. RE100 is a collaborative global initiative of influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity that unites more than 130 corporations working to increase corporate demand for – and the delivery of- renewable energy. Ikea, Apple, Coca-Cola, eBay and Facebook are among many of the companies that are a part of this initiative. Since the initiative has been launched, it is now being recognized in India, China, the United States and Europe.

The move towards 100% renewable energy is now a global effort.  Intersect Energy,   offers innovative and efficient solutions to help move your company towards a renewable energy future. We are committed to providing analysis, financing and structuring of alternative energy solutions to reduce the environmental impact and maximize savings for companies.  Stay up-to-date with all the happenings at Intersect Energy by following us on LinkedIn!

Fastest Growing Jobs are in Renewable Energy

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Renewable Energy Jobs

As Renewable Energy continues to grow in popularity, there are more and more people pursuing careers in the field. According to an article by the Columbian, an increasing number of students are enrolling in the Northwest Renewable Energy Institute, a program offered by the International Air and Hospitality Academy. Students are drawn to the program because of the potential of strong starting wages and the expected growth of renewable energy jobs across the United States.

With more companies pushing towards using clean energy and going green, more employees who specialize in renewable energy are needed. The fastest growing jobs within the renewable energy sector include clean car engineers, sustainable builders, and sustainability professionals. As a matter of fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that solar panel installers and wind turbine technicians are the two fastest growing renewable energy jobs in the United States. Let’s take a deeper look at the increasing need for wind turbine technicians and solar installers as the renewable energy industry continues its rapid growth.

Wind Turbine Technicians

A Wind Turbine Technician is the single fastest-growing occupation in America according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For this profession, you must know how to maintain wind turbines (inspect, diagnose, adjust, repair, etc.). Most wind turbine technicians have attended a technical or community college for 2 years on average. However, obtaining a job in this field does not require a college degree, and has an expected 108% growth rate for its projected 10-year growth.

Solar Installers

Another fast-growing occupation within the renewable energy industry is solar installation. With solar energy expanding at an exponential rate, there is an increased need for installers. This trend seems likely to continue with recent reports stating that wind and solar will be cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020. For young people looking to get started in a rapidly growing industry, solar energy shows great potential.

This is the best time to enter into the solar energy field and become a part of the renewable energy movement. “For the most part, energy efficiency is invisible. But it’s made a huge difference both economically, in jobs, and for the energy sector as a whole,” said Sean O’Leary, a spokesman for the industry. Intersect Energy is your source for the latest news and alerts regarding the Renewable Energy industry. For more information, contact us here!

U.S. Corporations Continue to Invest Renewable Energy

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Renewable EnergyOver the last year, renewable energy usage has become a pressing issue for corporations nationwide. On June 1, 2017 the Trump Administration announced that the U.S. would be backing out of the Paris climate agreement. This agreement was intended to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change and increase their ability to deal with the effects of climate change.

In spite of the decision by the Trump Administration, many U.S. corporations have continued to follow the Paris Agreement by investing billions of dollars in wind and solar sources to power the operations of their companies. Malcolm Wolf, the senior vice president for policy at Advanced Energy Economy, explained: “Corporations have not slowed down their appetite for renewables under Trump – if anything, it has continued to grow.”

The Growth of Corporate Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is growing rapidly and becoming more cost effective for corporations due to the decrease in wind and solar prices. According to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the cost of renewable energy is falling so fast that the prices of fossil fuels and renewable energy will be similar by 2020, and it should be cheaper than fossil fuels within the next couple of years.

Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief who delivered the Paris agreement, said: “The economic case for renewables as the backbone of our global energy system is increasingly clear and proven. Offering ever greater bang-for-buck, renewables are quite simply the cheapest way to generate energy in an ever-growing number of countries.” It makes financial sense for corporations to switch over to renewable energy.

Google and Apple are two of the top companies leading the way in renewable energy. In recent months, both companies have announced that they have purchased an amount of renewable electricity that could power all of their data centers and facilities around the globe. Although Google and Apple are not 100% powered by renewable energy, the advancements that they have made in recent years are definitely a huge step forward.

Future of Corporate Renewable Energy

Although the U.S. is no longer involved in the Paris Agreement, U.S. corporations are striving to increase renewable energy, and they play an extremely important role in the future of renewable energy.

