Businesses in green energy industries have unique obstacles they need to overcome. These hurdles can be as simple as breaking old habits or more complex political and social issues. Finding ways to break through these obstacles is essential for the long-term growth of green businesses.
Possibly the toughest obstacle for green energy businesses is facing competition associated with Big Oil. The major oil companies are the most profitable companies in the world. They also have considerable political clout and are willing to protect their interests. Unfortunately, it seems that many green energy issues are being debated along political lines instead of scientific fact. There is a group of people who declare global warming to be a hoax, made up by politicians with an agenda.
The good news for green energy companies is there are many advantages for renewable energy that even if we take global warming out of the discussion, there is still many benefits to going green. We know car emissions pollute the air and that this pollution is dangerous to our health. Green energy companies must stress how essential it is to our quality of life to have clean air to breathe. They need to focus on the health concerns created by car exhaust fumes such as increases in lung related diseases including lung cancer and asthma.
Another major benefit of green energy is how it positively affects our economy. Many experts claim the US trade imbalance is a major problem concerning our economy. And importing foreign oil is one of the largest, if not the largest, factors in our trade imbalance. Some estimates claim we are sending $1 billion a day overseas to supply our addiction to foreign oil. Because of this, renewable energy companies need to stress the importance of keeping US dollars At home and how green energy does this far better than Big Oil.
The cost of foreign oil doesn't even consider the amount of money the US spends on military just to protect Big Oil interests abroad. Former US Sen. Gary Hart, as part of a nonpartisan committee including ex-Senators from both parties, claims we spend about another $1 billion a day protecting our oil interests in the Middle East. Hart says most of this money is spent on naval ships built to defend the US during the Cold War and that these military tactics are no longer needed, if we weren't dependent on foreign oil. And this billion dollars a day doesn't include the human costs paid by members of the US military in lives and limbs.
Renewable energy companies need to overcome the popular urban myth that oil is cheap energy and we should let the free market run its course. The problem is, the energy industry is anything but a free market. Big Oil not only pays a lower percentage in taxes than competing industries, it also gets its protection overseas for free. If Big Oil were forced to pay taxes at the same rate as other industries and had to pay for its own security overseas, we would begin to see that oil really isn't that great deal we are being told it is.
Green and renewable energy businesses need to focus on the benefits that aren't debatable. They need to explain how important it is to our economy to keep US dollars at home. The green industry must exploit the fact that we are safer, cleaner, healthier and wealthier when we spend our money on renewable energy and not give it away, often to people who don't like us.