With rising prices for conventional energy and falling prices for renewables, more and more organisations are making the switch to renewables.
It is good timing that earlier this year a book by an Australian author was released with a detailed step-by-step method on how businesses can best transition to a more sustainable energy future.
Albert’s book shows a way to cost-effectively change to renewables. She argues that any organisation could be fully renewable from their next energy bill, simply by deciding to purchase all of their electricity from renewable sources.
However, buying GreenPower from the retailer is just a straight cost to the business and does not deliver benefits like reduced energy expenditure, staff engagement, the satisfaction of producing electricity on site or reducing the underlying energy demand.
It also does not give greater control over a business’ energy use or allow a company to innovate.
Albert says that common sticking points that prevent organisations from transitioning to renewable energy are the following:
- They are not aware of their renewable energy opportunities and have no in-house experience in developing a pathway
- They worry about the technical and financial feasibility of an ambitious goal
- They lack senior management leadership and commitment
To overcome these sticking points, Albert guides her readers through a four-step process to transition to 100% renewable energy that addresses all these problems.
By implementing her method, organisations can power their operations with renewable energy and energy efficiency options that are technically and financially feasible and will have the buy-in of key organisational stakeholders.
The key steps that Albert covers in Energy Unlimited are:
Step 1 – ‘Lead’ is about committing to energy or carbon targets. Albert presents the factors that drive businesses to set themselves ambitious objectives and explains important concepts like Renewable Energy Certificates (see graphic below), the difference between in-front-of-the-meter and behind-the-meter installations, renewable and energy efficiency technologies for electricity, gas (see graphic below) and transport energy, as well as battery storage opportunities.
Step 2 – ‘Plan’ is a focal point of this book. The author argues that the more one plans, the easier the implementation becomes. Albert explains how to analyse the current energy situation and the potential for renewable energy technology to meet the projected energy demand.
She shows how to prioritise energy opportunities and pick suitable implementation, delivery, and financing options that lead to a pathway of 100% renewable energy (see graphic below). Another important aspect in this step is stakeholder engagement.
Step 3 – ‘Implement’ is about refining business cases and getting them market ready. Albert explains financial appraisal methods in an easy-to-understand language and how the right implementation partner can be selected. She talks about managing project risks and organisational change and the importance of monitoring progress towards the target.
Step 4 – ‘Succeed’ is the final step in the methodology and is about achieving the goal. At this stage, the energy opportunities have been implemented and progress towards the target is being monitored.
Albert talks about the need to review and revise the plan based on new information, altered regulatory frameworks, new technology developments or changed business priorities.
She details case studies on how organisations have achieved 100% renewable energy and talks about communicating success stories as well as challenges so that others can learn from the experience.
In Albert’s book, readers can learn about:
- Drivers for renewable energy targets
- Renewable energy technologies
- How to improve energy efficiency
- How to analyse an energy situation and project it into the future
- How to evaluate energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities
- Renewable energy certificates (RECs) and how they relate to energy and carbon targets
- The difference of behind-the-meter and in-front-of-the-meter renewable energy installations and why this matters
- How to develop long term sustainable energy plans
- How to finance and deliver energy projects
- How to engage stakeholders
- How to manage organisational change
- How to manage energy project risks
‘Energy Unlimited’ is not about debates, opinions or the philosophy around renewable energy. Albert rises above the climate change debate by bringing renewable energy strategy into the realm of clever governance and profitable business.
‘Energy Unlimited’ is packed with case studies, 33 photos and illustrations, critical success factors, checklists and examples from the author’s experience.
Albert’s writing is accessible; her insights are practical, relevant, pragmatic, and clear. This book is for senior managers responsible for making an organisation more sustainable, jobseekers, students and lecturers, as well as engaged community member who want to find out more about renewable energy.
The author is committed to a more sustainable future and is donating 10% of the book proceeds to FONA’s Education Centre in Nepal. The project aims to create a new blueprint for educational and community infrastructure for remote communities, applying a whole systems approach. The Centre was designed using natural, renewable solutions with solar for energy, water harvesting, and a biogas sanitation system.
About the author:
Barbara Albert is the founder of Sustainable Business Consulting and co-founder of 100% Renewables. She is a strategic advisor, author, trainer and speaker, and is known for helping councils and businesses transition to renewables and zero net emissions.
Barbara is based in Sydney and is a preferred supplier for the New South Wales and Australian Federal Governments. She holds a Master’s degree in Commerce from the University for Business Administration and Economics, in Vienna, Austria. She studied at New York University’s Stern School of Business, is certified in GRI sustainability reporting, and holds four sustainability and training-related tertiary certificates.
Title: Energy Unlimited – Four Steps to 100% Renewable Energy
Print length: 272 pages
Published in 2017
RRP Paperback: $34.95
RRP eBook: $11.99
This book is available from reputable bookstores, in print and as an eBook. Author-signed copies can be obtained from http://barbaraalbert.com.au/shop/energy-unlimited/