These companies are transforming America’s grid by introducing a new era of low-carbon power. Intersect Energy is committed to providing analysis, financing and structuring of alternative energy solutions to reduce the environmental impact and maximize savings for companies. In turn, this helps move the country towards an alternative energy future. Stay up-to-date with all the happenings at Intersect Energy by following us on LinkedIn.

New Homes in California to Run on Solar Energy Systems

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Solar Energy Making Progress in California

California Solar EnergyIn the United States we are seeing solar energy rise not only in popularity, but in efficiency over the past decade. Other countries, such as China, have created national policies which have made them a world leader in developing innovative strategies to harness solar power for their strategic power needs. In the U.S., the west coast is leading the country when it comes to the application and pursuit of solar energy.

California Solar Energy in Residential Homes

This leads us to the recent energy efficiency building standards that require newly constructed residential buildings in California to use solar energy as their primary source of power. Morten Lund, chair of the Stoel Rives Energy Storage Initiative and former chair of the Solar Energy Initiative, was quoted saying, “This is massive…a big ‘I told you so’ on how state and local action can overwhelm federal obstruction.”

Customized Solar Energy Systems

The Californian Energy Commission (CEC) evaluated rulemaking provided by the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards on May 9, 2018. These standards state that new homes must be equipped with solar PV systems that are customized for each structure. The solar PV systems need to be designed to appropriately accommodate the specific homes they inhabit. According to data provided by the CEC, the future use of the solar PV systems is projected to provide approximately 200 MW of evenly distributed energy per year in California. The U.S. Energy Information Association claims that California generated 5.7 GW of small scale power provided by solar PV as of May 2017.

The new building standards are designed to focus on four different areas: smart residential solar PV systems, updated thermal envelope standards, residential and nonresidential ventilation requirements, and nonresidential lighting requirements. All these areas will amplify the performance of the solar PV systems and focus the goal of solar expansion in a domestic direction.

The Future of Residential Solar Energy

With the mandate for the inclusion of solar power generation in all future residential homes in California, we get to witness communities almost entirely run on solar energy in the years to come. Intersect Energy proudly shares renewable energy news and information to all our customers and those interested in seeing renewable energy expand. Stay up-to-date with all the happenings at Intersect Energy by following us on LinkedIn!

Wind Power on the Rise in the U.S.

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A Reliable Alternative: Wind Power

Wind PowerWith the pursuit of renewable energy on the rise around the world, many countries have put forth an investment. Among the most popular, and reliable, is wind energy. With its growing popularity in the U.S., wind power could eventually be the leading power provider in the country.

A Brief History of Wind Power

Wind power dates back as early as 5000 B.C., as the Egyptians used the power of wind to propel their boats down the Nile River which is 4,258 miles long. Fast forward to present day, where wind energy is harnessed by wind turbines that utilize giant propeller blades and are pushed by the wind. In turn, the movement from the blades powers an electric generator located at the base of the turbine, where the electric current is produced and stored.

Wind Power Statistics

Wind turbines have earned more than $100 billion in private investments in the U.S. since 2008. Wind energy has avoided an estimate of 159 million metric tons of CO2 – which is the equivalent of reducing power sector CO2 emissions by around 9%, which equals 33.7 million cars’ worth of carbon emissions. Intersect Energy offers analysis, financing, and structuring solutions for companies interested in exploring this renewable energy source.

Germany is currently the world leader in wind power capacity, generating 22,247 megawatts, which accounts for 24% of the world total. While Germany is the world’s leader in power generated, the U.S. is leading in the installations for the third year in a row producing, 5,244 megawatts of wind capacity added. In fact, there is a new turbine added to the U.S. every couple of hours. In 2016, 5.6 percent of all electricity produced in the U.S. was a result of wind energy. That number is sure to be on the rise with more turbines added every day.

Intersect Energy’s mission is to inform the public about the reliability of renewable energy and how it can help the country. To learn more about Intersect Energy and access more articles like this, follow us on LinkedIn!

Will Renewable Energy Affect the Energy Market?

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Renewable Energy on the Rise

The concept of using renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuels is growing more rapidly each year. Renewable energy options are on the rise, such as: solar, hydropower, biomass, wind and geothermal. The energy market will soon face a change that will be irreversible. When it comes to renewable energy development, financing and management, Intersect Energy is here to offer our expert services regarding alternative energy.

