What Impact Are Renewable Energy Sources Having on Manufacturing?

Manufacturers around the world are progressively increasing their utilization capacities of renewable energy to improve their competitive advantage. Industries use process heating systems to create finished products from raw materials. However, they need to efficiently use this power to reduce greenhouse gases and reduce the cost of production. It is alarming to know that the energy-intensive sector utilizes up to 75% of the world’s energy but only amount to 5% of all existing manufacturing plants. Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass, tides, and geothermal offer an effective solution. However, these sources have both positive and negative impacts on the manufacturing sector.
Diversification of Manufacturing Energy Sources
Manufacturers are now employing renewable alternative sources of energy to increase production and reduce energy consumption. Most industries are now using a mix of some renewable energy sources such as geothermal, solar, and wind power. As a result, they can reduce the cost of production and facilitate innovation and competitiveness. Similarly, the climatic effects of manufacturing are reduced significantly.
Development of Efficient Manufacturing Facilities
Most plants utilizing renewable energy sources have shifted their agendas to a more sustainable energy future. This future includes energy efficient buildings that are made from resilient materials able to withstand harsh climatic conditions. These buildings come with power systems that help in optimizing energy and reduce overall loss of energy. Efficiency in manufacturing has also allowed for CNC automation in industries. CNC manufacturing uses 3D movements to cut into any material. Once the commands are set, this automated machine significantly saves on numerous man-hours that would otherwise be utilized in performing these tasks. The time-saving aspect improves efficiency in the long run.
Less Maintenance Cost
Facilities using renewable energy pay less cost for maintenance than those using non-renewable sources such as traditional generators. These energy efficient facilities incur less operation cost since operational fuel is derived from natural sources.
Reduced Manufacturing Costs
With the seemingly unbearable rise of energy costs, most manufacturing industries have had to explore different sources of clean energy. These clean energy sources are attractive in the production value chain as they cut extra costs. High energy costs are unsustainable for businesses which have to compete with smuggled and imported goods from other countries. Again, clean energy sources increase their competitiveness in the markets.
High Initial Costs
Perhaps the main disadvantage of renewable energies is the high initial costs. For instance, setting up wind power plant is significantly costly. Some manufacturers cannot afford this exorbitant cost. For the determined ones, they have gone ahead to seek grants and investors who can aid the process of moving to a sustainable future. Nevertheless, these costs are sometimes passed to finished products hence raising their prices.
Although the initial costs for renewable energy materials and plants are relatively high, it is economical and beneficial in the long run. Not only does it cut down unnecessary wastages and costs but also creates efficiency in the process. Renewable energy sources are therefore improving manufacturers’ ability to produce more to satisfy the market demands.

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