Corporate Trends in Alternative Energy

Topics: Energy development, Alternative energy, Renewable energy Pages: 9 (3125 words) Published: April 24, 2013
Due to global warming and the rising costs of energy, organizations are taking an initiative to explore alternative energy usage and implementing different frameworks that allow them to be energy efficient. In today’s technology information driven age, organizations are fully utilizing the tools available to develop eco friendly environments. This paper will look at corporate trends in alternative energy and focus on the areas of Transportation, Data Center Operations, and Renewable Energy, to explore how corporations are starting to adopt alternative energy practices. Alternative energy initiatives have been around for quite some time but have really gained a substantial amount of attention over the past 10 years. Today 83% of energy used in the United States is fossil fuels. Before alternative energy initiatives came around, many corporations started looking into energy reduction practices. Had energy usage risen at the same rate of our economy, we would be using 60% more energy today. Energy reduction strategies are a part of most corporations. Now they are in need of alternative energy strategies. Successful implementation of an alternative energy strategy can result in cost savings, federal tax credits, and a positive company image.

Global economic, social and environmental landscapes have ignited a renewed demand for sustainable energy technologies. Today many industries, institutions and governments view sustainable energy as a key strategic priority. One industry deeply-rooted in this endeavor is the transportation industry. Bailouts, bankruptcies and recalls have characterized this industry over the past few years, particularly in the United States. However, as manufacturers begin to operate under balanced and with leaner frameworks, analysts anticipate an aggressive push in fuel efficient and alternative energy vehicle research and development. Ultimately, improving energy sustainability here will hinge upon a continued commitment in research and development investment because today’s alternative fuel designs are simply inadequate for some markets. Trends in alternative energy have been limited by the subpar progress in innovation and cost effectiveness. Today alternative fuel vehicles, although efficient when compared to traditional combustion engine, lack the robustness to meet three key needs: extended range capability, performance and, size.

In the United States, “alternative fuels were defined by the Energy Policy Act (EPACT) to include the following: methanol; denatured ethanol and other alcohols; fuel mixtures containing 85 per cent or more by volume of methanol, denatured ethanol and other alcohols with motor gasoline or other fuels; natural gas; liquefied petroleum gas (propane); hydrogen; coal-derived liquid fuels; fuels (other than alcohol) derived from biological materials (biofuels such as soy diesel fuel); electricity (including electricity from solar energy) and ‘ . . . any other fuel the Secretary determines, by rule, is substantially not petroleum and would yield substantial energy security benefits and substantial environmental benefits” (Impact of alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles on oil demand in the United States up to 2030, 2011). The United States Air Force has identified a need for alternative energy and implemented a program to reuse fry-oil for transportation fuel. “As energy consumption continues to increase, funding and availability issues have the potential to impact the USAF mission. As this type of innovation and technology flows from DoD to the commercial sector, industries and even entire economies can be transformed” (Improving Air Force Transportation Systems by Using Alternative Energy, 2009). Corporations around the country are assessing similar feasible strategies as a means to reduce costs and go “Green”. A big problem for most corporations is that “the long life of vehicle fleets and socioeconomic factors, sustainable levels of...
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