An efficient economic market place is anchored by the rule of supply and demand. Fossil fuels have been the energy supply to meet the demand for power for the majority of the Industrial Revolution. However, with the expansion of renewable energy, that dominance is beginning to fade. The supply for wind, solar and even hydropower is limitless in principle, because they will never run out.

Replacing Fossil Fuels

According to scienticamerican.com, renewable energy will replace fossil fuels in the next several decades. “It is hardly surprising, of course, that many experts say we will witness a relatively drawn-out transition from fossil fuels to renewables,” the article states. “Any new form of energy initially operates at a severe disadvantage, lacking the elaborate production, processing and distribution networks by the prevailing type.”

While the current administration advocates policies that promote remaining dependent on coal for the time being, China has their future set on renewable energy. According to this article, President Xi has been very interested in renewable energy and has been optimistic about its future. He believes in the “green shift” that the world is currently undergoing. Currently, China owns five of the top solar module manufactures, five of the largest wind turbine manufactures and six of the 10 major electrical car manufactures, setting themselves up to become the renewable energy world leader. Intersect Energy’s alternative energy on-site energy generation services offer analysis, financing, and structuring of alternative energy for various work sites, to take advantage of business opportunities that China and other countries are creating.

Balancing the Costs of Renewable Energy

Experts believe come 2020, renewable energy prices will be competitive against fossil fuels. According to a greentechmedia.com article, “all types of clean energy will fall within the cost range for fossil fuels in the next two years.

What the Future Holds for Renewable Energy

If we then fast forward 12 years to 2030, we can expect renewable energy to be the dominating energy source in the market due to its cheaper prices, better production and distribution, and all around higher effectiveness than coal, oil and natural gas. In conclusion, it’s safe to say that renewable energy affects the energy market today and tomorrow.

Intersect Energy is your guide when it comes to information about renewable energy and offers our services with energy reduction technologies, aggregate energy, and more. For more information, please click here to contact us.

Does Renewable Energy Affect the Job Market?

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Intersect Energy is seeing renewable energy boost the job market by adding thousands of new jobs across the country.

The job market in the U.S. has suffered instability for a substantial amount of time. Even though we have seen the employment rates increase in the previous four years, there is still a great need for higher paying jobs and full-time work.

Job Creation and Renewable Energy

Intersect Energy specializes in consulting and development services of distributed energy resources (DER).  We see the jobs the development of renewable energy systems is directly and indirectly creating. According to an article on fortune.com, renewable energy is creating jobs about 12 times faster than the rest of the economy. This is particularly accurate with the wind and solar industries, as the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Climate Corps Program says that the solar and wind jobs have grown about 20 percent annually in recent years.

According to usnews.com, the US wind and solar industries successfully employ over 300,000 people. The solar sector contains 209,000 workers, while wind industry has created over 88,000 new jobs. These numbers clearly prove that renewable energy has the capacity to add an abundant supply of new work.

Intersect Energy Helps Improve the Job Market

At Intersect Energy, we are involved in energy projects that create jobs and sustainable savings for decades. These are micro infrastructure projects that employ skilled laborers to build each DER system. The money saved on energy costs are reallocated by local businesses on new hires or capital infrastructure for expansion. In the case of DERs that involve Public and Government entities, in addition to the benefits of employment and capital projects, you see savings in a reduction in the need to new taxes to support those institutions.

The Positives

Renewable energy is having a positive effect on the job market in early 2018, even with the increased tariffs on imported solar panels. We are witnessing a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy in the job market. This is not only good for the environment and stability in the domestic energy market, but will prove to be a monumental stepping stone for many unemployed Americans in the next several years.

Intersect Energy is your source for renewable energy news and services regarding alternative energy on-site energy generation, energy reduction techniques, and government incentives and grants. For more information, contact us here!

Would Renewable Energy Change our Future?

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Renewable EnergyWhen it comes to the future of renewable energy, there is always a level of apprehension to grasp on to it, even if the idea is innovative and has the potential to change your life. The topic of transition to renewable energy has been thrown around for several years now, and while it has proven to be more than an effective alternative to the use of fossil fuels, the majority of people, businesses and our Government (Federal, State & Local) still are not fully embracing its use.

