Published on September 10th, 2013 | by Leon Harris0
How to Start Investing in Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is one of the most promising avenues when it comes to reducing pollution and waste for a cleaner planet and a sustainable future. So businesses looking to go green are naturally interested in exploring this option. However, not every company has the capital on hand to build a LEED certified facility, or even add solar panels or a wind turbine to power their office building. And while you can certainly adopt energy-saving practices like using natural light and CFL bulbs, purchasing energy management software, and conducting annual energy audits, you might also want to consider the possibility of investing in renewable energy as a way to support this growing industry and potentially earn some cash back in the process. Here are just a few tips to help you get started.
There are several good options for the company that wants to put money into eco-friendly pursuits. For starters, you could purchase renewable energy credits. These certificates are generated as proof that renewable energy has been created and put into the energy grid, where it can be distributed in lieu of manufactured energy sources, thus reducing the pollution and waste of standard energy sources. These certificates may not be sold, and unfortunately they are not tax deductible (as with some other eco-friendly purchases). But as the holder you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve contributed to the creation of sustainable energy, thus offsetting your carbon debt, as well as the promotional bragging rights that come with such a purchase. So while this is an investment and it does come with benefits to your business, you may not necessarily see a direct financial return as a result.
However, there are other ways to put your money into renewable energy that could show more of a return on investment. You might want to directly invest in a company that creates sustainable energy resources, for example. With the current administration supporting green business and a consumer marketplace calling for green energy options, all kinds of eco-centric businesses have sprung up over the last several years, with more in the works. If you’re looking for a place to invest your business dollars you might consider supporting such a company as a silent investor or even a partner of some sort. Or maybe you’d rather purchase stock in a publicly traded company of this type. But picking individual stocks can be a dicey proposition.
For this reason you may want to consider going with mutual funds that are focused on sustainable energy, or at least include such companies as part of an overall eco-friendly investment package. There aren’t too many options out there that fit the bill, but number is growing as more green businesses enter the market. So whether you want to put money into renewable energy by selflessly purchasing certificates that help to create renewable energy, you’d rather support a green energy venture directly, or you prefer to invest in stocks or mutual funds, there are plenty of options to make your money work for the environment. All could help you to brand your business as eco-friendly and most stand to show a financial return in the process.