100% Renewable Energy for Harmonica’s Dairy Plant and Warehouse

At the beginning of every month, our colleague Rosen sits behind his desk in the wooden office house in the yard of our dairy plant in Malo Buchino Village, turns on the computer, and receives the electricity bill. It has never been an occasion for celebration until a few months ago when we changed the electricity provider. Since we opted for renewable energy, we receive a certificate for saved emissions together with the bill now.

According to our new electricity provider (toki.bg) we’ve saved 12 t of CO2 (emissions which contribute to climate change) for the past three months. It means 50 t emissions saved per year. All of this is just from our small dairy and warehouse facilities.

By publishing our story, we hope other businesses will make the same choice, and together will save thousands of tons of CO2 emissions.

Even before Rosen joined harmonica’s team, three things bothered us very much – electricity, fuel, and packaging. Our goal is to run a responsible business and to serve as an example in our community. We want to work with minimum harm to climate, biodiversity, and health. Over the years we found many good solutions which we’ve told you about. However, electricity, fuel, and packaging seem to be harder challenges to solve. Finally, one is down. Two more to go.

But we were curious beyond the electricity bill and asked a few questions to Deyana Gantcheva from toki.bg. Grateful for the answers, here they are.

Where does renewable energy come from? What are the sources of renewable energy?

‘Green’ energy is produced from different innovative sources, the most well-known being the “big three” – sun, wind, water. Other sources of renewable energy are geothermal, biofuel, rain, etc. Simply said, it is energy produced from a resource that is naturally renewable or practically unlimited.

How does renewable energy reach the Dairy?

No matter the source, all generated electricity in Bulgaria ends up in the national power grid. The electricity is then transmitted over cables and electrical posts to reach our homes or factories. The grid receives as much energy as we all consume. Since all the generated energy from different sources ends up in the grid, there is no way to know where exactly the energy that we use in the Dairy comes from. However, since the consummated energy equals the generated in the grid, the choice for renewable sources is useful. The dairy uses green electricity which saves the Earth CO2 emissions equal to the quantity of consumed energy.

Is renewable energy more expensive than non-renewable? Why?

For now yes, however, the trend is renewable energy to become cheaper with time. Since the production of green energy needs modern technology and innovations, the price was historically higher than the energy produced from fossil fuels and other limited resources. Next to technology and science development, more competition is entering the market, which lowers the prices of renewable energy. Very soon we expect the choice for renewable energy to be more lucrative than non-renewable. Until then, the environmentally responsible companies’ engagement is crucial to clean energy development and environment protection.

What can we do to encourage the use of renewable energy instead of fossil fuels?

The support for renewable energy technology development is crucial. Once the price of renewable energy becomes cheaper than fossil fuels electricity, everybody will turn to renewable electricity. When opting for green electricity, we support the companies that produce and distribute it and their efforts for development and progress.

Encouraging energy efficiency and the use of environmentally friendly goods and services is important, too.

How does the choice for renewable electricity help nature and the fight against climate change?

CO2 and greenhouse gases are the main cause of global warming, which leads to climate change. The consequences are extreme weather conditions, oceans rising, species populations’ and habitats’ displacement. The renewable energy production process doesn’t directly generate greenhouse gas emissions and decreases some types of air pollution. Indirect emissions are also considerably less than what burning fossil fuel or other non-renewable resources produces.

Choosing electricity from renewable resources reduces CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions and helps to slow down climate change. There are other advantages of clean energy sector development: a shift to more sustainable and decentralized electrical grid shifts. In the long term, the electricity price becomes more affordable for more people. Modern technology and sustainable practices, as well as new jobs, are created.

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