 

The Current State of Fossil Fuel

To fully comprehend how renewable energy could change our future, we must understand how fossil fuels are currently utilized in the U.S. According to The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s website, the U.S. gets 81 percent of its total energy from oil, coal, and natural gas, all of which are fossil fuels. Coal is very abundant in the U.S. and is the cheapest to use. Intersect Energy provides alternative energy solutions, including on-site generation, reducing the demand for fossil fuels that negatively impact the environment while still reducing consumption costs.

The Costs of Renewable Energy

Spending and cost are always a contentious issue in creating Government policy and that is one of the biggest hurdles that renewable energy will have to face on the way to becoming mainstream. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists’ website, the average cost in 2017 to install solar systems went from $2,000 per kilowatt, for large-scale systems compared to a natural gas plant ranges from $1,000 to $1,700. If the government would choose to mandate the increase use of renewable energy, it would require higher capital expenditures to create new supplies of energy. Because of this difference, it requires government leadership to utilize strategic planning on deciding where renewable energy facilities would be utilized until such time the costs to install equalize.

However, more utilization of renewable energy could be offset by the Federal Government’s energy expenditures. According to Oil Change International’s website, it is estimated that subsidies to the U.S. fossil fuel industry range from $10 to $52 billion annually. Pursuing a renewable energy strategy could cut those figures down and the government would likely improve revenue collections by creating new jobs installing and maintaining new renewable facilities.

Moving Forward

The transition to renewable energy would not change our future overnight. The short term benefits of jobs, taxes and lower energy costs would be visible sooner than the long term benefits of lower greenhouse gases and strategic energy independence that our current dependency on fossil fuel creates. Intersect Energy leverages government incentives allocated for energy reduction, navigates government bureaucracies in creating energy cost savings for their clients. Intersect Energy would like to provide you with information on the pursuit of clean and renewable energy for your business. For more information on Intersect Energy, click here.

Surging Benefits for the Use of Solar Energy in Commercial Real-Estate

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When it comes to the advancement of commercial real-estate, there have been changes in virtually every field ranging from price negotiations, to the rise of online marketing and communication tools. However, among the most pivotal is the expansion of solar energy used for commercial real-estate.

According to an article published by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), “Solar energy offers commercial real estate (CRE) property owners and managers an exceptional opportunity to boost cash flow by reducing utility expenditures, increasing rents, and increasing common areas maintenance (CAM) using reimbursements.”

In addition to the list from SEIA, property owners are no longer dependent on distributed energy from monopolistic (utility) companies for electricity. This reduces the problems that come from being subjected to unpredictable and politically based rate increases.

The primary way to evaluate the economic benefits from solar energy involves calculating how much power a building or company is using. The more power being used, the more the solar development costs can pay for itself. As an independent consultant and developer, Intersect Energy (www.intersectenergylllc.com) has seen an average of 20 percent cost savings for their clients net of capital costs.

The most efficient way to bring solar energy to commercial real-estate is using a solar power purchase agreement (PPA). According to SEIA, a PPA is a financial agreement where a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property at little to no cost.

One of the biggest advantages about solar energy according to commercial tenants is that it provides satisfaction due to its reliable power and the cost reduction. This satisfaction manifests in positive feedback and encourages property owners to install more solar energy facilities, increasing development demand, and creating jobs.

Despite the overwhelming success of solar energy in commercial real-estate, not all property owners are on-board with the idea. Some feel that solar energy is not reliable enough or just prefer not to get involved in providing alternative, green energy to their tenants. However, solar energy has proven to be just as reliable, if not more, than distributed energy from a utility company. The reason for the lack of confidence in solar energy varies from different property managers, but with the economic benefits we will no doubt see solar energy used more often.

Intersect Energy is an expert in alternative and micro grid technology, developed for their clients with not just alternative energy solutions, but access to financing sources. If you want to learn more and get information, contact us today.

Utility CEO: New Renewables Will Be Cheaper Than Existing Coal Plants by the Early 2020s

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It is difficult to exaggerate just what a sea change has taken place in the discussion of renewable energy in recent years.

Oldsters like me remember when the idea that (unsubsidized) renewable energy would be able to compete directly with fossil fuels was downright utopian. As late as the early 2000s, people were debating whether it would happen this century, or at all.

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