Renewable Energy Pros and Cons: What’s Best For Your Manufacturing Company?

Renewable energy seems to be the wave of the future, with everyone touting wind, geothermal and solar energy benefits. But what about renewable energy in manufacturing? Is it worth it? Is it beneficial? Here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of renewable energy for corporations and manufacturing companies.


The pros of renewable energy include:

  • Reputation – Everyone knows that using renewable energy sources is good for the environment. Manufacturing companies probably have the worst reputation when it comes to the environment. For many people, the dominant image of a manufacturing plant is those big smokestacks belching ugly black smoke into the atmosphere. When you position yourself as a green company using renewable fuels like solar energy, you start to reverse that reputation. Letting potential consumers know that you care about your community and the environment is a great way to win them over.
  • Savings – It may not seem like it at first, as assembling a solar array or wind farm can be expensive, but in the long term, you should expect using renewable energy to save you a considerable amount of money. The energy your plant gets from the sun is energy you don’t have to pay the electric company for, which can really add up over the course of a year.
  • Morale – When people know they work for a company that is making efforts to preserve the environment, rather than letting their work destroy it, they often feel better about the work they are doing and are happier to do it. It may even attract more and higher quality talent to the company.
  • Modernity – By switching to renewable energy, you put yourself forth as a modern company that is in tune with today’s values, which can make you an attractive partner.


The cons of renewable energy include:

  • Upfront Costs – If you’re a company with limited capital, you may not be ready to risk the financial outlay required to put a quality renewable energy system in place, even knowing the long-term financial benefits.
  • Reliability – Reliability is probably the main concern manufacturing companies have when it comes to renewable energy sources. When your company is burning coal or using the electric power grid, you know the energy you need is going to be there when you need it. With solar power, you have to rely on the sun and your solar batteries’ ability to store backup energy for it to work. Other renewable energy sources may similarly find situations where they are not able to supply the power you need.

Although the reliability of these systems is improving every year, you may not feel you can trust them yet for your company. Some people overcome this by having a renewable energy system working in concert with traditional energy sources, or keeping traditional fuel available as a backup.

Many countries are trying to move exclusively toward renewable energy sources, and it will certainly be better for the environment the more companies make this shift. Your company may not be ready now, but it is likely that renewable energy will be the only logical choice for your operation somewhere down the road. You may want to get in early.

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