Jennifer Layke, Deputy Director, Climate and Energy Program, World Resources Institute, and Rick Bunch, Managing Director, The Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan, discuss a number of options for overcoming the real and perceived challenges to wind power purchasing.
Wind power is increasingly sought as an environmentally friendly part of companies’ energy purchasing portfolios, but many organizations don’t know how to source, use or get value from this resource. Energy portfolio managers may find it difficult to get clear information about wind power – its availability, costs, benefits and effectiveness – which has hampered wind power investment. Despite the challenges associated with wind power investments, there are significant potential opportunities.
Early adopters and purchasers of wind power are seeing a return on their investment that often exceeds the initial costs, and are demonstrating that wind power can be a viable option that reduces price volatility because it requires no purchased fuel inputs. The timeframe from investment to return is also shrinking as wind technology component production matures.
There are clear signs that wind power will bring fresh air to companies struggling with ever-higher energy costs, including regulatory restrictions on emissions, and increased public pressure for greener corporate operations. An assessment of companies’ current strategies to access wind power offers insight into the big hurdles to wind investments and the approaches for getting over them.