Lesson 11: Bethany Steiner

What will be the effect of greater decentralization of power generation?
Greater decentralization of power generation would provide many benefits. These benefits include, “improved efficiency of the distribution system, reduced strain on the grid during peak demand periods, providing back-up generation to improve system reliability, offsetting costs of new or upgraded transmission and generation assets, reducing environmental impacts of power generation, decreasing the vulnerability of the civilian grid to disruption and attack, and as a resource for the defensive and offensive operations of the U.S. military” (Ebinger & Banks, 2013).

What new businesses will evolve in this changing landscape?
I believe renewable energy businesses will evolve in this changing landscape. I think people may begin wanting solar panels or small wind turbines for their own energy needs. This way, in the long run the resident would save money since they won’t have an electricity bill. Some of these residents could even sell some of their power to utility companies. Additionally, other renewable alternatives could be made to enhance the way we can generate electricity today.

What businesses can you see yourself creating to serve this market?
I never really had a desire to have my own business in the energy field. However, if I had to I would be involved in the solar panel industry. I would like to install solar panels or work at a solar farm. I think this would be very interesting.

Works Cited
Ebinger, C. K., & Banks, J. P. (2013, November 8). The Electricity Revolution. Retrieved November 12, 2014, from Brookings website: http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2013/11/06-electricity-revolution-ebinger-banks

Lesson 8: Bethany Steiner

Considering what I know about renewable energy, what are some of the key things I need to be able to explain to a potential funder of my project?

There are many key things potential funders need to know before they invest in a project. A business plan is something every new business needs. Without a business plan, there would be complete chaos and nothing would get accomplished. A business pitch could help sell an idea to the funders but one has to make sure they want to invest in you as a person. If they don’t trust or like a person, then why would they invest in that person’s business? It is a complete package of selling the business, the product and yourself as well. Additionally, you need to know how much money you need from an investor. You need to know where this money is going, as the investor would probably like to know as well. Finally, you will need to know how long it will take to break even and make a profit. The demand for the specific product would have to be examined and explained. The investor needs to know that the business will be successful and they will get their money back at a profit. These steps are important for any business, not just in the renewable energy field. An investor should understand renewable energy and its benefits if he/she does not know about it already.

What finance-based processes would I use to explain our potential for success?

There are many finance-based processes to explain the potential for success. One way is by measuring the return on investment (ROI). A more detailed and effective way would be to calculate the return on equity (ROE). A ROE analysis is a process encompassing all sales, cash, and other transactions a business may make. Figuring out the cost of capital is also a good process to outline success. There are two parts in figuring out the cost of capital which are calculating the cost of debt and cost of equity. When doing this you would get the weighted average cost of capital or WACC. Finally, you could also calculate the net present value (NPV) or net present worth (NPW).

Works Cited

Berry, T. (n.d.). How to Get Your Business Funded. Retrieved October 21, 2014, from Bplans website: http://articles.bplans.com/how-to-get-your-business-funded/

What I have learned- Bethany Steiner

What types of policies on the part of government could promote energy efficiency?
There are already many states that have policies in place to promote energy efficiency. Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards, utility policies, appliance efficiency standards, and building codes to help enforce energy efficiency are a few ways in which states are already promoting efficiency. ENERGY STAR offers many programs and resources to allow buildings and homes to become more energy efficient. While some states are taking advantage of programs and policies to make their communities more efficient, other states are not doing as much. There are some policies at the federal level, but some of the state policies are stricter than national policies. With that being said, there should be a national Renewable Portfolio Standard. Since becoming an ESP major and learning about RPS, I always believed that we should have a RPS at the federal level. This would definitely promote energy efficiency and allow all states to do their part in regards to energy efficiency. Another policy that could help promote energy efficiency would be a federal cap and trade or emissions trading. This would have to be implemented in particularly with large companies or corporations. If companies did not have their allowance, they would have to cut back on their emissions or find a more efficient way to produce their product.

How would you develop a business that has the potential to move this idea forward?

Businesses that could benefit from a national Renewable Portfolio Standard and a federal cap and trade program would be actual energy conscious businesses. For this reason, I would develop a business to help make existing business more energy efficient. We could present alternative, more efficient products for companies to use. This business may even be able to help corporations invent new machines that give off little to no carbon dioxide.

“State and Local Climate and Energy Program.” United States Environmental Protection Agency. United States Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. <http://www.epa.gov/statelocalclimate/state/topics/energy-efficiency.html>.

Lesson 2: Bethany Steiner

Renewable energy projects are failing to receive the same degree of support as nuclear from the financial community and the government. One of the reasons why this is true is because nuclear power plants give off little or no greenhouse gas. In fact, the growth of nuclear power plants could quickly slow climate change. Additionally, nuclear power plants seem to be the best option to combat climate change. Wind turbines can only work in areas where there is an excess of wind. Solar power can only be produced during the day and if weather is permitting. Geothermal energy can ruin the earth’s landscape and sites could be hard to find. While biomass is a renewable energy, it still releases carbon dioxide and other toxins. Hydropower and tidal power can produce emissions and hurt the ecosystems in the water. Additionally, hydropower and tidal power are dependent on a certain location. Therefore, nuclear energy seems to be the best option to finance- especially if it could slow climate change!

Entrepreneurs in the global development of renewable energy sources could find many opportunities in the solar and wind power industries. During the spring semester, I learned about the solar farm in California and became fascinated by it. I believe solar and wind farms are great ideas and there should be more of them so the technology can evolve to be better.

All About Bethany Steiner

Hello! My name is Bethany Steiner and I am majoring in Energy and Sustainability Policy. I received a General Studies: Associate of Science degree from the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) in May of 2012. Since then, I have continued my education online through the World Campus. I am expected to graduate in the spring of 2015. I live right outside Pittsburgh, PA and have been in this area my whole life. I work in a grooming salon as a dog bather and I really enjoy working with animals. My employer has been trying to send me to grooming school for three years now, but I won’t go since it will interfere with my main goal to obtain a bachelors degree. After I graduate I want to do something that will help the environment. I am not too sure what that will be but time will tell! I love nature and I would like to help keep it beautiful so future generations can enjoy it as much as I do.

I am interested in learning as much as I can in this class, as I am sure it will benefit me in the future. I have never owned my own business but I know a few people who do. My father owns his own automotive repair center so I do know how much work goes into having a business. While I never gave much thought to the final question for this blog, I think a hybrid solar powered car would be an interesting idea. As we should be trying to get away from gasoline, I think energy efficient vehicles are the way of the future. If a vehicles energy could come from renewable energy that would be great!