Even Without A Greentech Breakthrough, Businesses Cutting Their Electricity Bills
from the dual-bottom-lines dept
As oil prices continues to rise and concerns about global warming become more widespread, there's been a spike in investment in green technology. This has prompted some debate about whether there's a bubble in this space. Of course, even if there is a bubble, some good can come out of it if many different avenues are rapidly explored. But while researchers throw noodles against the wall to see what sticks, there are already many concrete steps being taken to abate energy use. Increasingly, industrial manufacturers are recognizing that environmental friendliness and cost savings go hand in hand, and so in the absence of any major energy breakthrough, they're finding ways to reduce the energy needs at their factories. Some of these things are as simple as using more energy-efficient lighbulbs, while some facilities are increasingly employing cogeneration, an old concept that involves recycling excess heat and steam back into usable energy. The effects aren't minimal; according to the Energy Information Administration, energy use among manufacturers in the US is now half of what it was in 1979, despite a doubling of output. There's nothing wrong with exploring new types of fuels and energy sources, even if some are of dubious value, but in the absence of a silver bullet, it shouldn't be overlooked that businesses' endless need to reduce costs and improve efficiency is already leading to immediate progress.