Providing eco-friendly and sustainable products and services appears to give small businesses a competitive advantage, according to a new report by Green America, EcoVentures International and the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO).
Nearly four out of five (79 percent) of the small businesses they surveyed say offering green products and services gives them a leg up on their rivals. Meanwhile, three out of four say sales for green products and services increased over the past few years, despite the economic downturn, and plan to add more to their portfolio. What’s more, the greener the business, the greener its bottom line. Businesses that show a stronger commitment to green services and practices report higher sales, the report finds.
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The Solar Foundation put out a state solar jobs map tallying up where jobs related to the solar industry can be found. Though New York can claim 3,300 solar jobs, the state ranks 25th in terms of jobs per capita. Even by sheer number of jobs, New York is only seventh, behind California, Arizona, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Colorado. Not surprisingly, the price of electricity in New York is the nation’s fourth highest. The state has 27,035 homes powered by PV, which makes it 11th in the U.S. for that metric.
Once again, our neighbor to the south puts New York to shame. New Jersey boasts 5,700 solar jobs (third highest overall), ranks 9th for jobs per capita and has 138,950 PV-powered homes – third highest in the U.S. and over five times that of NY. It’s time for our state to step up and reach its full PV potential.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has won two of the seven 2012 State Leadership in Clean Energy Awards for programs that fund clean energy installments and research.
The state’s On-Site Wind Market Development Program for funding small wind turbine projects was recognized for its innovation and adaptability. NYSERDA’s was one of the first to base incentives on the predicted performance of a wind turbine, rather than installed capacity. The Authority has also worked with other organizations to promote green jobs training and turbine testing.
NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Business Incubator Program involves six incubators that provide funding and guidance to clean energy start-ups. The program’s 94 participating companies have raised a total of $94 million in private and government financing and created 193 jobs and 94 new products.
After a brief hiatus from this blog, there’s an abundance of clean energy news coming out of New York:
This week, the New York League of Conservation Voters released its 2012 Environmental Progress Report for the New York legislature, ranking this particular session a “B” overall. However, when it came to clean energy, NYLVC gave the legislature a “C.”
The biggest letdown came from the failure to pass the New York Solar Industry Development and Jobs Act, which is currently stalled in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate. Proponents of the bill say it will create 22,000 jobs and generate $20 billion in economic activity, but it’s unclear how much of that will happen in New York City. Also, each retail electric supplier would be required to increase solar power to 2.5 percent of its sales by 2025. While the city would benefit from more of its energy coming from PV, it doesn’t necessarily mean those solar sources would be located in the five boroughs.
With the extreme summer heat keeping everyone’s AC turned up high, renewable energy sources are looking pretty good right now. Here’s some of the progress NYC has made recently (and how far we still need to go):
The vast majority of New Yorkers support renewable energy and the state’s solar legislation and policy initiatives, according to a recent poll jointly conducted by Democratic and Republican polling firms. They also are more likely to reelect legislators who champion solar and would pay more on electricity bills in order to invest in solar energy.
When asked how they feel about different types of energy sources, New York voters overwhelming voiced positive opinions about renewables: 89 percent of respondents said they support solar, 85 percent support wind, and 83 percent support hydropower. When it comes to fossil fuels, 82 percent support natural gas, while only 42 percent support coal. Nuclear is the least favorite energy source, with only 41 percent declaring support.