Last year, according to International Renewable Energy Agency, the global renewable energy capacity was increased by 1,161 gigawatts. Moreover, the organization estimates that our planet’s renewable energy capacity surpassed 2,000 gigawatts.
So, we shouldn’t be surprised that entrepreneurs all over the world are starting to take to take advantage of sustainable energy.
However, is this technology actually creating valid business opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs or is this nothing more than a fad? Better yet, is renewable technology going to provide business opportunities in the long term?
It seems like renewable energy is here to stay
The global population has been on a steady rise for decades at this point and from what it seems, fossil fuels won’t be able to meet our energy requirements forever.
While it seems that we won’t run out fossil fuel like some predicted in the past, we still have to think about the climate-change-related damage that comes with it.
Factors like that one have resulted in an environmentally-friendly state of mind among today’s governments, firms and of course, consumers. Investors and companies looking to make a profit are naturally tapping into this interest in alternative energy sources.
When you take into account that the political climate in the Middle East is still far from perfect, a vast number of countries are looking for total energy independence.
This just goes to show you that now is a great time to start looking for opportunities to help the world’s energy problems and make some money in the process.
Challenges presented by renewable energy
With all of that in mind, starting a renewable energy business still comes with a number of distinct challenges…
Finding the right opportunity
First, you have to have to find the perfect opportunity for implementing a renewable energy solution. Naturally, you should start by exploring your specific area of expertise. Look at some of the industries you’ve worked in and think about how this energy could benefit them.
The first thing you need to realize, however, is that being a renewable energy entrepreneur doesn’t necessarily mean you have to start building hydroelectric dams or wind farms. The renewable energy business isn’t just about generating energy, it’s also about distribution and storage of it.
Educating the consumers
As we already established, the interest in renewable energy is currently at its peak. For instance, as Nielsen studies indicate, most millennials feel that sustainability is one of their biggest shopping priorities. In fact, almost 75% of them are ready to pay extra money for sustainable offerings. Nonetheless, they are still consumers, and consumers still want individual benefits at a low cost.
Even though the so-called “environmentally-friendly” market is steadily growing as a whole, the green market is still niche. That means you still have to educate your potential customers all about the benefits of renewable energy. But modern consumers aren’t the only group you have to think about when you’re trying to get your business off the ground…
Business plan and legalities
You have to think how your service/product will be affected by outside factors like your competitors and the government. For example, California, which leads the nation in electricity generated from renewable energy sources requires multi-state companies to pay income taxes based on the percentage of their sales in the state. Half of these funds will fund projects that require surety bonds.
This shouldn’t be a problem, because there is a number of companies that are willing to bond renewable energy projects with California suitable surety bond. But it’s still something you need to think about. Moreover, you have to see if other businesses in the region are already offering the same service/product. You need to do a lot of legal and market research before you decide to start a company.
The bottom line
Once you manage to overcome those challenges – develop an idea, make a business plan and figure out all the legal issues – you’ll be on your way to starting a renewable energy company. However, you work is just beginning.
Now you have to motivate consumers to spend money on your product/service instead of spending money on alternatives. Needless to say, that won’t be easy at all, however, it can be very rewarding and not just in the financial sense.