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10 Practical Suggestions for How a Polluting Company Can Easily Reduce its Greenhouse Gases

[social_buttons]Chances are, if you run a major polluting company, you’re not reading cleantechnica. But you never know. So here’s my advice, based on my experience writing about energy; gathered into one easy quick read for the non-eco reader, on how a polluting company can benefit from the new energy bill requirements to cut carbon emissions.

1. Invest in clean energy companies. When looking for a new business to add; pick one that generates clean energy dollars. Example: Lockheed Martin makes money from big military contracts. They partnered with a little wave energy company with a way to provide surveillance and won just another military contract, but a clean energy military contract. Reliable Wave Power Ensures Terrorism Protection.

2. Turn your pollution liability into an asset. Think about who might be able to use your unwanted waste product. Example: This landfill company that makes methane gas. They sent it in an underground tube to a nearby brewery that used the gas to provide clean power to make the beer. Win win. Both companies greened up their bottom line and made money. The company that gave them the idea? Their business has  grown 47% over the last 5 years. In this economy.

3. Use your expertize in related industries. If you drill for oil, learn how to drill for geothermal. Start with just capturing all that waste hot water generated onsite and make electricity out of it with energy recovery technology like Ormat makes. Waste not, want not. DOE Shows Big Oil New Energy Source: Waste Heat Geothermal.

4. Tap into your supply chain’s expertize. A big off-shore oil company added off-shore wind power by leveraging the expertize of its supply chain. Siemens built the turbine, Technip installed the offshore floater. Nexans Norway laid power line to grid operator Haugaland Kraft. Between them all they had the experience to set up an off-shore wind platform. StatoilHydro Begins Wind Test of Off-Shore Floating Platform

5. Form a symbiotic relationship with your opposite. Build a commercial scale greenhouse (to rent or operate yourself) next to your business to funnel your waste heat and greenhouse gases into. In a safe space, more CO2 will help plants grow and help warm the greenhouse, without escaping the enclosed space to form a larger greenhouse around the rest of us. Example: Nice Dutch Greenhouse Absorbs Waste Heat and CO2.

6. Double your output per unit of carbon. If you have a coal power plant, your efficiency is around 30%. See how Combined Heat & Power companies like RED could help you. That low efficiency means that every kwh produced comes with a tremendous amount of built-in waste. So if adding CH&P doubles your energy output per unit of pollution, that is like cutting your carbon emission/per unit of energy produced in half. There’s 7 Quadrillion BTUs of free energy from CH&P available.

7. Get a quote to rent or make renewable energy. Currently the Fed through the Recovery Act and each state offers different rebates, subsidies, tax credits and/or Feed in Tariffs for producing renewable energy (and for efficiency measures). (List at DSIRE.) This winds up paying you to buy or rent equipment to make your electricity, rather than buy utility electricity. Get quotes that calculate what your utility costs would be over the next 20 years and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this earlier. You can save millions making your own power for your company. Just get a quote.

8. Sell your excess energy. Check out the ways you might be able to use those large roof spaces or parking lots to make solar power and sell it to your state utility. Or use those dirty brownfields to make wind power for the same. Some utilities offer to pay for electricity produced by CH&P. For example; SMUD, Sacramento’s utility now pays for power generated not just by solar or wind but also pays for electricity generated by CH&P, combined heat and power.

9. Power your fleet on-site. Switch from gasoline to electric or natural gas vehicles. Then supply their power from your waste methane for natural gas vehicles, or for EVs; from electricity from solar power off the factory roof or wind turbines or CH&P electricity. If you don’t want to wait till electric vehicles are available, convert them now to EVs. Ford trucks can be converted by REV in Canada, and the Prius can be converted to 100+ miles in California. Smith Electric Vehicles has supplied a range of heavy duty EVs to the European market for years and will sell here next year.

10. Get customized help. Top of the line carbon reduction software from Hara comes with advice on how to make use of the data to lower your carbon emissions. Energy efficiency engineering companies like McKinsey & Company or Ameresco can also help you find the best way to lower your emissions with efficiency, cogeneration and renewable energy. Here’s some examples of who Ameresco helped and how they did it.

Image: AJ Smith

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Written By

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.


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